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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.

Kansas Republican Gov. Sam Brownback talks to supporters during a campaign event Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014, in Topeka, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Closely watched races for Senate, governor driving hordes of Kansans to polls

Officials in Kansas reported Tuesday that voter enthusiasm is on par with what they saw during the presidential election two years ago, with wait times up to a half-hour long as the nation eyes its Senate contest between Republican Pat Roberts and independent challenger Greg Orman. Published November 4, 2014

Else Trinidad gets help  from Omar Bonet of SRA international about information regarding ACA health insurance options in Paterson, NJ, Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. (AP Photo/The Record of Bergen County, Viorel Florescu) (AP Photo/The Record, VIOREL FLORESCU)

18 state AGs side with Obama in health subsidies dispute

Eighteen states that implemented Obamacare in three discrete ways filed a legal brief Monday that says qualified Americans should enjoy the health law's tax credits no matter where they live, effectively joining the fight against high-profile lawsuits that claim federal assistance should only flow to certain states. Published November 3, 2014

President Barack Obama shakes hands with Ebola survivor Dr. Kent Brantly during an event with American health care workers fighting the Ebola virus, Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Obama praises health care workers, 'American exceptionalism' in Ebola fight

President Obama on Wednesday forcefully defended U.S. health care workers returning from the Ebola outbreak's front lines in West Africa as "heroes" deserving respect, in a White House pep rally designed to lift up volunteers fighting the virus at its source while rebuking those who let "fear" and "hysteria" dictate the country's response. Published October 29, 2014

People walk near an entrance to University Hospital of Newark Monday, Oct. 27, 2014, in Newark, N.J. Nurse Kaci Hickox, who was quarantined at the  hospital after working in West Africa with Ebola patients, was released Monday and left the hospital in a private vehicle. The state Health Department says she will be taken to Maine, where she lives. A statement released by the office of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said health officials in Maine had been notified of her arrival and that they could decide on her treatment and monitoring from there. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

White House steering clear of Ebola quarantine fight in Maine

The White House on Wednesday sidestepped the fight over Ebola quarantine policy that's brewing in Maine, where state officials want to legally quarantine a nurse who recently returned from West Africa and proclaimed she will not be confined to her home under protocols that put politics over science. Published October 29, 2014

Nurse Kaci Hickox was placed into an isolation tent at University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, where she was quarantined after flying into Newark Liberty International Airport following her work in West Africa caring for Ebola patients. (AP Photo/Steven Hyman)

Ebola nurse in Maine to test limits of quarantine laws

Maine is on track to be the first state to see its quarantine laws put to the test since Ebola arrived on American shores, pitting broad state powers designed to protect public health against the liberties of health care workers who have an increasingly vocal ally in President Obama. Published October 29, 2014

Obama tries to tamp down Ebola fears

Battered by criticism on the home front, President Obama turned the nation's focus to the fight against Ebola at its source in West Africa, taking pains to praise health care workers doing "God's work over there" to keep Americans safe. Published October 28, 2014

White House: 'Not unusual' for Ebola quarantine rules to differ for military, general population

The Obama administration said Tuesday that a quarantine policy in place for Army troops leaving Ebola-stricken West Africa would not work for the civilian population — its latest attempt to explain the dissonance between its military policy and the criticism it doled out to states with strict solution measures in place for returning health workers. Published October 28, 2014

CDC Director Tom Frieden (Associated Press)

Federal officials unveil tiering system for triaging Ebola patients

Federal health officials released a risk scale Monday designed to smooth out state efforts to fight Ebola while bolstering the Obama administration's plea for calm, even as the Pentagon quarantined troops returning from the West African epicenter of the outbreak. Published October 27, 2014

Kaci Hickox, a health care worker who returned from fighting Ebola in West Africa, wrote a scathing review of "inhumane" treatment by inspectors at Newark Liberty International Airport and her ongoing quarantine. Ms. Hickox is the first traveler quarantined under new guidelines established in New Jersey and New York. (University of Texas at Arlington via Associated Press)

Ebola health worker quarantines pit politics against science

The nation's top infectious diseases official blasted states for putting into place "draconian" quarantine rules that they said could dissuade workers from volunteering on the front lines of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and raise the threat to the U.S. Published October 26, 2014