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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.

President Trump is working with Mick Mulvaney (left), director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, and other members of his team to prepare for a government shutdown in case Congress can't reach a budget deal by the end of the week. (Associated Press/File)

Trump budget team downplays risk, consequences of government shutdown

President Trump and his budget team are voicing confidence that a government shutdown will be averted before Friday's deadline, even as they methodically go through an Obama-era checklist of preparations for shuttering departments and agencies just in case Congress can't agree on a spending bill in time. Published April 23, 2017

In this Jan. 14, 2017, photo, tax forms sit on a desk at the start of the tax season rush, inside the offices of tax preparation firm Infinite Tax Solutions, in Boulder, Colo. Filing taxes early could speed your return and protect your identity. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Trump limits reach of Obamacare on 2016 tax filing

Americans racing to Tuesday's tax deadline can file their returns even if they ignore the line that asks whether they had health insurance last year -- an early, visible result of President Trump's order directing agencies to limit Obamacare's reach. Published April 17, 2017

President Donald Trump pauses during a news conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in the East Room at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, April 12, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Trump wants second crack at health care before moving on to taxes

President Trump said Wednesday he still wants to tackle health care before moving on to tax reform, a shift that raises the stakes for congressional Republicans struggling to pin down an Obamacare replacement and untangle a web of fiscal deadlines. Published April 12, 2017

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is worried that unseasonably warm spring temperatures may spawn extra Zika-spreaking mosquitoes this summer. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Zika fears return with warm weather

Rising U.S. temperatures are forcing federal and state officials to gird for yet another bout with Zika, the mosquito-borne disease that triggered unprecedented travel warnings to pregnant women and sent sales of bug-repellent soaring before fading from view over the winter. Published April 11, 2017

The Capitol is seen in Washington, Friday, April 7, 2017. President Donald Trump is approaching the end of his first 100 days in office without having signed a single major bill into law. Political polarization in both parties in Congress has turned out to be a major obstacle for the president as well as lawmakers. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Congress' two-week recess inspires outside political groups to buy attack ads

Republican leaders say Congress' two-week recess offers a "cooling-off" period for GOP lawmakers who've failed to coalesce around a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, but outside groups are dialing up the heat with ad buys and talking points before they can even unpack their bags. Published April 10, 2017