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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.

Republican presidential candidate Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker greets fairgoers during a visit to the Iowa State Fair, Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Scott Walker lays out plan to repeal, replace Obamacare

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker touted his "put up or shut up" style and called out members of his own party Tuesday in unveiling his own plan to repeal and replace Obamacare with a system of refundable tax credits, an overhaul of Medicaid and reforms to long-term care. Published August 18, 2015

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

HHS: Nearly 1 million got covered between Obamacare's enrollment periods

Nearly a million people have signed up for Obamacare since Feb. 23 because they lost other forms of coverage or had a significant life change, the Obama administration said Thursday in a snapshot of people who used the federal website between the law's formal enrollment periods. Published August 13, 2015

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, the Iowa Republican who has emerged as a key watchdog on Obamacare, said some exchange customers could intentionally misestimate their earnings, breach the cap and then avoid having to pay it all back. (Associated Press)

IRS may never recoup $350 million in Obamacare tax credit overpayments

A quirk in the law means the IRS will never be able to recoup nearly $350 million in overpayments on Obamacare tax credits last year, and one top senator says he is worried that fraudsters will exploit the loophole to wring more cash out of the government. Published August 11, 2015

Hillary Rodham Clinton's plan would direct law enforcement agencies to crack down on for-profit colleges that engage in deceptive marketing, fraud, and other illegal practices. (Associated Press)

Hillary Clinton cracks down on for-profit colleges after cashing in

When Hillary Rodham Clinton, the 2016 presidential candidate, unveiled her college affordability plan on Monday, she sounded every bit the critic of for-profit universities. But Mrs. Clinton, the spouse, benefited to the tune of millions of dollars from that same industry in a business relationship her husband enjoyed as recently as this spring. Published August 10, 2015

Donald Trump implied that Fox News' Megyn Kelly possibly asked him tough questions at Thursday evening's GOP primary debate due to her menstrual cycle. Mr. Trump doubled down by citing his record on hiring and promoting women at his companies. (Associated Press) ** FILE**

Donald Trump stands by comments about Fox News' host Megyn Kelly

Real estate magnate Donald Trump refused to back down Sunday from comments about a Fox News host that were widely panned as sexist, as his roller-coaster campaign careered to uncomfortable heights amid a Republican presidential field clamoring for order and credibility. Published August 9, 2015

D.C. Circuit won't rehear 'origination clause' suit against Obamacare

A federal appeals court on Friday said it will not reconsider a 2014 ruling that held Obamacare didn't violate the Constitution's "origination clause" requiring the House to kickstart revenue-raising bills, despite the law's tax on people who do not obtain health insurance. Published August 7, 2015

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, speaks as Jeb Bush listens during the first Republican presidential debate at the Quicken Loans Arena Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) ** FILE **

Donald Trump: 'I don't think I could have done any better'

Businessman Donald Trump offered few regrets Friday about his GOP debate performance the prior night, saying he handled the spotlight with poise and got the crowd into it despite a "setup" against him on stage. Published August 7, 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 **

Mitch McConnell eyes breakthroughs in thorny fall agenda

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell kicked off an August recess Thursday by chiding President Obama for his partisan rhetoric around the nuclear deal with Iran, saying the issue will require sober debate when lawmakers return after Labor Day. Published August 6, 2015

Banned Medicaid providers defy Obamacare rule, operate in other states: IG

Health providers banned from state Medicaid programs for fraud or other serious reasons are still doing business in other states despite Obamacare's prohibition on the practice, according to a government audit that said $7 million in payments would have been withheld if the states had a better way to communicate. Published August 5, 2015

Sen. James Lankford, Oklahoma Republican, leaves a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 29, 2015, where Planned Parenthood was discussed. (Associated Press)

Senate GOP bill protects opponents of Obama birth-control rules

Senate Republicans filed a bill Tuesday that would bar the government from forcing employers to insure drugs and services that violate their moral beliefs, a move that taps into renewed debate over religious liberty, abortion and the persistent legal fight over Obamacare's birth-control mandate. Published August 4, 2015