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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.

Committee member Rep. Rush Holt, D-N.J., listens to testimony before a Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources on proposed nationwide drilling rules on hydraulic fracturing at the Capitol in Denver on Wednesday, May 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

Rush for the exits: Rep. Holt latest to bow out of Congress

Mr. Holt, a former arms control expert at the State Department and research director at Princeton University, arrived on Capitol Hill in 1999 served as chairman of the Select Intelligence Oversight Panel from 2007 to 2011. Published February 18, 2014

**FILE** Apple sales associates cheer customers as they welcome in the first customs in line for the latest versions of the iPhone, before the opening day of sales of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5C at the Apple store at the Americana at Brand mall in Glendale, Calif., Friday, Sept. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Genius! Apple Store model helps Conn. reach Obamacare goals

Connecticut easily reached its Obamacare enrollment goals by taking a page from the Apple company and opening up storefronts that allow people to drift in and get the skinny on the labyrinthine law, according to Forbes. Published February 17, 2014

**FILE** Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, waits to speak during a campaign stop at Badgett Supply in Madisonville, Ky., on Feb. 8, 2014. (Associated Press)

Kentucky tea partiers to McConnell: Step aside for Matt Bevin

The United Kentucky Tea Party on Monday said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell should drop out of the Republican primary in their state so conservatives can rally around Matt Bevin, the GOP candidate who is challenging Mr. McConnell from the political right. Published February 17, 2014

FILE - In this Dec. 5, 2013 file photo House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Md. speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Congress returns to work on Jan. 6, 2014, with election-year politics certain to shape an already limited agenda. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Obama's stimulus package, 5 years later: Dems defend, Republicans ridicule

Though its political bite has faded compared with Obamacare and other fights, the $800 billion-plus stimulus still divides the two major parties five years after it was signed, with Democrats saying it prevented a worse collapse and Republicans saying a still-sluggish economy is proof that President Obama wasted much of the money. Published February 17, 2014

FDA says it's not too late to get a flu shot

The FDA wants Americans to know it isn't too late to get a flu vaccine, as virus activity typically peaks in January and February and can circulate well into May. Published February 17, 2014

President Obama's repeated use of executive powers to ease the rollout of his health care law could be setting the stage for Republicans to roll back the overhaul's most controversial parts if they retake the White House in 2016, say analysts who have tracked the law's shifting landscape.

Obama's executive actions can backfire on Democrats if GOP takes the White House

President Obama's repeated use of executive powers to ease the rollout of his health care law could be setting the stage for Republicans to roll back the overhaul's most controversial parts if they retake the White House in 2016, say analysts who have tracked the law's shifting landscape. Published February 16, 2014

**FILE** Senate Armed Services Committee member Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, questions former Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel, President Obama's choice to lead the Pentagon, during his confirmation hearing before the committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Sen. Lee: If Obama can rewrite law, 'almost no limit to his authority'

Sen. Mike Lee argued Sunday that "any high school civics student can tell you" President Obama is stretching his executive authority by ameliorating the effects of his health care law with numerous tweaks and delays to its mandates on employers and individuals. Published February 16, 2014

Gov. Pat McCrory and other state officials hold a briefing in the state Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh, N.C. on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014. McCrory directed the State Highway Patrol and almost 50 National Guard teams in Humvees statewide to search out and recover trapped drivers and help anyone seen walking after Wednesday's storm system brought traffic to a virtual standstill in the Research Triangle area.  (AP Photo/News & Observer, Corey Lowenstein)

Extreme weather heats up climate change debate

Fierce winter storms in the South and drought in the West have reignited the debate about climate change, with America’s politicians still in disagreement over the cause of extreme weather and whether the country has the cash or political will to try to fix it. Published February 16, 2014

David Bransfield, a state outreach coordinator for Young Invincibles, a group which supports President Barack Obama's health care law, talks with student Philippe Komongnan, 27, who is in the process of signing up for health care, at the University of the District of Columbia in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014. An army of workers and volunteers has fanned out around the country trying to enroll young and healthy people in health insurance now available through Obama’s signature law. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

New Obamacare enrollment map reveals surprises, uneven progress across U.S.

A Washington-based consultancy has compared new Obamacare data to projected enrollment in each state, a handy tool that shows states such as Idaho, Montana and North Carolina doing quite well even though they've flown under the radar and relied on the federal government to run their new insurance marketplace. Published February 13, 2014