Skip to content

Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at

Articles by Tom Howell Jr.

Rep. Tom Cotton, Arkansas Republican is running for the U.S. Senate seat now held by U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, a Democrat. (Associated Press)

Democrats, Republicans use Medicaid law as a campaign weapon

The attack line from Arkansas Democrats is simple: If Rep. Tom Cotton had his way, at least 155,000 of the state's poorest residents would lose the health care coverage they just received under a bipartisan plan that other states have imitated. Published April 28, 2014

Cover Oregon interim chief information officer Alex Pettit speaks during an advisory committee meeting in Portland, Ore., Thursday, April 24, 2014.  After months of deliberation over what to do with Oregon's botched online health exchange, the advisory panel recommended that the state drop its trouble-plagued online health exchange for private policies and have Oregonians instead shop for them on the federal online marketplace. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

Oregon abandons state Obamacare exchange; first to do so

Oregon has become the first state to ditch its Obamacare exchange, opting Friday to abandon the $245 million state-run portal and rely on the federal site for private health policies when enrollment starts again in November. Published April 25, 2014

FILE - In this Jan. 17, 2014 file photo, a smoker demonstrates an e-cigarette in Wichita Falls, Texas. Soon, the Food and Drug Administration will propose rules for e-cigarettes. The rules will have big implications for a fast-growing industry and its legions of customers. (AP Photo/Wichita Falls Times Record News, Torin Halsey, File)

FDA extends its reach to e-cigarettes in proposal

Five years in the making, the Obama administration’s move Thursday to regulate electronic cigarettes and other tobacco products left many anti-smoking advocates waiting to exhale. Published April 24, 2014

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus wasted no time in bidding Oregon's failed health care portal, Cover Oregon, goodbye and assigning blame for glitch-laden site to Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber and Sen. Jeff Merkley, also a Democrat. (Associated Press)

Oregon may ditch Obamacare portal

Oregon may drop its glitch-laden Obamacare portal and rely on the federally run website instead, a stark turnaround for a state that embraced the health care law but failed to deliver a fully functioning exchange. Published April 24, 2014

The website is shown on a laptop in Washington, Monday, March 31, 2014. Today is the deadline to sign up for private heath insurance in the online markets created by President Obama's heath care law or face a federal fines. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

Obamacare class-action suit opens a new legal front

Lawrence Basich is on the hook for $400,000 in medical bills that would have been paid by his insurer had his application been processed correctly by Nevada's Obamacare exchange. Published April 23, 2014

University of Michigan student Ebrie Benton, left, demonstrates outside the Federal courthouse, Wednesday, March 7, 2012, in Cincinnati, where the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals was hearing oral arguments in their review of their ruling last summer that Proposal 2, the ban on affirmative action in Michigan, is unconstitutional. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

Supreme Court upholds Michigan affirmative action ban

The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a state electorate's right to ban the use of race in public university admissions, a decision that rekindles the debate over affirmative action in an election year and could clear the way for ballot initiatives across America. Published April 22, 2014


Sen. Joe Manchin keeps his options open for 2016

Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is keeping his political options open for 2016, even though his Senate term would not end for another two years, according to the Charleston Gazette. Published April 18, 2014

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius listens as she testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, April 10, 2014, before the Senate Finance Committee hearing on the HHS Department's fiscal Year 2015 budget. A White House official says Sebelius is resigning from the Obama administration. The move comes just a week after the close of the rocky enrollment period for President Barack Obama's health care law. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Sebelius not running for Senate, HHS confirms: Report

Despite rumors in Democratic circles, departing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is not considering a Senate run out of Kansas, an agency spokesman told the Associated Press. Published April 18, 2014

President Barack Obama speaks about health care, Thursday, April 17, 2014, in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. The president said eight million have signed up for health insurance under Affordable Care Act. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Obama taunts GOP, takes televised victory lap on Obamacare

President Obama openly rebuked Republicans for their continued assault on his health care law in a televised victory lap Thursday, pointing to new data that show 8 million Americans have selected a private health plan through online exchanges and that millions more will be covered by Medicaid or their parents' insurance because of his overhaul. Published April 17, 2014

** FILE ** Former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin addresses the Conservative Political Action Committee annual conference in National Harbor, Md., Saturday, March 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Sarah Palin to campaign for Senate candidate Ben Sasse in Nebraska

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will rally this month with Ben Sasse in support of his bid to stave off GOP primary challenger Osborn next month and replace retiring Republican Sen. Mike Johanns next year, the Sasse campaign said Thursday. Published April 17, 2014

Russian President Vladimir Putin takes part in a nationally televised question-and-answer session in Moscow, Thursday, April 17, 2014. President Vladimir Putin on Thursday rejected claims that Russian special forces are fomenting unrest in eastern Ukraine, but recognized for the first time that the troops in unmarked uniforms who had overtaken Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula before its annexation by Moscow were Russian soldiers. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service)

Putin: No plans to invade Alaska; too cold, he says

Russian President Vladimir Putin may be making inroads into eastern Ukraine, but he does not plan to replicate the incursion far to the east, in Alaska, because his country has enough cold land, according to Published April 17, 2014