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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.

**FILE** Rep. Peter T. King, New York Republican (Associated Press)

GOP lawmaker: NSA spying in U.S. could have prevented 9/11

Members of Congress remain divided on whether to rein in the National Security Agency's broad collection of phone records, with one Democrat saying the Founding Fathers would be "astounded" by the snooping program, while an outspoken New Yorker insisted that the program is fine and could have prevented the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Published December 22, 2013

U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., right, shakes hands with members of the Northeast Regional Troopers Coalition, Monday, Dec. 16, 2013 in Concord, N.H. King is considered a possible presidential candidate for 2016. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

NSA snooping may have stopped 9/11 attack: Rep. Peter King

Congressman Peter King offered an unapologetic defense Sunday of the National Security Agency's broad collection of phone records, saying the spying agency has not abused its power and that 2001 terrorist attacks might have been prevented if the tool had been in place then. Published December 22, 2013

FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2013, file photo, MNsure insurance exchange representatives Carlos Villanueva, left, and Emily Joyce prepare for the Oct. 1 open enrollment debut at the center in St. Paul, Minn. The federal government hasn’t released comprehensive data on how many people have signed up for health insurance in the 36 states using federally run exchanges, and in the 14 states running their own exchanges, lack of enrollment numbers also makes it hard to say if Obamacare is a success. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)

Report finds improving numbers for Obamacare coverage

A new report contends that enrollment in Obamacare's insurance exchanges has reached at least a half-million people, a key measure as the Obama administration attempts to sell its law to a skeptical public and to Republicans increasingly critical of changes to the law's implementation. Published December 20, 2013

This photo taken Dec. 12, 2013 shows House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaking during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Republican leaders and several hard-right groups are in the throes of a bitter political divorce marked by name-calling and deep suspicions. The eagerness of Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to lash out at groups that have given them fits for the past few years has unshackled others in the Republican ranks, who bluntly question the motivation of organizations such as the Senate Conservatives Fund, Heritage Action, Madison Project and Club for Growth.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Boehner joins the fight to delay Obamacare for everyone

House Speaker John A. Boehner has joined fellow Republican leaders in calling for a full delay of Obamacare for everyone, after the White House tweaked the law once more on Thursday by allowing people who recently lost coverage to buy a catastrophic plan if they cannot afford a better one on the law's health exchanges. Published December 20, 2013

** FILE ** Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, is surrounded by reporters after talking about the final work of the Senate as the legislative year nears to a close, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Sen. Harry Reid goes to hospital as a precaution

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was not feeling well Friday morning and decided to go to the hospital, where he will remain as a precaution, his office said. Published December 20, 2013

Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Latest Obamacare delay faces swift GOP criticism

Republican lawmakers are hitting back at the Obama administration's decision late Thursday to let Americans claim a hardship exemption and buy catastrophic coverage if they cannot afford a regular health plan on one of Obamacare's health exchanges. Published December 20, 2013

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, before the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the implementation failures of the Affordable Care Act. Playing catch-up with a long way to go, President Barack Obama's new health insurance markets last month picked up the dismal pace of signups, the administration reported Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Sebelius adds yet another exemption for Obamacare

A group of Democratic senators are taking heart in signals by the Obama administration Thursday that people who lost their existing health plans because of Obamacare's requirements will be eligible for an exemption that lets them purchase a catastrophic plan. Published December 19, 2013

Florida Dem senator defends NSA snooping efforts

Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida takes issue with a new report that would roll back the National Security Agency's phone records program, saying the program collects "business records" and requires a court order to get the actual content of calls. Published December 19, 2013

Sen. Johnny Isakson, Georgia Republican

Calls for military pension fix grow

Georgia senator joins the chorus of lawmakers Thursday who want to see the pain of budget cuts spread around to alleviate the pressure on military retirees. Published December 19, 2013

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, pictured, joins Republican gubernatorial candidate for Virginia governor Ken Cuccinelli at a campaign rally at their Bristow campaign headquarters, Bristow, Va, Tuesday, October 29, 2013. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

La. Gov. Jindal defends suspended Duck Dynasty star

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has weighed in on A&E's decision to suspend the patriarch of its popular show, "Duck Dynasty," saying it is "a messed-up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended." Published December 19, 2013

Pelosi raises alarm over handling of classified Obamacare documents

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi asked Speaker John A. Boehner on Wednesday to hold a classified briefing on Obamacare documents acquired by Rep. Darrell Issa — the chamber's top investigator — that Democrats say could compromise HealthCare.gov's security. Published December 18, 2013

Kurt DelBene, President of the Microsoft Office Division, talks about Microsoft Office 365 at a news conference in San Francisco, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2010. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

GOP lawmaker: Best 'fix' for Obamacare is a mercy killing

A Louisiana Republican lawmaker is recommending that Kurt DelBene, the former Microsoft executive who will oversee the federal Obamacare website next year, should just advise President Obama to scrap his signature health care law. Published December 18, 2013

"There must be accountability for this astounding failure and waste of taxpayer money," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus says, in calling for the firing of Kathleen Sebelius. (Associated Press)

Priebus sees conservative activist groups as GOP 'asset'

Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus said Wednesday he considers outside conservative groups to be an "asset" to the party, despite recent harsh criticism from House GOP Speaker John Boehner. Published December 18, 2013