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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 ** Treasury Secretary Jack Lew testifies before the Senate Banking Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, May 21, 2013. (Associated Press)

Treasury's Jack Lew warns against brinkmanship over debt ceiling

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Sunday called on Congress to "do its job" and avoid what could be a bruising budgetary standoff this fall, arguing Washington cannot afford a repeat of the type of "self-inflicted wounds" inflicted on the U.S. economy in the damaging showdown over the debt ceiling in 2011. Published July 28, 2013

GOP resists new attempt to shutter Guantanamo

Congress sent strong signals this week that President Obama's 5-year-old vow to close Guantanamo Bay prison is far from coming to fruition, as partisan camps drew battle lines over whether the facility in Cuba bottles up terrorists or simply breeds more abroad. Published July 25, 2013

Sen. Marco Rubio has pledged not to vote for any spending bill that would fund the Affordable Care Act, saying "there are some issues that are so fundamental that we have to be willing to go all the way." (Associated Press)

Republicans use budget bills in fight against Obamacare

Republicans are taking their last stand against Obamacare by threatening to block any spending measures that fund the health care law, a political maneuver that rides slumping support for the reforms but risks attracting blame for a government shutdown after years of budget gridlock on Capitol Hill. Published July 24, 2013

**FILE** House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (left), Virginia Republican (Associated Press)

House panel looks at ways to help children of illegal immigrants

A House panel pushed forward Tuesday with the Republicans' step-by-step approach to immigration reform, taking up proposals that carve a pathway to citizenship for the children who were brought here illegally at a young age and cueing up debate on whether their parents should also be accommodated. Published July 23, 2013

Resolution on contraceptive coverage getting closer for religious employers

Religiously devout employers who object to insuring contraceptives for their employees under President Obama's new health care law are closer to resolving — either through compromise or through the courts — their long-standing fight with the Obama administration under the banner of religious freedom. Published July 22, 2013

Disillusionment of Obamacare shifts unions' political alliances to GOP

Discord over President Obama's health care law is forging strange alliances, with top Republicans reaching out to union bosses who helped Democrats muscle the legislation through Congress three years ago but now say the reforms will "destroy the very health and well-being of our members." Published July 21, 2013

Obama's health care law shifts big unions' political alliances to GOP

Discord over President Obama's health care law is forging strange alliances, with top Republicans reaching out to union bosses who helped Democrats muscle the legislation through Congress three years ago but now say the reforms will "destroy the very health and well-being of our members." Published July 21, 2013

** FILE ** President Obama speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington on Friday, June 28, 2012. (Associated Press)

GOP sees Democrats wavering on health insurance

The House's vote this week to delay both the employer and individual mandates exposed the cracks in Democrats' unity behind the health care law and provided Republicans a springboard to keep the pressure on both the Senate and President Obama ahead of next year's elections. Published July 18, 2013

** FILE ** Rep. Pete Sessions, Texas Republican (Associated Press)

Health care votes will force House Democrats to choose

The House is set to vote Wednesday on bills that delay mandates in the new health care law requiring individuals and large employers to have health coverage plans, forcing Democrats to align themselves with their party leader, President Obama, or distance themselves from his contentious reforms. Published July 17, 2013

Rep. Jim McDermott, Washington Democrat

'Evolving' evidence led to health law delays: Treasury official

A Treasury Department official in charge of health policy said Wednesday the Obama administration's decision to delay the health care law's "employer mandate" was made "sometime in June" but had been considered for some time in coordination with the White House Published July 17, 2013

Credit: U.S. Marine Corps

More security resources needed post-Benghazi: State Department

State Department officials said Tuesday they could use extra help to strengthen embassy security, but they said it's unclear whether measures being proposed by senators would have prevented last year's attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans. Published July 16, 2013

Some will need help with health law from 'navigators'

President Obama's health care law will be available in Spanish and other languages, according to new rules the administration issued late last week that tell the "navigators," who are supposed to help Americans negotiate the labyrinthian law, to be prepared to help non-English speakers. Published July 15, 2013

Sen. Ted Cruz

Senate GOP files bill to defund Obamacare

Rising stars in the Republican Party pushed Congress on Thursday to strip all funding from President Obama's health care law, even as Senate Democrats struck down piecemeal efforts to kill the law's most controversial mandates. Published July 11, 2013