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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.

Republicans have given IRS Commissioner John Koskinen a deadline Tuesday to explain how the IRS plans to identify who will receive Obamacare letters and what the correspondence would look like. (Associated Press)

Obama administration wants to use IRS to hawk Obamacare

44 minutes ago

The administration wants to use the IRS to hawk Obamacare, drawing fire from Republicans, who fear President Obama is turning the tax agency into part of his political operation by enlisting it in the health care effort. Published September 28, 2016

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., left, accompanied by Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., right, speaks at a news conference following a closed-door meeting of House Republicans on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Senate passes bill to avert government shutdown

11 minutes ago

The Senate cleared its pre-election agenda Wednesday by passing a bill to stave off a government shutdown and combat the Zika virus, after leaders from both parties broke a stalemate over funds for the Flint, Michigan, water crisis. Published September 28, 2016

"The Republicans are essentially saying the disasters in our states are more important than the disasters in your state," Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said. (Associated Press)

Senate blocks bill to avert shutdown as Democrats' Flint demands drive filibuster

Congress hurtled toward a government shutdown after Senate Democrats led a filibuster Tuesday, blocking a stopgap spending bill that funded the fight against Zika and addressed flooding in Louisiana, West Virginia and Maryland, but offered no money for Michigan residents affected by lead-tainted water. Published September 27, 2016

Mylan CEO Heather Bresch pauses as she prepares to testify on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016, before the House Oversight Committee hearing on EpiPen price increases. Bresch defended the cost for life-saving EpiPens, signaling the company has no plans to lower prices despite a public outcry and questions from skeptical lawmakers. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Mylan CEO called before Congress, defends price hikes for lifesaving EpiPens

The CEO of Mylan Pharmaceuticals defended the rising cost of her company's lifesaving EpiPens to Congress on Wednesday, rejecting demands that she slash the price, though she insisted help is available for low-income patients and those with skimpy health care coverage. Published September 21, 2016

Six years after the Obamacare market exchanges went online, the experiment looks faulty, generating consideration of a public option. (Associated Press)

Public option seen as only way to save Obamacare

Rejected during the 2009 Obamacare debate as too controversial and unnecessary, the public option -- in which the government offers insurance that competes directly with private and nonprofit plans -- has been resurrected this year by Democrats who say it's the only way to rescue President Obama's struggling health care law. Published September 20, 2016

EpiPen price hike siphoned millions from government: report

The skyrocketing cost of EpiPens is not just socking consumers, it's also siphoning more money from the government, which spent more than 10 times as much on the allergy treatment in 2014 than it did seven years prior, a nonpartisan analysis said Tuesday. Published September 20, 2016

Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaks during a news conference at Wynwood Walls, Monday, Sept. 19, 2016, in the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami. The governor said the arts district is no longer considered a zone of active Zika transmission. It has been 45 days since the last Zika detection. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

CDC: Zika efforts seeing progress in South Florida

Mosquitoes are no longer spreading Zika in the Miami neighborhood that had been "ground zero" for transmission in the continental U.S. this summer, officials said Monday, saying they conquered the disease with aggressive spraying and careful disease-tracking. Published September 19, 2016

Florida Gov. Rick Scott picks up fallen branches to put into the back of a truck Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016 during a debris cleanup from Hurricane Hermine in Indian Head Acres in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Phil Sears)

Rick Scott, Florida governor: Miami neighborhood now Zika-free

The first neighborhood to see mosquito-borne Zika cases in the continental U.S. is no longer an active area of transmission, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Monday, even as federal officials expand the zone of risk in nearby Miami Beach. Published September 19, 2016

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington in this Dec. 17, 2014, file photo. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Census: Uninsured rate dropped to 9.1 percent in 2015

Four million more Americans held health insurance in 2015 than in 2014, according to Census report Tuesday that found 29 million people were still not covered and that Hispanics lagged behind other race or ethnic groups in getting covered, despite widespread gains attributed to Obamacare. Published September 13, 2016

Jason Herring, acting Assistant Director for Congressional Affairs at the FBI, is served a subpoena to provide the full investigative file during the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on classifications and redactions in the FBI's investigative file of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's private server. (Associated Press)

FBI official given subpoena over lack of discipline on Hillary Clinton's server

House GOP investigators probing Hillary Clinton's use of private email at the State Department accused the Obama administration Monday of operating like a "banana republic" by withholding or blacking out documents tied to the FBI's decision not to prosecute the Democratic presidential nominee. Published September 12, 2016

President Barack Obama listens as Secretary of Defense Ash Carter speaks during a memorial ceremony to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016, at the Pentagon in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Obama thanks insurers for sticking with his health care law

President Obama on Monday thanked insurers who will offer coverage on Obamacare's insurance exchanges next year despite challenges that have caused companies like Aetna and UnitedHealth Group to largely withdraw from the program. Published September 12, 2016