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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.

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., along with GOP leadership, speaks to the media after the Senate passed the debt ceiling plan, on Capitol Hill, in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011. (Drew Angerer/The Washington Times)

Stimulate job growth with Keystone XL, not minimum-wage hike: Sen. Thune

Sen. John Thune said Wednesday there is "low-hanging fruit" to stimulate job growth — the Keystone XL oil pipeline project for one — that would help Americans climb out of tough economic times without accepting a Democrat-led bid to increase the minimum wage. Published February 19, 2014

Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi  (Associated Press)

Democrats file brief in Obamacare exchange subsidies lawsuit

Top Democrats who orchestrated the new health care law said they always intended for those in the health exchanges to be eligible for subsidies no matter whether they enrolled through a federal or state program — a key issue in an ongoing lawsuit over Obamacare. Published February 18, 2014

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 ** In this March 23, 2010, file photo, President Barack Obama reaches for a pen to sign the health care bill in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

Report finds big gaps in Utah health coverage

Republican state lawmakers in Utah represent six of 10 state Senate districts and seven out of 10 House districts with the greatest share of people caught in the Obamacare "coverage gap" affecting states that refused to expand Medicaid under the health overhaul, according to a report in the Salt Lake Tribute. Published February 18, 2014

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, left, speaks at a news conference on enrollment in affordable health coverage in Cleveland Monday, Feb. 3, 2014. Sebelius pointed to in-person assistance available in the Cleveland area to help people choose and enroll in affordable coverage options in the Health Insurance Marketplace. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

Insurers lobby goes to bat for Obamacare

A major trade group for America's health insurers is supporting the Obama administration's defense against a lawsuit that questions whether Congress intended to let Obamacare tax credits flow to states that opted to let the federal government run their new insurance markets. Published February 18, 2014

**FILE** Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich listens to a question at a news conference at Fort Lee, N.J., City Hall on Jan. 9, 2014. Sokolich called it "appalling" that traffic jams appear to have been deliberately created at the George Washington Bridge for three days in September 2013. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, in an attempt to avoid damage from a scandal that could undermine his presidential prospects, fired a top aide who apparently created traffic jams as part of a political vendetta. Christie denied any knowledge of the scheme. (Associated Press)

N.J. mayor won't cooperate with Christie attorneys over Bridgegate: report

The mayor of a New Jersey town at the center of the "Bridgegate" scandal overshadowing Gov. Chris Christie's second term said Tuesday he will not talk to lawyers hired by the governor to look into lane closures last September near the George Washington Bridge, according to a new report. Published February 18, 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

**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

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