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EXCLUSIVE: Rusty Humphries with Sarah Palin

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.

From left, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., chair of the Senate Budget Committee, tell reporters that Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Republicans are the obstacle to ending the government shutdown crisis, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013. President Barack Obama brought congressional leaders to the White House on Wednesday for the first time since a partial government shutdown began, but there was no sign of progress toward ending an impasse that has idled 800,000 federal workers and curbed services around the country. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Schumer: Boehner will 'break with tea party' on shutdown

A top Senate Democrat said Monday he thinks House Speaker John A. Boehner will eventually concede and put a "clean bill" on the chamber floor to fund federal operations and end the government shutdown. Published October 7, 2013

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz speaks at the Family Foundation of Virginia Annual Gala, Greater Richmond Convention Center, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013 in Richmond, Va. Quoting from the Bible, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz told a socially conservative advocacy group that President Barack Obama’s Democratic administration is “the most hostile to religious liberty” in American history and the health reform law is its most formidable weapon against them. (AP Photo/Richmond Times-Dispatch, Daniel Sangjib Min)

Cruz: Democrats' attacks show Republicans are 'winning'

Outspoken Sen. Ted Cruz says "inflammatory" Democratic attacks on the shutdown impasse lead him to believe the Republicans are "winning" in the hearts and minds of the American public, as the GOP attempts to negotiate cutbacks to Obamacare in exchange for funding the government and extending the nation's borrowing authority. Published October 7, 2013

**FILE** President Obama speaks about the Affordable Care Act, his signature health care law, in the Rose Garden at the White House on Oct. 1, 2013. (Associated Press)

Kentucky health exchange: Early Obamacare interest is genuine

Millions of people are checking out websites that allow people get health insurance under Obamacare, a surge of curiosity that's slowed down the sites and led to glitches during the plan's first week of open enrollment. Published October 4, 2013

President Barack Obama speaks about the government shutdown and debt ceiling during a visit to M. Luis Construction, which specializes in asphalt manufacturing, concrete paving, and roadway reconstruction, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in Rockville, Md. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Overloads arise with 34 states using one health exchange site

The Obama administration's health care rollout may have been rockier than expected this week because so many states refused to cooperate, leaving the federal government to run far more exchanges than initially planned, according to analysts studying the Affordable Care Act. Published October 3, 2013

Ashley Hentze, left, of Lakeland, Fla., gets help signing up for health care from Kristen Nash, a volunteer with Enroll America, a private, nonprofit organization running a grassroots campaign to encourage people to sign up for health care, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013, Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Day 2 of Obamacare: After rocky start, Obama admin. launches awareness campaign

The Obama administration preached patience Wednesday as it tried to rebound from the wobbly debut of online insurance markets tied to the health care reform law, saying technical flubs on the websites designed to help uninsured Americans find coverage were caused by heavy traffic and not design flaws. Published October 2, 2013

Obamacare drama: Political winds shift with health care law

Battered and bruised by politics and its own glitches, the centerpiece of President Obama's health care law is set to begin Tuesday, a highly anticipated date that will set into motion the Democrats' winding reforms and shape decisions at the ballot box for years to come. Published September 30, 2013

** FILE ** House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, holds a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on Thursday, March 7, 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Nancy Pelosi: House GOP's tea partyers are 'playing with fire'

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday a "tea party resolution" set for a vote on Friday to avert a government shutdown would devastate health care reforms and investments in jobs, education and research. Published September 19, 2013

**FILE** Rep. Steve Scalise, Louisiana Republican, speaks at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., on March 15, 2013. (Associated Press)

House Republicans file, promote an alternative to Obamacare

The Republican Study Committee on Wednesday unveiled a 181-page alternative to the massive federal health care law passed in 2010, touting their "market-focused" reforms as a viable way to fix the nation's broken health care system without imposing mandates and taxes on Americans. Published September 18, 2013

With Obamacare in place, annual health spending to jump in 2014: report

Growth in health care spending will remain slow through 2013 as the economy slogs along in its recovery, but improving fiscal conditions, an aging population and expanded coverage under President Obama's health care law will drive up health spending next year by about two percentage points, government analysts said Wednesday. Published September 18, 2013