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Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at [email protected].

Articles by Tom Howell Jr.

**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

"Many states have cooperated, some have not," Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, Maryland Democrat, said Monday of the health care law while in Waldorf, Md. "Some have a mixed record. They maybe voiced opposition but still moved forward to try to get federal funds.  There's more confusion out there than there should be."
(Associated Press)

Democrats getting out to explain health law benefits

Two federal lawmakers from Maryland, a state that embraced the new health care law from the start, pitched the benefits of Obamacare to constituents Monday — even as congressional Republicans about 25 miles up the road prepped last-ditch efforts to dismantle the law from their perch on Capitol Hill. Published July 29, 2013

Birth control pill available to girls hits store shelves

A morning-after birth control pill that set off a bruising court battle and forged an unusual alliance between President Obama and social conservatives has hit store shelves and increasingly will become available without any restrictions. Published July 28, 2013

** FILE ** U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry (right) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (left) brief the media after their meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Sunday, June 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Israeli-Palestinian talks to start Monday

Israel and the Palestinian Authority will resume peace talks Monday in Washington after a three-year break, the result of months of lobbying and a personal invitation over the weekend by Secretary of State John F. Kerry. Published July 28, 2013

** FILE ** Treasury Secretary Jack Lew testifies before the Senate Banking Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, May 21, 2013. (Associated Press)

Treasury's Jack Lew warns against brinkmanship over debt ceiling

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Sunday called on Congress to "do its job" and avoid what could be a bruising budgetary standoff this fall, arguing Washington cannot afford a repeat of the type of "self-inflicted wounds" inflicted on the U.S. economy in the damaging showdown over the debt ceiling in 2011. Published July 28, 2013

Then-New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner speaks during a news conference alongside his wife, Huma Abedin, at the Gay Men's Health Crisis headquarters in New York on July 23, 2013. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Anthony Weiner under pressure to drop out as campaign manager quits

Embattled candidate Anthony D. Weiner faced mounting pressure Sunday to reconsider his mayoral ambitions in New York City after he confessed last week to swapping illicit messages and photos with women on s social media — a practice he now admits continued even after he resigned from Congress in 2011 because of similar acts. Published July 28, 2013

GOP resists new attempt to shutter Guantanamo

Congress sent strong signals this week that President Obama's 5-year-old vow to close Guantanamo Bay prison is far from coming to fruition, as partisan camps drew battle lines over whether the facility in Cuba bottles up terrorists or simply breeds more abroad. Published July 25, 2013

Sen. Marco Rubio has pledged not to vote for any spending bill that would fund the Affordable Care Act, saying "there are some issues that are so fundamental that we have to be willing to go all the way." (Associated Press)

Republicans use budget bills in fight against Obamacare

Republicans are taking their last stand against Obamacare by threatening to block any spending measures that fund the health care law, a political maneuver that rides slumping support for the reforms but risks attracting blame for a government shutdown after years of budget gridlock on Capitol Hill. Published July 24, 2013

**FILE** House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (left), Virginia Republican (Associated Press)

House panel looks at ways to help children of illegal immigrants

A House panel pushed forward Tuesday with the Republicans' step-by-step approach to immigration reform, taking up proposals that carve a pathway to citizenship for the children who were brought here illegally at a young age and cueing up debate on whether their parents should also be accommodated. Published July 23, 2013

Resolution on contraceptive coverage getting closer for religious employers

Religiously devout employers who object to insuring contraceptives for their employees under President Obama's new health care law are closer to resolving — either through compromise or through the courts — their long-standing fight with the Obama administration under the banner of religious freedom. Published July 22, 2013

Disillusionment of Obamacare shifts unions' political alliances to GOP

Discord over President Obama's health care law is forging strange alliances, with top Republicans reaching out to union bosses who helped Democrats muscle the legislation through Congress three years ago but now say the reforms will "destroy the very health and well-being of our members." Published July 21, 2013