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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 Wis. faces reporters at Republican National Committee headquarters on Capitol Hill in Washington, in this May 24, 2016, file photo. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Paul Ryan emphasizes work, flexibility in anti-poverty plan

House Republicans unveiled a plan Tuesday to attack poverty "at its roots" by rewarding work, improving school programs and tailoring benefits to individual needs, although questions about presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump threatened to overshadow their plans once more. Published June 7, 2016

FILE - in this May 27, 2016 file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Fresno, Calif. Trump says he made "a lot of money" in a deal years ago with Moammar Gadhafi, despite suggesting at the time he had no idea the former Libyan dictator was involved in renting his suburban New York estate. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)

Republicans set to unveil election-year policy

House Republicans are preparing to release their election-year agenda beginning Tuesday -- but if history is any judge, don't expect them to make much headway in actually getting most of it done. Published June 6, 2016

Fit Organic Mosquito Repellent Spray is scientifically proven to be as effective as DEET for up to three hours with zero bites. (PRNewsFoto/Fit Organic)

Amid Zika fears, natural products join bug repellent market

Fear of the mosquito-borne Zika virus is spurring sales of well-known insect repellents, but companies pushing natural products are hoping to grab a share of the market as well, saying their methods will keep the bugs at bay without the ickiness of traditional sprays. Published June 5, 2016

In this Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016, file photo, a health workers stands in the Sambadrome spraying insecticide to combat the Aedes aegypti mosquito that transmits the Zika virus in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (AP Photo/Leo Correa, File)

WHO says it is still evaluating Zika risk tied to Olympics

The World Health Organization is evaluating the risks of holding this August's Olympic Games in Brazil as regularly scheduled, amid widespread fears of spreading the Zika virus beyond the hot zone in South America. Published June 3, 2016

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman, Rep Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., is interviewed in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, DNC chief, reverses course, backs 'payday' lending rules

The head of the Democratic National Committee reversed course Friday and backed the Obama administration's bid to rein in "payday" lenders, after prior support for House legislation that would have blocked those very regulations threatened to deepen a rift between her and the progressive wing of her party. Published June 3, 2016

The Supreme Court in Washington, Thursday, May 19, 2016. Opinions from the nation's highest court are expected today. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Supreme Court dubious on cameras despite report

Allowing cameras to capture Supreme Court oral arguments would give Americans an unfiltered look at how the judiciary branch works, government investigators have found, yet the high court itself remains leery, saying the debut of video would invite grandstanding by lawyers while only spotlighting a smidgen of what the justices do. Published June 1, 2016

Fla. Gov. Rick Scott begs Obama: Give us gear to prevent Zika virus

Florida Gov. Rick Scott pleaded with President Obama on Wednesday to provide his state with mosquito traps, insecticide and other gear they need to fight the Zika virus, saying it is "profoundly disappointing" that Congress failed to pass a funding package before the start of hurricane season. Published June 1, 2016

People walk and play on a beach in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on June 12, 2008. People have become increasingly reluctant to travel to an island where the Zika virus has caused one death, infected more than 1,100 people and is linked to the first microcephaly case acquired on U.S. soil. (Associated Press) **FILE**

WHO doubles its safe-sex recommendation for Zika

Couples returning from areas with the Zika virus should practice safe sex or abstain for eight weeks, instead of just four, to avoid transmitting the disease, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. Published May 31, 2016

Brooke Zale, a scientist, prepares a mosquito sample that will be tested for the Zika virus at the Bronson Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory,Thursday, May 26, 2016, in Kissimmee, Fla. The Florida Department of Health has tracked 122 cases of the Zika virus in the state. Of those cases, 36 involve pregnant women. All of the cases are related to travel.  (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Zika virus risk higher from trips abroad

Americans are more likely to catch the Zika virus from a trip abroad than a mosquito bite in their backyard, and officials along the threatened Gulf Coast want to keep it that way, drawing up game plans to defend against disease-carrying insects before they spark an outbreak on the mainland. Published May 29, 2016

Hillary Clinton (Associated Press/File)

Hillary Clinton camp now begging for donations to stop Donald Trump

Faced with sagging fundraising numbers, Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign admitted it was wrong in assuming GOP nominee Donald Trump couldn't possibly win a general election contest, and that it needs a cash infusion to move beyond a bruising primary and take on the mogul. Published May 29, 2016