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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.

Obamacare drama: Political winds shift with health care law

Battered and bruised by politics and its own glitches, the centerpiece of President Obama's health care law is set to begin Tuesday, a highly anticipated date that will set into motion the Democrats' winding reforms and shape decisions at the ballot box for years to come. Published September 30, 2013

** FILE ** House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, holds a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on Thursday, March 7, 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Nancy Pelosi: House GOP's tea partyers are 'playing with fire'

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday a "tea party resolution" set for a vote on Friday to avert a government shutdown would devastate health care reforms and investments in jobs, education and research. Published September 19, 2013

With Obamacare in place, annual health spending to jump in 2014: report

Growth in health care spending will remain slow through 2013 as the economy slogs along in its recovery, but improving fiscal conditions, an aging population and expanded coverage under President Obama's health care law will drive up health spending next year by about two percentage points, government analysts said Wednesday. Published September 18, 2013

**FILE** Rep. Steve Scalise, Louisiana Republican, speaks at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., on March 15, 2013. (Associated Press)

House Republicans file, promote an alternative to Obamacare

The Republican Study Committee on Wednesday unveiled a 181-page alternative to the massive federal health care law passed in 2010, touting their "market-focused" reforms as a viable way to fix the nation's broken health care system without imposing mandates and taxes on Americans. Published September 18, 2013

**FILE** President Obama, accompanied by Sandra Fluke, waves at a campaign event at the University of Colorado Auraria Events Center in Aurora, Colo., on Aug. 8, 2012. Fluke is a Georgetown law student who inadvertently gained notoriety when talk show host Rush Limbaugh spoke disparagingly of her testimony before Congress on the issue of contraception and insurance coverage. (Associated Press)

Court sides with Obama administration in contraception fight

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday sided with the Obama administration in the nationwide legal battle over the mandate to cover contraception services in the new health care law, marking the second time a federal appeals court rebuffed to a company who said the mandatory coverage of birth control violates its religious beliefs. Published September 17, 2013

**FILE** Renee Adams (left) poses with her mother, Irene Salyers, and son, Joseph, 4, at their produce stand in Council, Va., on July 12, 2013. Four out of five U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and a vanishing American Dream amid rising incidences of hardship among whites. (Associated Press)

Poverty rate, U.S. income stuck in neutral in 2012

Four years after the official end of the U.S. recession, the nation's poverty rate and median household income showed little positive movement in 2012, according to new data released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau. Published September 17, 2013

** FILE ** Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, July 9, 2013, following a Democratic strategy session. (Associated Press)

Sen. Harry Reid: Obstructionist Republicans need to 'grow up' on health law issue

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid opened floor debate on Tuesday by calling out "misguided Republicans" who want to eliminate a traditional employer subsidy that offsets the costs of health care for members of Congress and their staffs, arguing it is another attempt to derail President Obama's health care law. Published September 17, 2013

Second court backs Obama birth control mandate

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday sided with the Obama administration in the nationwide legal battle over the mandate to cover contraception services, marking the second time a federal appeals court rebuffed a company that argued the mandatory coverage of birth control violates its religious beliefs. Published September 17, 2013

** FILE ** President Obama signs the Affordable Care Act in 2010 at the White House.

Ex-Obama aide to sell health reform to Hispanics

A nonprofit led by a former aide for President Obama will target the Hispanic population — particularly mothers — in the coming weeks as part of the push to inform Americans about potential benefits under the new health care law. Published September 17, 2013

**FILE** Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (Associated Press

Pa. Gov. Corbett open to Medicaid expansion, but reforms must come first

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said Monday he will seek federal funds to buy private health insurance for thousands of state residents who are newly eligible for Medicaid under the new health care law, but only if he can secure reforms to the entitlement program first. Published September 16, 2013

Poll finds more share negative view of Obamacare

More than half of the American public holds a negative view of the new health care law, even though many do not fully understand how it will affect them and even fewer want lawmakers to help it fail, new polling shows. Published September 16, 2013

** FILE ** Rep. Michael T. McCaul, Texas Republican (Associated Press)

Lawmakers hopeful about Syrian deal, but skepticism abounds

Lawmakers from both parties on Sunday showed guarded optimism for a deal struck by U.S. and Russian officials to put chemical weapons inspectors in Syria by November, with destruction of the Assad regime's stockpiles set for next year. Published September 15, 2013

Rep. Tom Price, Georgia Republican, says a delay on implementing Obamacare should not be off the table as part of a spending deal as some parts have been put off already. "[I]t's only fair for the American people now to have that same delay," he said. (Associated Press)

GOP will have wiggle room on spending, but not on debt, in budget fight

House Republicans girding for a pair of fiscal fights this month will have some wiggle room when it comes to their spending priorities, but the debt limit is off the negotiating table — especially if they intend to use the new health care law as a bargaining chip, President Obama said Sunday. Published September 15, 2013