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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.

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 ** President Obama speaks during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington on July 15, 2013. (Associated Press)

D.C. health exchange chief 'thrilled' to serve Congress, staff

Mila Kofman, chief of the D.C. health exchange set up under President Obama's health care law, said Thursday she is "thrilled" to be able to serve members of Congress and staff members who are forced to use the state-based insurance markets because of a provision in the law. 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

** 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 signs the Affordable Care Act in 2010 at the White House.

Religious university balks at 'accommodation,' re-files suit over Obamacare's contraception mandate

Colorado Christian University on Wednesday re-issued its lawsuit over the "contraception mandate" tied to the federal health care law, becoming the first religious nonprofit to revamp its civil complaint after the Obama administration finalized an "accommodation" in late June designed to assuage concerns among religious institutions, according to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. Published August 7, 2013

Norquist

Norquist endorses drive to defund Obamacare

Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist and a coalition of advocacy groups on Wednesday sent a letter to Republican congressional leaders asking them to join the campaign to defund Obamacare in the upcoming spending debate on Capitol Hill. Published August 7, 2013

** FILE ** President Obama speaks to reporters in the White House briefing room in Washington, March 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

White House touts accounts for health exchanges

Although virtual insurance markets tied to the health care law will not enroll people for another two months, the Obama administration on Tuesday encouraged Americans who plan to use the state-based exchanges to set up an online account ahead of time. Published August 6, 2013

**FILE** Rep. Steve Stockman (second from right), Texas Republican, participates in a mock swearing-in ceremony with Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner, Ohio Republican, for the 113th Congress in Washington on Jan. 3, 2013. (Associated Press)

Rep. Stockman backs 'defund Obamacare' drive

Texas Rep. Steve Stockman has stepped forward as a vocal advocate in the House for a divisive strategy being pushed by high-profile Senate Republicans to "defund Obamacare" through the upcoming debate on federal spending. Published August 6, 2013

"Now is the single best time and best opportunity to defeat Obamacare. No. 2, this is a fight that we can win. And No. 3, only the American people can win this," said Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican. (Associated Press)

Cruz, others press effort to deny funds to health reform law

Despite warnings from their own party leaders, a breakaway group of conservative Republicans pushed ahead Thursday with a plan to defund President Obama's new health care law as part of an upcoming spending battle, even as administration officials assured Congress they will be ready to implement the health reforms on time. Published August 1, 2013

**FILE** Supporters of President Obama's health care law celebrate June 28, 2012, outside the Supreme Court after the court's ruling was announced. A narrow 5-4 majority led by Chief Justice G. Roberts Jr. upheld the controversial 2010 law. (Associated Press)

Administration readies income checks for Obamacare

The Obama administration is set to unveil new procedures that will greatly expand the government's ability to verify the income of Americans who seek government subsidies under the federal health care law. Published August 1, 2013

**FILE** Rep. James Lankford, Oklahoma Republican, speaks during a town hall meeting in Del City, Okla., on July 2, 2013. (Associated Press)

GOP questions legality of Obamacare subsidies

The House's top investigators Wednesday accused the Obama administration of illegally trying to paper over the flaws in the new health care law, saying the president and his aides are going beyond their powers to cover up for the fact that so many states have rejected federally run exchanges. Published July 31, 2013

Tea party asks its grass roots to help kill health care law

Tea party Republicans are girding for a fight with the White House — and members of their own party — over how to block President Obama's health care law, saying Congress must not miss the chance to use this year's funding bills to try to starve Obamacare to death. Published July 31, 2013