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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.

"Today we offer a bold bicameral plan that fully repeals and replaces the health care law with reforms that empower patients, not Washington," said Sen. Orrin Hatch, Utah Republican. (Associated Press)

Republicans release Obamacare Plan B in case of repeal or court ruling

President Obama's top health official refused to say Wednesday if she's prepared for a Supreme Court ruling that could blow a hole through Obamacare this year, exasperating Republicans who said the White House is putting millions of HealthCare.gov enrollees on a collision course with no exit ramp. Published February 4, 2015

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell (Associated Press) ** FILE **

7.5 million have signed up on HealthCare.gov

Nearly 7.5 million Obamacare customers signed up on HealthCare.gov through Jan. 30, the administration said Wednesday in a weekly enrollment update that provided major metropolitan data for the first time. Published February 4, 2015

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. addresses the media with from left, Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, February 3, 2015.   Republicans newly in charge of Congress challenged President Barack Obama at both ends of the Capitol on Tuesday, lining up in the House to repeal the health care program he signed into law and struggling in the Senate to roll back the immigration policies he issued on his own.  (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

House votes to repeal, replace Obamacare

The House voted largely along party lines Tuesday to repeal and replace Obamacare, with Republicans vowing to satisfy midterm voters who demanded a new path forward while Democrats taunted their rivals as oblivious to the plight of the uninsured. Published February 3, 2015

Sen. John Barrasso, Wyoming Republican, and his GOP colleagues are examining replacements for Obamacare. "We want to make sure the American people know we're going to be there to help people who are being harmed by the law," Mr. Barrasso said. (Associated Press)

Republicans proposing vote on Obamacare alternative

Republicans have vowed to be ready with a replacement for Obamacare if the Supreme Court pokes a hole in the signature law later this summer, and will vote in the House Tuesday to both repeal the law and to give themselves a mandate to find the replacement. Published February 2, 2015

Pediatrician Charles Goodman vaccinates 1-year-old Cameron Fierro with the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, or MMR vaccine at his practice in Northridge, Calif., on Jan. 29, 2015. Some doctors are adamant about not accepting patients who don't believe in vaccinations, with some saying they don't want to be responsible for someone's death from an illness that was preventable. (Associated Press)

CDC director: Vaccinate your kids, there's nothing to fear

The nation's top disease fighter pleaded Monday with Americans to vaccinate their children against measles for their own sake and that of others, a response to the outbreak that's been linked to the Disneyland theme park and anti-vaccine movements in some communities. Published February 2, 2015

House Speaker John A. Boehner said that after the upcoming GOP House retreat, the Republicans will have a better plan on how to cancel out President Obama's amnesty. (Associated Press)

Republicans to open February with vote to repeal Obamacare

House Republicans will kick off February with a vote to repeal Obamacare, providing new members the chance to put their opposition on the record as the party chips away at the overhaul and devises some reforms of its own. Published January 29, 2015

The HealthCare.gov website (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)

Obamacare signups hit 9.5 million with month still left to go

About 9.5 million Americans selected Obamacare plans with a month to spare before the Feb. 15 deadline to sign up, meaning the Obama administration likely will far exceed its modest enrollment goals for the law's health exchanges in 2015. Published January 27, 2015

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence delivers his State of the State address to a joint session of the legislature at the Statehouse in Indianapolis, Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Indiana Gov. Pence says Obama admin. has approved his Medicaid plan

The Obama administration has approved Indiana's twist on Medicaid expansion, Gov. Mike Pence announced Tuesday, casting the reforms as a consumer-driven overhaul to insure up to 350,000 low-income Hoosiers while distancing himself from Obamacare. Published January 27, 2015

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell speaks at the Treasury Department in Washington on July 28, 2014. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

HHS outlines shift away from Medicare fee-for-service model

The Obama administration on Monday set a timeline for historic changes in how it compensates doctors, hospitals and other providers under Medicare, shifting from line-item payments for every service rendered to a system that rewards quality. Published January 26, 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama waves to the media, with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi standing beside him during a ceremonial reception at the Indian Presidential Palace in New Delhi, India, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015. Obama is the first American leader to be invited to attend India's Republic Day festivities, which commence Monday and mark the anniversary of the enactment of the country's democratic constitution. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)

Obama: U.S. can't play 'whack-a-mole' by sending troops to Yemen

President Obama held out hope Sunday for a political solution to the burgeoning crisis in Yemen, where Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels have overrun the capital of Sanaa and upset U.S. operations against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a particularly dangerous wing of the Sunni terrorist group. Published January 25, 2015

'UNBREAKABLE BOND': Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama both said reports about more distant relations in the past year were "wrong." Mr. Netanyahu visited Mr. Obama in the Oval Office and talked with a group of reporters. (Associated Press)

White House again denounces Congress invite to Netanyahu

The White House sought the high ground Sunday in objecting to House Republicans' decision to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress without President Obama's blessing, saying it is foolhardy to disrupt negotiations with Iran as the Islamic Republic seeks a nuclear weapon. Published January 25, 2015

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington in this June 4, 2014, file photo. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

John McCain: Iran 'on the march'

Sen. John McCain said Sunday that Iran is "on the march" and that President Obama lacks a strategy to deal with the Islamic republic, ratcheting up a tense standoff between congressional Republicans and the White House. Published January 25, 2015

FILE - This file image taken from an online video released by the Islamic State group's al-Furqan media arm on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, purports to show the group threatening to kill two Japanese hostages that the militants identify as Kenji Goto Jogo, left, and Haruna Yukawa, right, unless a $200 million ransom is paid within 72 hours.  Japan's government is investigating a new message purported to be from the Islamic State group Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015 holding two Japanese hostages. The Associated Press could not verify the contents of the message, which varied greatly from previous videos released by the Islamic State group, which now holds a third of both Syria and Iraq. (AP Photo, File)

U.S. reiterates refusal to negotiate with Islamic State over hostages

The U.S. will not pay ransoms or swap prisoners to satisfy the Islamic State and spring hostages from their grip in Iraq and Syria, President Obama's chief of staff said Sunday, as Japan mourned the apparent beheading of one of its citizens at the hands of the terrorist group. Published January 25, 2015

A Houthi Shiite fighter shows support for his comrades after seizing the capital in Sanaa, Yemen. President Obama has yet to reveal a response. (Associated Press)

Yemen coup shows Obama lacks Middle East terror strategy, critics say

The Yemeni government's fall to Iran-backed Shiite militants last week is only the latest sign that Tehran is "on the march" and that President Obama needs a battle plan to rout extremists across the Middle East, the administration's critics charged Sunday. Published January 25, 2015