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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.

President Obama shakes hands with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn after arriving at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport Sunday. Mr. Obama is the first sitting U.S. president to visit Ethiopia. His trip also included a stop in Kenya, the homeland of his late father. (Associated Press)

On trip to Africa, Obama champions rights for women, gays

President Obama arrived in Ethiopia late Sunday hoping to find common ground with East African leaders on combating terrorism and finding a way forward on the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan -- a hard-sell mission on the heels of a personal visit to Kenya, where he reached into a grab bag of American history to push an evolving nation into making progress on corruption and the rights of women and gay people. Published July 26, 2015

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's new highway spending bill is already on the skids, with both Democrats and Republicans questioning $47 billion in fees and penalties the legislation counts on to fund new road-building over the next three years. (Associated Press)

Obamacare repeal loses, Ex-Im bank wins in GOP-held Senate votes

A procedural vote Sunday to repeal Obamacare couldn't win over a majority of the GOP-led Senate, while a bid to revive an obscure exports agency succeeded, delivering twin blows to conservatives as they navigated a thorny path toward a highway bill that's raised questions about civility and Republican discord in the august chamber. Published July 26, 2015

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