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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 1975 file electronmicrograph from the Centers for Disease Control shows the smallpox virus. Government officials say workers cleaning a storage room at the National Institute of Health's campus in Maryland made a startling discovery last week _ decades-old vials of smallpox forgotten in a cardboard box. (AP Photo/CDC, File)

Forgotten vial of smallpox found in NIH storage room

A forgotten sample of smallpox dating back to the 1950s was found in a storage room at the Bethesda campus of the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday. Published July 8, 2014

** FILE ** In this Jan. 6, 2014, file photo, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., joined by attorneys Paul D. Clement, far left, and Rick Esenberg, second from left, announces that he has filed a lawsuit to block the federal government from helping to pay for health care coverage for members of Congress and their staffs during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. A federal judge will hear arguments this week on whether to toss a U.S. senator's lawsuit challenging rules that force congressional members and their staffs to obtain government-subsidized health insurance through small business exchanges. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Judge hears arguments in Sen. Ron Johnson's Obamacare lawsuit

A lawyer for Republican Sen. Ron Johnson told a federal court Monday that the Obama administration overstepped its bounds and gave members of Congress and their staffs illegal preferential treatment under Obamacare. Published July 7, 2014

Texas Gov. Rick Perry talks to members of the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security about the humanitarian and national security crises going on along the Texas-Mexico border Thursday July 3, 2014 in McAllen, Texas.  Perry said that the tens of thousands of Central American children entering the U.S. illegally is both a humanitarian crisis and a national security one. (AP Photo/The Monitor, Gabe Hernandez)  MAGS OUT; TV OUT

Perry: Obama administration knew about border problem for years

Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Sunday he warned the administration for years about the incoming tide of young illegal immigrants and begged for additional resources to deal with it, only to be rebuffed and left with a crisis along his state's southern border. Published July 6, 2014

An Israeli ambassador said that those suspected of murdering a Palestinian teen will not be hailed as heroes, unlike what, he says, would happen in Palestine.  (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

Israel says teen murder suspects will be tried

Israeli officials vowed to prosecute six suspects arrested Sunday and accused of killing a Palestinian youth in what has been viewed as revenge for last week's murder of three Jewish teenagers. Published July 6, 2014

** FILE ** Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Rep. Darrell Issa to DOJ: Time to move on IRS case

The House's top investigator said the investigation into the IRS political targeting scandal is being held up by a Justice Department that refuses to go after Lois Lerner, the former official at the heart of the probe. Published July 6, 2014

Demonstrators on opposing sides of the immigration debate are separated by police officers Friday outside a U.S. Border Patrol station in Murrieta, California. The town was the latest flashpoint for standoffs over the transport of illegal minor immigrants.  (Associated Press)

Republicans: Obama ignored brewing border crisis

Republicans said Sunday that President Obama ignored the tide of illegal immigrant children pouring across the border for years and may have even invited it with his policy of deferring deportations, making him responsible for the current crisis of exploitation and violence. Published July 6, 2014

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., listens to testimony on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 24, 2014, from panel of witnesses including Jennifer O’Connor of the Office of the White House Counsel who once worked at the IRS, during the committee's hearing on "IRS Obstruction: Lois Lerner’s missing e-mails."    (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Issa to DOJ: Time to move on IRS case

The House's top investigator said the investigation into the IRS political targeting scandal is being held up by a Justice Department that refuses to go after Lois Lerner, the former official at the heart of the probe. Published July 6, 2014

**FILE** President Obama, accompanied by first lady Michelle Obama and others, signs an executive order protecting the GI Bill at the Fort Stewart Army post in Fort Stewart, Ga., on April 27, 2012. (Associated Press)

Most veterans satisfied with GI Bill: Poll

Nearly 8 in 10 veterans are satisfied with the GI Bill's education benefits, a promising statistic as Congress and others scrutinize the failings of medical care for those who served. Published July 3, 2014

** FILE ** In this April 20, 2012, file photo, Holly Ann Haley, 4, gets two vaccinations at the doctor's office in Berlin, Vt. The latest analysis of childhood vaccines released Tuesday, July 1, 2014, confirms they're generally safe. The analysis mirrors and updates a 2011 report on vaccine safety by the U.S. Institute of Medicine. That report found vaccines can cause certain side effects but serious ones are very rare. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

Cost of vaccines is soaring: report

The price of medical vaccines has soared in recent years, from single to triple digits in some cases, a worrying sign for doctors and public health budgets, according to the New York Times. Published July 3, 2014