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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. Ted Cruz, R-Texas announces his campaign for president, Monday, March 23, 2015, at Liberty University, founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, in Lynchburg, Va. Cruz, who announced his candidacy on twitter in the early morning hours, is the first major candidate in the 2016 race for president. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

White House scoffs at Ted Cruz's Obamacare repeal vow

Marking Obamacare's fifth anniversary Monday, the White House brushed off 2016 GOP campaign vows to scrap the law entirely, saying Republicans don't have a track record that supports their ambitions. Published March 23, 2015

FILE - In this April 1, 2014 file photo, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Republican senators poised to lead major committees when the GOP takes charge are intent on pushing back many of President Barack Obama's policies, setting up potential showdowns over environmental rules, financial regulations and national security. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

Obamacare saved hospitals $7 billion: HHS

Obamacare cut hospitals' costs for treating uninsured patients by more than $7 billion last year, the administration said Monday in marking the fifth anniversary of the overhaul's passage. Published March 23, 2015

In this Nov. 12, 2014, file photo, the website, where people can buy health insurance, on a laptop screen, is seen in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File) still fixing tax-form blunder

The administration said Friday it still had to send corrected tax forms to 80,000 of the 820,000 customers who received erroneous information from the federal Obamacare exchange earlier this year. Published March 20, 2015

President Barack Obama greets people after speaking at The City Club of Cleveland, Wednesday, March 18, 2015, in Cleveland. Obama visited Cleveland, in the all-important presidential battleground state of Ohio, delivering a speech focusing on middle-class economics and to draw contrasts with Republicans over federal spending. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Obamacare still disliked more than liked, but gap narrowing: poll

More Americans disapprove of Obamacare than those who favor it, 43 percent to 41 percent, although the gap between those camps has narrowed to its closet margin in over two years, according to a March tracking poll released Thursday. Published March 19, 2015

House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. holds-up a synopsis of the House Republican budget proposal as he announces the plan on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 17, 2015. The plan includes a boost in defense spending but cuts in the Medicaid program for the poor, food stamps and health care subsidies. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

GOP budget repeals Obamacare, cuts $5.5 trillion

House Republicans unveiled a 2016 budget Tuesday that would cut $5.5 trillion from spending over the next 10 years, repeal Obamacare and change Medicare into a voucherlike system — key parts of a fiscally punishing blueprint designed to end red ink in less than a decade. Published March 17, 2015

FILE - In this March 13, 2015 file photo, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to a meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. In an interview with CBS News, Kerry said the U.S. is pushing for Syrian President Bashar Assad to seriously discuss a transition strategy to quell the Arab country's four-year civil war. (AP Photo/Brian Snyder, Pool, File)

John Kerry chides GOP for Senate letter on Iran nuclear deal

Secretary of State John F. Kerry says the decision by Senate Republicans to interject themselves into nuclear negotiations with Iran was "calculated to interfere" with his efforts to limit Tehran's ability to build an atomic bomb. Published March 15, 2015

In this Feb. 19 2015 file photo, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, speaks during a press conference at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, File)

House leaders say they're working on fix to outdated Medicare formula

Top House lawmakers said Friday they're inching closer to a plan that repeals the formula that pays doctors for each service provided under Medicare and replaces it with one that rewards providers for high-quality care — a measure that both sides of the political aisle have said is long overdue. Published March 13, 2015