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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.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., listens during a news conference on President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Nancy Pelosi, allies prep for war over Obamacare, Planned Parenthood

House Democrats and their nonprofit allies accused Republicans Thursday of launching a two-pronged assault on women's health care by using fast-track budget rules to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood over its abortion practice. Published January 5, 2017

From left, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., chair of the House Republican Conference, Vice President-elect Mike Pence, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of La., meet with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017, following a closed-door meeting with the GOP caucus to discuss repeal of President Obama's health care law now that the GOP is in charge of White House and Congress. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

GOP wins first Obamacare fight in Senate budget vote

Republicans won the first skirmish in the Obamacare repeal fight Wednesday, voting to begin debate on fast-track procedures that would allow them to kill the 2010 health law without having to face a Democratic filibuster in the Senate. Published January 4, 2017

Vice President-elect Mike Pence speaks to members of the media as he arrives at Trump Tower in New York, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Mike Pence: Donald Trump ready to use pen to ease Obamacare transition

House Republicans emerged from a meeting with Vice President-elect Mike Pence Wednesday pledging to repeal and replace Obamacare in an orderly way, even signaling that Donald Trump is ready and willing to use his pen to stabilize the transition to a new program. Published January 4, 2017

Two-month-old Inti Perez, diagnosed with microcephaly linked to the mosquito-borne Zika virus, is cradled by his mother in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Zika largely spares U.S. as virus wreaks havoc worldwide

The Zika virus roared onto the scene last year as the scourge of the summer, but it's slinking off the radar as 2017 dawns, having left far less devastation in the U.S. than analysts had warned. Published January 3, 2017

Mylan had raised the price from $100 for an EpiPen twin pack in 2009 to more than $600 in 2016. (Associated Press)

EpiPen price outrage could bring more changes under Donald Trump

Congressional outrage over the soaring cost of EpiPens paved the way for massive civil settlement and a half-price generic alternative to hit the market, but the GOP senator who led the push says there's more work to do in a Trump administration, as Americans continue to suffer from climbing drug prices across the board. Published January 2, 2017

Health workers wearing protective gear wait to carry the body of a person suspected to have died from Ebola in Monrovia, Liberia, on Oct. 13, 2014. (Associated Press)

Ebola vaccine fast-tracked after proven 100 percent effective in trials

Scientists battling the deadly Ebola virus are poised for a breakthrough in the new year after an experimental vaccine shot proved to be 100-percent effective during a trial in West Africa and received fast-track status from the Food and Drug Administration. Published January 1, 2017

Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., speaks during a rally for President-elect Donald Trump at the Wisconsin State Fair Exposition Center, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, in West Allis, Wis. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

House GOP wants to fine members who live-stream from chamber

House GOP leadership wants to punish lawmakers who photograph or live-stream events from the chamber floor, a response to the Democrats' 1960s-style protest over gun control last June that disrupted legislative business and votes. Published December 27, 2016

Mourners placed flowers at a makeshift memorial Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, near where a driver suspected of being intoxicated hit a group of pedestrians and another car outside a church as a Christmas service ended Wednesday night in Redondo Beach, Calif. Three people were killed and several others were injured including five children, police said. Margo Bronstein, 56, was arrested after the crash on suspicion of driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter, Redondo Beach police Lt. Shawn Freeman said. (Associated Press) **FILE**

HHS data: Driving while intoxicated on a steady decline

The share of Americans driving under the influence is steadily declining, the government said Tuesday in a report that nonetheless finds tens of millions of adults still get behind the wheel after using drugs or alcohol. Published December 27, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump dismissed the Export-Import Bank on the campaign trail as "featherbedding" for politicians and huge companies that don't need the help. (Associated Press)

Donald Trump may deal death blow to 'corporate welfare' Ex-Im Bank

President-elect Donald Trump will step into a congressional civil war over the fate of the Export-Import Bank next year, caught between Democrats and Republican centrists who say the headstrong mogul can use the government-chartered lender to put "America first" and conservatives who say it is time for the agency to fade into oblivion. Published December 26, 2016

House Science Committee Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington in this June 7, 2012, file photo. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

House GOP accuses Energy Dept. of political intimidation

The administration fired one of its employees for telling the truth to Congress, GOP lawmakers charged Tuesday, saying President Obama's political appointees were upset she backed a radiation program popular on Capitol Hill but which the Energy Department had wanted to ax. Published December 20, 2016

This October 2015 photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows a packet of cocaine hidden in a bag of ground coffee in Miami. Three bags of roasted, ground coffee arriving at Miami International Airport in a package from Guatemala in October were actually filled with more than 3 pounds of heroin, customs officials said. Customs officials said they noticed anomalies during an X-ray and felt that the weight of the three bags was different from that of others in the shipment. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP)

Cocaine use may be 'reemerging' threat, government report finds

Roughly one in 20 young adults in America reported using cocaine in the past year, according to an Obama administration report Tuesday that says 16 states saw an uptick while use in other states stayed flat, with no decreases reported in any state or region. Published December 20, 2016

In this Dec. 16, 2016, photo, Puerto Rico resident Michelle Flandez covers with a blanket her 2-month-old son Inti Perez, diagnosed with microcephaly linked to the mosquito-borne Zika virus, in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. Experts estimate it can cost several million dollars to care for a baby with Zika-related birth defects, and one of the biggest concerns is babies like Inti could develop other disabilities as they grow, burdening Puerto Rico's already strained health system breaking under an exodus of doctors fleeing for the U.S. mainland. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)

California push to cover illegals under Obamacare may fail

Time is running out for the administration to approve California's push to allow illegal immigrants to use its Obamacare exchange, likely dooming the effort as President Obama prepares to hand the reins over to President-elect Donald Trump. Published December 19, 2016