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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.

**FILE** Former New York Gov. George E. Pataki (Associated Press)

Former New York Gov. Pataki: Stop-and-frisk tactic has helped city

Former New York Gov. George Pataki on Tuesday defended the Bloomberg administration's use of a controversial crime-fighting tactic that's been linked to racial profiling, saying it's been a catalyst for New York City's decades-long turnaround from seedy to family-friendly. Published August 13, 2013

Tunisian women pray near the Zitouna mosque for the Eid al-Fitr prayer, Thursday, Aug.8, 2013, in Tunis. The prayer is taking place at the so-called "Departure Sit-in" on the Bardo square, where people demand the resignation of the ruling moderate islamic Ennahda Party. Tunisians ousted their longtime dictator in January 2011, touching off the Arab Spring uprisings. (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi)

Tunisians quickly losing faith in their government: poll

A new poll shows Tunisians are quickly losing confidence in their Islamist-led government, with support dropping from 56 percent in March 2012 to 32 percent in May of this year — a notable shift in a region beset by regime changes and unrest at the confluence of religious and democratic principles. Published August 13, 2013

**FILE** House Speaker John Boehner, Ohio Republican, takes questions from reporters at a Capitol Hill news conference on Aug. 1, 2013, as Congress prepares to leave Washington for a five-week recess. (Associated Press)

House Dems to Boehner: Restore food-stamp funding in farm bill

House Democrats called on Speaker John A. Boehner to restore food-stamp funding to any future iteration of the farm bill, a direct response to the GOP's decision this year to strip the nutrition program from the legislation despite its longstanding use as bait for urban liberals to support rural farm subsidies. Published August 13, 2013

**FILE** Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 7, 2013. (Associated Press)

Rand Paul: Obamacare authors have 'really small brains'

Sen. Rand Paul outlined his fears about President Obama's health care law on "The Daily Show" late Monday, arguing "dinosaur syndrome" has prevented well-intentioned authors of the law from crafting effective reforms. Published August 13, 2013

** FILE ** Oklahoma Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt. (Screen grab from

Judge: Oklahoma can pursue case against Obamacare tax credits

A federal judge says the state of Oklahoma can pursue a lawsuit against the Obama administration that claims the federal government is unlawfully extending tax credits to states that opted not to set up their own insurance exchanges under the new health care law. Published August 13, 2013

Ohio Gov. John R. Kasich, a Republican, had proposed expanding Medicaid, but the state legislature balked. Now the state is considering a series of proposals that would resurrect and codify the expansion. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Medicaid expansion quandary

A half-dozen states are still trying to decide whether to expand Medicaid enrollment within their borders under the new federal health care law, more than three years after the law was signed and a year after the Supreme Court gave them an easy way to opt out. Published August 12, 2013

** FILE ** Sen. Tim Scott, South Carolina Republican (

Sen. Tim Scott: Harry Reid should apologize for remarks on race

Republican Sen. Tim Scott wants Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to apologize for saying in a Friday radio interview that he hopes GOP-led opposition to President Obama is "based on substance and not the fact that he's African-American." Published August 12, 2013

President Obama smiles as a reporter asks a question during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington on Aug. 9, 2013. (Associated Press)

Obama defends health law delays

President Obama on Friday defended his signature health care law and lambasted Republican-led threats to dismantle the reforms, a public attempt to navigate his recent decision to delay one of the law's key mandates and wave off a burgeoning threat to shut down the government over the controversial law. Published August 9, 2013

**FILE** Texas Gov. Rick Perry greets supporters July 8, 2013, as he leaves Holt Cat in San Antonio after announcing he will not seek re-election. A staunch Christian conservative, proven job-creator and fierce defender of states' rights, Perry has been in office nearly 13 years, making him the nation's longest-sitting current governor. (Associated Press)

Perry hits fix for Hill staffers on health law

Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Friday said President Obama should reverse his administration's decision to let the government keep contributing to health care premiums of members of Congress and their staffers, even as they purchase coverage through the exchanges. Published August 9, 2013

** FILE ** Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. (Associated Press)

Sebelius touts Obamacare in Texas; Gov. Perry says don't bother

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will promote the health care law in Texas on Thursday, meeting with mayors and other stakeholders less than two months before Americans without employer-based health coverage start to enroll in state-based insurance markets. Published August 8, 2013

**FILE** President Obama speaks on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington on April 17, 2013. (Associated Press)

Some fight, some fold in Obamacare contraception conflict

Some of the business owners who sued the Obama administration over the "contraception mandate" tied to the health care law are insuring employees' birth control against their will — now that the rule is in effect — or refusing to comply in an act of civil disobedience. Published August 8, 2013

Businesses struggle with 'contraception mandate' as lawsuits play out

Some of the business owners who sued the Obama administration over the "contraception mandate" tied to the health care law are insuring employees' birth control against their will — now that the rule is in effect — or refusing to comply in an act of civil disobedience. Published August 8, 2013