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Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

Articles by Tom Howell Jr.

**FILE** Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, New Hampshire Democrat (Associated Press)

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen launches pro-business ad in race against Scott Brown

Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen's re-election campaign is set to launch its second TV ad buy in New Hampshire this week as it tries to stave off Republican challenger Scott Brown, the former Massachusetts senator who found a new state and renewed political ambitions this year. Published May 13, 2014

** FILE ** Rep. Fred Upton, House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman. (Associated Press)

Top House Republicans: We haven't forgotten about Medicare Advantage cuts

Top House Republicans on Monday signaled they haven't forgotten their push to protect an insurer-run alternative to traditional Medicare, an election-year drumbeat that shows no signs of waning even though the Obama administration in April said it would boost — not cut — payment rates under the program for seniors. Published May 12, 2014

Too Liberal? Sen. Pat Roberts, a Kansas Republican who ranks as one of the most conservative members of the Senate, has acquired a primary rival who pledges to run further to the right. (Associated Press)

It's official: Sen. Pat Roberts a true Kansan

Sen. Pat Roberts can focus on his re-election bid this year, now that a state board has ruled he is a true Kansan who can be on the ballot in the Aug. 5 Republican primary. Published May 12, 2014

** FILE ** This Nov. 11,  2013, file photo shows Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., in Little Rock, Ark. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)

Democrats hanging tough so far in Senate races, poll shows

Democratic candidates are hanging tough in three of this year's hottest Senate races, particularly in Arkansas, despite an aggressive GOP effort to retake the upper chamber, said a NBC-Marist poll released Monday. Published May 12, 2014

Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell fired a major shot Thursday, taking to the chamber floor to say the rules amount to a declaration of war on free speech and vowing the GOP will try to block them. 
 "Every American needs to know about this abuse of power," said Mr. McConnell, Kentucky Republican. "Let me be clear: What the administration is proposing poses a grave threat to the ability of ordinary Americans to freely participate in the Democratic process."

Repealing employer mandate won't cripple Obamacare, study finds

A new study says scrapping one of Obamacare's most controversial aspects — the employer mandate — would not leave significantly more Americans without health insurance, despite the political fervor that surrounds any attempt to strip down the signature overhaul. Published May 11, 2014

Thom Tillis speaks to supporters at a election night rally in Charlotte, N.C., after winning the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate Tuesday, May 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

GOP support for tea party wing is declining, Gallup poll says

A new poll finds only one in four Republicans or right-leaning independents consider themselves supporters of the tea party, offering another sign the wing's influence is waning after it failed to make inroads during this week's GOP primaries. Published May 8, 2014

Burwell grilled, but unscathed, in confirmation hearing

Sylvia Mathews Burwell, President Obama's pick to be the new Health and Human Services secretary, survived her first round of grilling Thursday on Capitol Hill, staving off GOP lawmakers' concerns about the health of Obamacare and vowing to help states that want to expand their Medicaid programs on their own terms. Published May 8, 2014