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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.

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 30, 2017. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Speaker Ryan: Revived health care talks still in 'conceptual stage'

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Tuesday his GOP troops are having constructive talks on reviving the stalled effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, though cautioned they were still in the "conceptual" stage and hadn't reached an agreement on the thorny issue. Published April 4, 2017

This frame grab from video provided on Tuesday April 4, 2017, by Qasioun News Agency, that is consistent with independent AP reporting, shows a Syrian doctor treating a boy following a suspected chemical attack, in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, northern Idlib province, Syria. The suspected chemical attack killed dozens of people on Tuesday, Syrian opposition activists said, describing the attack as among the worst in the country's six-year civil war. (Qasioun News Agency, via AP)

White House denounces Syrian gas attack, blames Obama's weak policy

The Trump administration joined governments around the world in condemning the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad for a horrific chemical weapons attack Tuesday that killed at least 58 people, including 11 children, saying the Obama administration shared some of the blame for refusing to enforce its "red line" against chemical weapons attacks by Mr. Assad's forces. Published April 4, 2017

Paul proposes health care plan, hopes to bring conservatives together

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky floated a compromise Obamacare repeal plan Monday, hoping to break a stalemate on Capitol Hill by proposing to cut the level of spending to try to appease conservatives but keep the basic model of taxpayer subsidies in place to win over moderates. Published April 3, 2017

Gov. Sam Brownback, with Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, walks out of Colyer's statehouse office Thursday, March 9, 2017, on their way to a humanitarian award ceremony in Topeka, Kans. (Thad Allton/Topeka Capital-Journal via AP) ** FILE **

Medicaid expansion effort comes up short in Kansas

Kansas won't be expanding their Medicaid program after all, after the state House of Representatives fell three votes shy Monday of overriding Gov. Sam Brownback's veto of a bill that would have extended coverage to roughly 180,000 low-income residents under Obamacare. Published April 3, 2017

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. discusses the Republican agenda as he faces reporters during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 30, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Ryan: Obamacare payments will continue while GOP plots repeal

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Thursday the Trump administration will continue to reimburse insurers under Obamacare while it settles on a repeal plan, though health plans swiftly demanded a longer-term commitment. Published March 30, 2017

FILE - In this March 24, 2017, photo, House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., announces that he is pulling the troubled Republican health care overhaul bill off the House floor at the Capitol in Washington. Note to President Donald Trump and House Republicans: People really don't like your approach to overhauling America's health care. If you're hoping to revive the effort, you may want to try something different. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, file)

Speaker Ryan rules out working with Democrats on health care

President Trump may be hinting at a health care deal with Democrats, but House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Thursday he isn't interested in that, saying it would be better to rally the GOP troops around a conservative plan that scraps Obamacare. Published March 30, 2017

House Oversight and Investigations subcommittee Chairman, Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., and ranking member Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., right, listen to testimony on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 16, 2014, during a hearing on the incident last month at a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lab that handles bioterrorism agents. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke) ** FILE **

Diana DeGette: Bipartisan push on health care is within reach

Congress can forge common ground on health care, from targeting high premiums in certain states to negotiating down drug prices, but only if President Trump and Republicans refuse to revive an Obamacare repeal plan that fell apart last week, a senior House Democrat said Wednesday. Published March 29, 2017

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. speaks at the 2017 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference, Tuesday, March 28, 2017, at the Washington Convention Center in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Nancy Pelosi to Democrats: Send in ideas to improve Obamacare

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told fellow Democrats Tuesday to offer ideas for improving Obamacare, saying they must not allow the law to twist in the wind after the GOP failed to rally around its own repeal bill last week. Published March 28, 2017

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., joined by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., talks about getting past last week's failure to pass a health care overhaul bill and rebuilding unity in the Republican Conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 28, 2017. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Speaker Ryan: GOP won't retreat on health care

House Republican leaders pledged Tuesday to revive efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare, even predicting that Democrats who celebrated the GOP's stumbles wouldn't be laughing for long. Published March 28, 2017

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, left, joined by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., makes a point as the House Rules Committee meets to shape the final version of the Republican health care bill before it goes to the floor for debate and a vote, Wednesday, March 22, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) **FILE**

Rep. Kevin Brady: We're 'turning the page' from health to taxes

The chairman of the House tax committee declared Monday he is "turning the page" from health care to tax reform, saying Republicans and the White House are eager to deliver "better-than-Reagan" reforms in the months ahead despite the ugly fallout from the GOP's failure to repeal and replace Obamacare. Published March 27, 2017

After a loss in his bid to overturn Obamacare, President Trump and Health and Human Services Secretary Thomas Price are hoping to move on to a second phase, stripping a provision requiring insurers to pay for mental health and maternity care. (Associated Press)

Pressure on health secretary after ditched vote on Obamacare repeal

With health care stalled on Capitol Hill, the pressure now shifts to President Trump and new Health and Human Services Secretary Thomas Price, who will have to manage a law Republicans say is failing on its own — without giving Democrats more ammunition to say it was the GOP that killed it. Published March 26, 2017