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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. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, answers a question as he holds a town hall meeting Thursday, July 6, 2017, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) ** FILE **

Ted Cruz swipes back at Chuck Schumer's 'hoax' comment

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas on Friday hit back at Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer for labeling his latest health proposal a "hoax," saying Democrats made a series of promises about their signature health program that have fallen flat. Published July 7, 2017

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y. accompanied by Senate Minority Whip Richard Durbin of Ill., right, speaks to reporters after GOP leadership announce they are delaying a vote on the Republican health care bill, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Sen. Schumer blasts Cruz health care plan as 'hoax'

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer blasted a health care proposal by conservative Sen. Ted Cruz as a "hoax" Thursday, hoping to blunt any momentum around the Texan's idea to rally votes for the GOP's faltering push to repeal and replace Obamacare. Published July 6, 2017

In this Aug. 5, 2010, file photo, a pharmacy tech poses for a picture with hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen tablets, the generic version of Vicodin in Edmond, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

CDC: Opioid prescribing in U.S. dipped after 2010 'peak'

Opioid prescribing in the U.S. reached its peak in 2010 and then started a slow decline, yet patients are still filling far more prescriptions than they were at the close of the 1990s, government scientists said Thursday in a study that underscores the deep roots of the painkiller and heroin epidemic. Published July 6, 2017

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y., center, arrives to speak to a large group of protesters rally against the Senate Republican healthcare bill on the East Front of the Capitol Building in Washington, Wednesday, June 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Senate Democrats target freshmen Republicans

Democrats say the political pain from Republicans' troubled Obamacare repeal effort could be felt years into the future, and are already gearing up to attack GOP senators up for re-election in 2020. Published July 3, 2017

FILE - In these photo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. in a Feb. 22, 2017 file photo, and President Donald Trump, May 12, 2017. The relationship of Trump and McConnell is now at the center of the Washington crucible. As controversy swirls over Trump's abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey, McConnell's moves will set the tone for how the rest of the Senate and Republican Party as a whole responds.  (AP Photo)

Trump courts Senate GOP on health care bill

The White House says President Trump wants to pass a single Obamacare repeal-and-replace bill, but he's courting Senate Republicans who want to rip off the Band-Aid and gut the 2010 law upfront, leaving Congress no choice but to replace it in a bout of legislative summer school this August. Published July 2, 2017

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio talks to reporters during a news conference at the U.S. Mayors Conference, Friday, June 23, 2017, in Miami Beach, Fla. The U.S. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz) ** FILE **

Mayors go on attack as GOP regroups on health care

Democratic mayors ramped up their attacks Wednesday on a Senate GOP health bill that's stalled for now but likely to return, warning that estimated coverage losses and cuts to Medicaid funding would devastate their budgets, worsen the opioid crisis and afflict local hospitals. Published June 28, 2017

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., looks out after boarding an elevator Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, June 26, 2017. Senate Republicans unveil a revised health care bill in hopes of securing support from wavering GOP lawmakers, including one who calls the drive to whip his party's bill through the Senate this week "a little offensive." (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

CBO: Senate health bill would result in 22M more uninsured by 2026

The Senate version of the Republican health care bill would allow some Americans to pay less for skinnier plans but result in 22 million fewer people holding coverage a decade from now, the Congressional Budget Office said Monday in estimates that could make it harder for the GOP to scrap Obamacare. Published June 26, 2017

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, is using fast-track budget rules to carve Democrats out of the repeal process. (Associated Press/File)

Senate Republicans revise health care bill ahead of floor vote

Senate Republicans released a revised version of their health care plan Monday, replacing Obamacare's "individual mandate" with a provision designed to prevent Americans from waiting until they get sick to sign up for insurance coverage. Published June 26, 2017