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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.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., followed by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., arrives for a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) ** FILE **

Schumer on Trump travel ban: 'Throw it in trash'

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer on Sunday said President Trump should throw his "extreme vetting" order in the garbage instead of redrafting it or continuing to appeal court decisions that put it on hold. Published February 12, 2017

"The Congressional Black Caucus has always been the conscience of the Congress, and I think we will continue to be that, and I think you are going to find the CBC fighting along with other Democrats for the soul of our Democracy," said Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland. (Associated Press)

Democrat Cummings says Trump adviser must explain Russia calls

The House's top Democratic investigator on Sunday said National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn needs to explain whether he discussed sanctions with Russia's ambassador, saying the retired general's shifting explanations are only raising new questions. Published February 12, 2017

Health and Human Services Secretary-designate, Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., pauses while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee, in this Jan. 24, 2017, file photo. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Tom Price confirmed as health secretary in bitter fight -- now faces massive agenda

Rep. Tom Price was confirmed early Friday, 52-47, by the Senate, after surviving yet another Democratic onslaught against a Trump nomination. President Trump's new health secretary already has a massive to-do list built up, with the White House saying it was awaiting his arrival to roll out a replacement for Obamacare, and to begin taking steps to ease the transition. Published February 9, 2017

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, following GOP strategy session at the Republican National Committee offices.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House panel advances bill to keep jackpot winners off Medicaid

House Republicans tried to kickstart their bid to replace Obamacare Tuesday by advancing bills that prevent lottery winners or other undeserving people from qualifying for Medicaid, saying the government insurance program for the poor is costing taxpayers too much and cannot bear enrollees who don't need it. Published February 7, 2017

"I think a year from now we're going to be celebrating this tax reform act," Illinois Rep. Peter Roskam said Monday in a speech to the Heritage Foundation. (Associated Press)

Peter Roskam: Congress will overhaul tax code in 2017

Congress will pass an elusive overhaul of the U.S. tax code this year, a key member of the GOP's tax-writing team predicted Monday, saying lawmakers have reached an "inflection point" on onerous rules that are driving companies overseas and failing to reward those who stay. Published February 6, 2017

President Donald Trump walks down the steps of Air Force One upon his arrival at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Monday, Feb. 6, 2017, returning from a weekend trip to Florida. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

GOP hopes to mitigate insurers' bailing under Obamacare replacement

The Trump administration and Capitol Hill Republicans are trying to stabilize the individual health insurance market, hoping to keep insurers from canceling plans or raising rates in 2018 as uncertainty builds over what a replacement for Obamacare might look like. Published February 6, 2017

A woman walks past a sign advertising "Obamacare", Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, in Miami. The enrollment period for the federal health care law known as "Obamacare" ends at the end of the day Tuesday. The Republican-lead Senate has passed a measure to take the first step forward on dismantling President Barack Obama's health care law. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) **FILE**

Obamacare hits slump, falls short of 2016 pace

After years of steady growth Obamacare's sign-ups slumped in 2017, according to early numbers that suggest the law is struggling now that President Obama is no longer in office to give it a boost. Published February 5, 2017

In this Oct. 24, 2016 file photo, the 2017 web site home page as seen in Washington. Republicans are increasingly talking about repairing President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, a softening of tone that comes as their drive to fulfill a keystone campaign promise encounters disunity, drooping momentum and uneasy voters.  (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) signups fall short of last year, at 9.2M

The Trump administration said Friday that 9.2 million people signed up for health coverage this year on the main Obamacare website, a drop-off of about 400,000 customers from last year's effort. Published February 3, 2017

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. arrives with Health and Human Services Secretary-designate, Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, for a closed-door GOP strategy session. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House conservatives demand Obamacare repeal vote

House Republicans floated legislation Thursday to start replacing Obamacare bit by bit, but some vocal conservatives said the GOP needs to speed the whole process up, saying they promised voters during last year's campaign a quick vote on repealing the health law. Published February 2, 2017

From left: Republican Sens. John Cornyn of Texas, Orrin G. Hatch of Utah and Chuck Grassley of Iowa confer on Wednesday after the Judiciary Committee, after angry partisan exchanges, voted to approve the nomination of Jeff Sessions as attorney general. (Associated Press)

Battle over Cabinet signals Democratic resistance to Trump

Senate business ground to a halt Wednesday as Democrats and Republicans turned to hardball tactics in the fight over President Trump's Cabinet nominees, signaling the wall of opposition the administration is likely to face for the foreseeable future. Published February 1, 2017

Health and Human Services Secretary-designate, Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., right, accompanied by Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., pauses while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Senate GOP suspends rules, advances Trump picks without Democrats

Republicans who lead a key Senate panel suspended their own rules Wednesday and advanced President Trump's picks to lead the Treasury and Health and Human Services departments unilaterally, saying they had no choice after Democrats boycotted committee votes for a second day in a row. Published February 1, 2017

Steve Mnuchin has seen his confirmation for Treasury Secretary stalled due to tactics led by Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and other members of the Democratic Party. (Associated Press)

Trump Cabinet confirmations stalled by Democrats' tactics

Democrats launched an all-out assault Tuesday on President Trump's Cabinet picks, boycotting one committee to block the health and treasury nominees and using arcane rules to force another panel to shut down before it could vote on attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions. Published January 31, 2017