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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 ** This Nov. 11,  2013, file photo shows Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., in Little Rock, Ark. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)

Democrats hanging tough so far in Senate races, poll shows

Democratic candidates are hanging tough in three of this year's hottest Senate races, particularly in Arkansas, despite an aggressive GOP effort to retake the upper chamber, said a NBC-Marist poll released Monday. Published May 12, 2014

Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell fired a major shot Thursday, taking to the chamber floor to say the rules amount to a declaration of war on free speech and vowing the GOP will try to block them. 
 "Every American needs to know about this abuse of power," said Mr. McConnell, Kentucky Republican. "Let me be clear: What the administration is proposing poses a grave threat to the ability of ordinary Americans to freely participate in the Democratic process."

Repealing employer mandate won't cripple Obamacare, study finds

A new study says scrapping one of Obamacare's most controversial aspects — the employer mandate — would not leave significantly more Americans without health insurance, despite the political fervor that surrounds any attempt to strip down the signature overhaul. Published May 11, 2014

Burwell grilled, but unscathed, in confirmation hearing

Sylvia Mathews Burwell, President Obama's pick to be the new Health and Human Services secretary, survived her first round of grilling Thursday on Capitol Hill, staving off GOP lawmakers' concerns about the health of Obamacare and vowing to help states that want to expand their Medicaid programs on their own terms. Published May 8, 2014

Thom Tillis speaks to supporters at a election night rally in Charlotte, N.C., after winning the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate Tuesday, May 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

GOP support for tea party wing is declining, Gallup poll says

A new poll finds only one in four Republicans or right-leaning independents consider themselves supporters of the tea party, offering another sign the wing's influence is waning after it failed to make inroads during this week's GOP primaries. Published May 8, 2014

**FILE** Sen. Chris Murphy, Connecticut Democrat, speaks Sept. 4, 2013, with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Associated Press)

Congressional Dems to GOP: The Obamacare fight is over

Congressional Democrats on Wednesday called on their GOP counterparts to end their assault on Obamacare, saying sign-ups totaling 8 million and stories from back home show the war is lost and that it's time to move on. Published May 7, 2014

Democratic challenger and former Florida governor Charlie Crist tweeted despite incumbent Rick Scott's obstacles "almost one million Floridians now have affordable health coverage."

Obamacare enrollment exceeds expectations in nearly half the states

With final Obamacare tallies in, Democratic candidates set back by the law's early stumbles may rely on citing new figures that show sign-ups for private coverage exceeded expectations in red states and toss-up ones that did not exactly embrace the law. Published May 4, 2014