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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.

Rep. Paul Ryan had been reluctant to give up his role as head of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee and precious weekends with his family, so he demanded support from every wing of the party by Friday. (Associated Press)

Paul Ryan officially announces House speaker bid

Congressman Paul Ryan confirmed Thursday he will run for the speaker's gavel, capping a tumultuous week in which every faction of House GOP warmed to the reluctant candidate. Published October 22, 2015

Bonnie Bowman, a supporter of Gov. Gary Herbert's Medicaid plan, joins others at a rally  to urge the House to debate the issue, Thursday, March 5, 2015, at the Utah State Capitol, in Salt Lake City. Lawmakers in Utah's House of Representatives rejected Gov. Gary Herbert's Medicaid plan Wednesday night and instead pushed forward their own alternative proposal to help some of the state's poor get health insurance. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Obamacare still exposed to fraud, double-dipping with Medicaid: GAO

It's still far too easy for undeserving Obamacare enrollees to get taxpayer subsidies on the law's exchanges, and some customers are getting both Medicaid and tax credits under the law, government auditors said Thursday in written testimony to Congress. Published October 22, 2015

Paul Ryan wins broad Republican support in House speaker bid

Each wing of the House GOP has backed congressman Paul Ryan to become the next speaker, putting the young party star on a glide path toward filling Congress's top constitutional post so long as he fully commits to the race. Published October 22, 2015

Several members of the House Freedom Caucus had raised concerns about Rep. Paul Ryan. But after meeting behind closed doors Wednesday night the lawmakers emerged to say they would support him in his speaker bid. (Associated Press)

Paul Ryan wins House Freedom Caucus support in speaker bid

Rep. Paul Ryan won over most of the members of a key conservative caucus Wednesday night as he tried to stitch together enough support to become the next House speaker, amid ongoing concerns about his list of demands and worries that his need to be drafted into the job does not bode well for someone filling Congress' top constitutional post. Published October 21, 2015

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

Free-market group to Republican Ex-Im Bank opponents: Thank you

A conservative group is thanking House Republicans who spurned a bid by centrist GOP members and nearly all Democrats to force a vote to revive the Export-Import Bank, an obscure credit agency that is slowly dying off amid conservative complains it handed out "corporate welfare" for far too long. Published October 21, 2015

Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, gave members until Friday to decide whether they agree with his vision for the party, one that includes trumpeting big ideas, making clear policy choices and a cooperative effort to change the way the House operates. (Associated Press)

Paul Ryan to run for speaker if House Republicans will rally behind him

Congressman Paul Ryan said Tuesday he's ready to replace Speaker John A. Boehner if House Republicans are willing to rally behind his vision, capping after a lengthy wait to hear from the man who many had tapped as the only savior for the bitterly divided caucus. Published October 20, 2015

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada listens during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on Oct. 6, 2015. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Harry Reid backs Paul Ryan for speaker

Turns out rank-and-file Republicans aren't the only ones clamoring for Rep. Paul Ryan to become the next House speaker. Published October 20, 2015

Conservatives' pushback roils GOP's budget-based attack on Obamacare

A GOP-led bid to gut Obamacare by scrapping its mandates and unpopular taxes with a fast-track budget tool is facing opposition from conservatives who say Republicans must send an all-or-nothing repeal bill to President Obama's desk before next year's election. Published October 20, 2015

Students cheer outside of the Supreme Court in Washington on June 25, 2015, as they hold up signs supporting the Affordable Care Act (ACA) after the Supreme Court decided that the ACA may provide nationwide tax subsidies. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Obamacare lawsuit must forge ahead, federal judge rules

A federal judge Monday denied the administration's request to hit pause on a House lawsuit over Obamacare so that it could appeal an earlier, and notable, ruling that allowed the case proceed in the first place. Published October 19, 2015

Rep. Stephen Lee Fincher (Associated Press/File)

Three House Republicans use rare procedural tool in bid to revive Ex-Im Bank

Emerging from a dust cloud of political chaos in the House, a bipartisan coalition said Friday it had mustered enough support to bring back the federal Export-Import Bank, an obscure credit agency that expired after top conservatives accused it of handing out "corporate welfare" to companies that didn't need it. Published October 9, 2015

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif. walks out of nomination vote meeting after dropping out of the race to replace House Speaker John Boehner, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015, on Capitol Hill in Washington. In a stunning move, McCarthy withdrew his candidacy for House speaker Thursday, throwing Congress' Republican leadership into chaos.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

House GOP left rudderless as McCarthy abruptly ends bid for House speaker

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy abruptly ended his bid Thursday to be the next House speaker, shocking GOP colleagues who walked into a noon meeting expecting to coronate him as their pick, and instead walked out amid chaos, leaving the party rudderless as it stumbles toward a series of major policy showdowns. Published October 8, 2015

Nancy Pelosi has no sympathy 'at all' for leaders in fractured GOP

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she has no sympathy "at all" for Republican leaders who've dealt with a fractious caucus and must navigate a messy race to replace Speaker John A. Boehner, who decided to resign rather contend with the divisions any longer. Published October 8, 2015