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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 Oct. 10, 2013, file photo, shows an EpiPen epinephrine auto-injector, a Mylan product, in Hendersonville, Texas. Mylan reports earnings Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski, File)

EpiPen manufacturer Mylan agrees to $465 million settlement with U.S.

Mylan, the maker of EpiPens for allergy sufferers, has agreed to pay $465 million to settle claims it short-changed taxpayers by misclassifying its popular device as a generic instead of a brand-name product, a U.S. attorney for Massachusetts said Thursday. Published August 17, 2017

In this Aug. 15, 2017, photo, President Donald Trump points to members of the media as he answers questions in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. Republican leaders on Wednesday tiptoed around Trump's extraordinary comments on white supremacists.  (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

White House: Trump will make contested Obamacare payments in August

The Trump administration confirmed Wednesday it will make critical Obamacare payments to insurers for August -- one day after congressional scorekeepers outlined the risks of cutting off the contested reimbursements over the long haul. Published August 16, 2017

** FILE ** Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J. (Associated Press)

Trump sticks by Garrett nomination to Export-Import Bank

President Trump is standing by former Rep. Scott Garrett, his pick to chair the Export-Import Bank, and is prepared to brave protests from business groups and senators who say the ex-congressman won't even commit to protecting the agency he's supposed to lead. Published August 13, 2017

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump directs administration to treat opioid crisis as a 'national emergency'

President Trump directed his administration Thursday to treat the opioid epidemic as a national emergency, following through on his own commission's advice just days after his health secretary suggested the president didn't need additional powers to fight the scourge of heroin and prescription painkiller abuse. Published August 10, 2017

Critics decry Trump gutting teen pregnancy prevention grants

The Trump administration is cutting short a batch of Teen Pregnancy Prevention grants, angering big-city health department chiefs who said Wednesday they will no longer be able to figure out what's working to cut pregnancy rates. Published August 9, 2017

In this Wednesday, May 11, 2011, file photo, a man prepares heroin he bought on the street to be injected at the Insite safe injection clinic in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The facility is promoted by its founders as a safe, humane facility for drug abusers. A report released Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017, in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine revealed that a safe haven for drug users to inject themselves with heroin and other drugs has been quietly operating in the United States for the past three years. Researchers didnt disclose the location of the site. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)

Opioid overdose deaths rising despite efforts: Gov't report

Drug overdose deaths spiked in the first nine months of 2016, according to government data that suggests the opioid crisis is still killing an alarming number of Americans despite nationwide efforts to get a handle on the epidemic. Published August 8, 2017

The Capitol building in Washington, D.C. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Senate moves on from Obamacare debate with bipartisan drug bills

The Senate unanimously approved bills Thursday that would let dying patients try medicines that haven't won full regulatory approval and inform doctors if a patient is a recovering drug addict, so they can prescribe safe treatment. Published August 3, 2017

In this May 24, 2017, file photo, Budget Director Mick Mulvaney testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, before the House Budget Committee hearing on President Donald Trump's fiscal 2018 federal budget. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Governors implore Donald Trump to guarantee insurer payments

Governors from both parties implored President Trump to guarantee critical Obamacare payments to insurers though next year, arguing it is within the White House's power to help steady a wobbly individual insurance market. Published August 2, 2017

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra blasted his former congressional colleague, House Speaker Paul Ryan, who suggested that President Donald Trump's lack of political experience helps explain his questionable interactions with James Comey when he was FBI director, during an interview with The Associated Press, Friday, June 9, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif. Becerra labeled Ryan an "accomplice" for defending what he termed Trump's incompetence or dereliction of his presidential duties. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Appeals court says state AGs can intervene in Obamacare payment case

Democratic state attorneys general can intervene in a court case over critical Obamacare payments that President Trump has threatened to cut off, a federal appeals court said Tuesday, finding the states demonstrated the risk of premium hikes and an uptick in the number of uninsured people seeking expensive care at state-funded hospitals. Published August 1, 2017

President Donald Trump speaks before bestowing the nation's highest military honor, the Medal of Honor, to retired Army medic James McCloughan during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Monday, July 31, 2017, at Washington. McCloughan is credited with saving the lives of members of his platoon nearly 50 years ago in the Battle of Nui Yon Hill in Vietnam. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Cutting off Obamacare reimbursements would harm Trump's image, say experts

President Trump has renewed his threat to yank critical Obamacare reimbursements from health insurers but experts said it's likely an empty gesture, insisting that if he does cut off the payments it would leave the markets even wobblier — and the GOP would get the blame. Published July 31, 2017

Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, sent shock waves through the Senate early Friday, July 28, 2017, when he cast the deciding vote rejecting his party's effort to repeal and replace the Democrat-crafted Affordable Care Act. (Associated Press)

Trump administration suggests ending enforcement of Obamacare's individual mandate

Dozens of U.S. counties might not have any plans to choose from on Obamacare's insurance exchanges next year while consumers with options face double-digit rate increases in many places -- putting Congress to choose among bipartisan fixes to the program, doubling down on repeal or following President Trump's advice to "let it implode." Published July 30, 2017

Seate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., joined from left by, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., speaks with reporters outside the chamber after Vice President Mike Pence broke a 50-50 tie to start debating Republican legislation to tear down much of the Obama health care law, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 25, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) ** FILE **

Senate Democrats call for reset, quick fixes on health care

Senate Democrats called on Republicans to immediately shore up Obamacare's flagging insurance markets and "sit down and trade ideas" over health reforms, extending an olive branch after the GOP push to repeal the 2010 law fell into tatters early Friday. Published July 28, 2017

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 27, 2017. The Senate voted decisively to approve a new package of stiff financial sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea, sending the popular bill to President Donald Trump for his signature after weeks of intense negotiations. The legislation is aimed at punishing Moscow for meddling in the 2016 presidential election and its military aggression in Ukraine and Syria, where the Kremlin has backed President Bashar Assad. McCain said the bills passage was long overdue, a jab at Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress. McCain, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, has called Putin a murderer and a thug.(AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

McCain 'no' vote kills Obamacare repeal effort in Senate

Drained by self-inflicted wounds, shifting aims and unrelenting protests, Republicans' push to kill off President Obama's signature health law sputtered out of gas early Friday, as Senate leaders failed to rally the votes for a significantly pared-down repeal bill in a vote after midnight. Published July 28, 2017

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. walks from his office to the Senate floor on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 26. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Senate GOP to Dems: Declare your stance on single-payer

Senate Republicans, driven by their push to repeal Obamacare, turned the spotlight on Democrats Thursday by forcing them to stake out a position on a controversial alternative to the GOP's free-market push -- government-run, single-payer health care. Published July 27, 2017