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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.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 10, 2015, before the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on President Barack Obama's health care law. Burwell said it will be up to Congress and the states to decide what to do should the Supreme Court annul federal subsidies that are a cornerstone of President Barack Obama's health care law.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

HHS chief: Time for GOP 'to move on' if administration wins Obamacare case

Before a receptive audience, President Obama's top health official said Thursday she looks forward to a debate "on the substance, not the politics," of health reform if the Supreme Court sides with the administration this month in a ruling that could make or break Obamacare in dozens of states. Published June 11, 2015

President Barack Obama speaks at the Catholic Hospital Association Conference about healthcare reform, Tuesday, June 9, 2015, at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Obama boasts Obamacare is 'reality' in U.S. even as Supreme Court ruling looms

Weeks before a major Supreme Court ruling that could kneecap his signature achievement, President Obama defended his health overhaul Tuesday as an historic achievement that will lift up millions for years to come, dismissing its steady stream of political and legal headwinds as stubborn attempts to "ignore reality." Published June 9, 2015

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner John Koskinen testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 2, 2015, before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee hearing examining the IRS data breach. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

IRS can't verify qualifications of every Obamacare subsidy recipient, watchdog says

The IRS can't weed out bogus Obamacare exchange customers and didn't have critical information on others more than halfway through the tax filing season this year, making it impossible to figure out whether Americans were claiming too much money from the government, the tax agency's auditor said Tuesday. Published June 9, 2015

Demonstrators chant during health care rally outside the Supreme Court in Washington on March 4, 2015. The Supreme Court could wipe away health insurance for millions of Americans when it resolves the latest high court fight over President Obama's health overhaul. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Obamacare still unpopular, but still wanted: poll

A majority of people say the Supreme Court shouldn't gut Obamacare this month by striking down subsidies in more than 30 states that use the federal Healthcare.gov website, according to a new poll that nonetheless finds support for the law itself waning. Published June 8, 2015

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky speaks to the media during a news conference following a Senate policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) ** FILE **

GOP facing self-imposed Obamacare repeal deadline

Top GOP lawmakers in Congress have given themselves seven weeks to turn a powerful, if limited and unwieldy, budget tool into a long-sought bill to repeal Obamacare. Published June 7, 2015

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz speaks at the Third Annual Champions of Jewish Values International Awards Gala after receiving a Defender of Israel award Thursday, May 28, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) ** FILE **

Ted Cruz: Empty witness table shows contempt for Americans

Sen. Ted Cruz blasted the Obama administration Thursday for refusing to let Treasury officials testify on how they interpreted the subsidy portion of Obamacare, a topic at the heart of a major Supreme Court decision due this month. Published June 4, 2015

Texas Republican Rep. Bill Flores. (Associated Press/Waco Tribune Herald/Jerry Larson) ** FILE **

GOP offers another Obamacare alternative

House conservatives unveiled another alternative to Obamacare Thursday, insisting market-oriented changes are better than the 2010 law's mandates and subsidies as Republicans try to coalesce around a permanent replacement. Published June 4, 2015

In this photo taken on Tuesday, May 5, 2015, Guy Lindblom picks unnecessary leaves from mature cannabis plants so they can concentrate more of their energy into the flowering buds where the medicinal chemicals are produced at a greenhouse in Otsego, Minn. The crop is coming in at Minnesota Medical Solutions, one of two manufacturers who will be supplying the state's medical marijuana. (AP Photo,Star Tribune,Glen Stubbe, File)

House votes to shield medical marijuana users from feds

The House voted Wednesday to ban federal drug agents from pursuing people who use medicinal marijuana where its legal, although a parallel and unprecedented effort to shield all state pot laws fell short by just 16 votes. Published June 3, 2015

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell speaks in Washington in this July 28, 2014, file photo. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

HHS: 10 million have paid Obamacare premiums

About 6.4 million people could lose their Obamacare subsidies if the Supreme Court rules against the administration later this month, according to an official update Tuesday that said more than 10 million Americans had effectuated their coverage by paying their premiums through the end of March. Published June 2, 2015

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., listens during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington in this Feb. 3, 2015, file photo. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

House panel votes to repeal Obamacare's medical device tax

A powerful House committee approved a bill Tuesday to repeal Obamacare's medical device tax, a provision that's been criticized by members of both parties as a misguided way to pay for the health overhaul. Published June 2, 2015

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 24, 2015. (Associated Press)

House majority leader to Senate: Just send our Patriot Act rewrite to Obama

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told the Senate Monday to swiftly take up and pass a bipartisan rewrite of the Patriot Act that extends major snooping powers while curtailing its controversial record-collection provision, saying he has a "real concern for the safety of the U.S." after persistent roadblocks in the upper chamber allowed key anti-terror tools to expire. Published June 1, 2015

The Supreme Court (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Supreme Court sides with Muslim teen over Abercrombie in headscarf case

The Supreme Court sided Monday with a Muslim teenager who couldn't get a job at Abercrombie and Fitch because her headscarf conflicted with the chain's dress policy, saying it is up to employers to accommodate religious practices even if candidates don't point out their needs. Published June 1, 2015

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) ** FILE **

Federal judge resists White House bid to toss John Boehner's Obamacare lawsuit

A federal judge struggled Thursday with the administration's claim the House GOP is pushing an "abstract" lawsuit against Obamacare that should be tossed, signaling she'll take a hard look at Speaker John A. Boehner's controversial bid to highlight the separation of powers between Congress and the presidency -- and the judiciary's right to referee their disputes. Published May 28, 2015