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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.

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio listens during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 23, 2016. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Senators fed up with flow of illicit opioids through mail

Senators from both parties said Thursday they're growing impatient with foreign postal services that do not provide electronic data to U.S. inspectors hoping to intercept packages that contain highly dangerous opioids. Published May 25, 2017

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Speaker Ryan defends health care plan amid CBO score furor

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan defended the Republican health care bill Thursday amid blowback over formal estimates that said the plan would result in 23 million fewer people holding coverage and dramatically hike prices for sicker Americans in certain states. Published May 25, 2017

Constituents respond as Rep. Rod Blum, Iowa Republican, tries to reassure them about health care. (Associated Press/File)

As Obamacare markets tighten, lawmakers feel squeeze for quick fixes

With Obamacare still the law of the land, Republicans and Democrats are searching for quick fixes that will help Americans who live in parts of the country that insurers have forsaken, saying they just can't make money under the strictures of the 2010 health care law. Published May 21, 2017

Ivanka Trump hosts a meeting on human trafficking with congressional leaders, Wednesday, May 17, 2017, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Democrats pressure Trump family over health care

Six women from the House Democratic caucus on Thursday invited Ivanka Trump to a "constructive discussion" on women's health, as her father weighs pivotal moves on birth control and cheers on legislation that would defund Planned Parenthood. Published May 18, 2017

In this undated colorized transmission electron micrograph file image made available by the CDC shows an Ebola virus virion. Health authorities are investigating nine suspected cases of Ebola in a remote corner of northern Congo, including two deaths, the country's health minister said Friday May 12, 2017. (Frederick Murphy/CDC via AP, File)

WHO: Up to 20 Ebola cases, and three deaths, reported in Congo

The World Health Organization said Thursday it is launching a "no regrets" response to an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the number of suspected cases has risen from nine to 20 in the past week. Published May 18, 2017

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks at the Economic Club of Washington on various topics including the Zika virus in Washington on Jan. 29, 2016. (Associated Press) **FILE**

National Institutes of Health lobbies Congress to maintain funding

House lawmakers signaled Wednesday that President Trump's proposed budget cuts to the National Institutes of Health will never see the light of day, saying the loss of funds would derail life-saving work and induce budget-busting medical costs down the road. Published May 17, 2017

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, after the House pushed through a health care bill, in this Thursday, May 4, 2017, file photo. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Trump administration encourages states to ask for Obamacare waivers

The Trump administration on Tuesday encouraged states to ask for Obamacare waivers to set up high-risk pools, creating a pathway for interested states to begin to adopt key parts of the GOP's repeal plans even before they pass a bill through Congress. Published May 16, 2017

President Donald Trump walks back to the White House in Washington after escorting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to his vehicle following Erdogan's visit, Tuesday, May 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

GOP lawmakers hold fire against Trump -- at least for now

Republicans said they'd prefer less "drama" coming from the White House, but generally reserved judgment on the latest reports on President Trump's sharing of potentially classified information, saying they weren't sure how to sort out accusations by anonymous sources in news articles. Published May 16, 2017

President Donald Trump speaks during the 36th annual National Peace Officers Memorial Service, Monday, May 15, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump cancels small-business enrollment on HealthCare.gov

Obamacare's small business outreach has been such a flop that the Trump administration announced Monday it was nixing part of the federal HealthCare.gov website aimed at helping those companies enroll in the health law. Published May 15, 2017

In this March 24, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump with Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price are seen in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Koch-aligned group uses Obamacare rates to cheer repeal

A Koch brothers-aligned group launched an ad campaign Monday highlighting the potential for yet another round of rate hikes on the Obamacare exchanges next year, hoping to spur the GOP's effort to repeal the program. Published May 15, 2017

Rep. Diane Black, a Tennessee Republican. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Budget chair eyes more changes to Medicaid

House Budget Committee Chairman Diane Black on Monday called the House GOP health care bill a "good start" but said she wants to overhaul Medicaid, the government insurance program for the poor, even further in the Republican budget for the coming year. Published May 15, 2017

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, displays a letter to Republicans about health care while speaking to the media last week We didn't lay out our exact specific plan," Mr. Schumer told reporters. "We laid out where we want to go." (Associated Press)

Tables turned on health care: Now Democrats have no clear plan

For six years, Democrats taunted Republicans for holding dozens of votes to repeal Obamacare without rallying around a legislative alternative, while Republicans saw little need to craft and vote on a plan that President Obama would kill with his veto pen. Published May 14, 2017

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, a doctor and former congressman, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 29, 2017, before a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing to outline the Trump administration's proposals to trim the HHS budget. (Associated Press) **FILE**

HHS Secretary Price predicts Senate health vote by summer

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said Friday he thinks the Senate will pass its Obamacare replacement bill this summer, even though leading Republicans have refused to commit themselves to a firm timeline, saying they'll get it done before the end of the year. Published May 12, 2017