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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.

Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican and presidential hopeful, speaks during a town hall meeting in Exeter, N.H. on June 25, 2015. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Marco Rubio files amendment to kill off Ex-Im Bank

Sen. Marco Rubio and a conservative ally filed an amendment Wednesday to affirmatively kill off the federal Export-Import Bank, even as supporters of the lapsed agency plotted to revive it as part of debate on a must-pass highway bill. Published July 23, 2015

FILE - In this June 16, 2015, file photo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, , R-Ky., speaks to members of the media following the weekly Republican luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington. McConnell said July 20 he hopes to announce soon that he and Sen. Barbara Boxer of California have reached an agreement on a transportation bill. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Senate strikes deal for long-term highway bill

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and a top Democrat said Tuesday they've struck a deal to fund road projects for years to come, cuing up a fast-moving debate ahead of a July 31 deadline to infuse cash into the nation's highway trust fund. Published July 21, 2015

Questionable Obamacare claims cost taxpayers $2 billion

More than 700,000 Obamacare customers claimed tax credits for buying health care but didn't bother to file their taxes, potentially jilting the government out of $2 billion in bogus payments, the Senate's senior lawmaker said Monday. Published July 20, 2015

Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican and presidential hopeful, speaks at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, on July 18, 2015. (Associated Press)

Ted Cruz takes aim at Congress' Obamacare 'exemption'

Sen. Ted Cruz, a vocal conservative running for president, will push to expose and prevent fellow members of Congress from "exempting" themselves from Obamacare this week, adding sparks to an already-fraught debate over a highway bill that needs to pass by July 31. Published July 20, 2015

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky speaks in Elizabethtown Ky., in this May 26, 2015, file photo. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)

Congress guts Bush-era No Child Left Behind education plan

Both chambers of Congress have now voted to scrap much of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind education plan, meaning the government will continue to ship billions of dollars to states, but will cut or loosen many of the strings attached to the funding. Published July 16, 2015

Top Senate Dem dismisses GOP's claims of Obamacare fraud

An undercover operation that snuck nearly a dozen fake Obamacare enrollees into taxpayer-subsidized plans is proof the administration will pad the law's numbers at any cost, Republicans charged Thursday, although a top Democrat argued the stark findings didn't amount to real fraud. Published July 16, 2015