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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 Donald Trump looks down at his podium during a news conference with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Trump backs off from bipartisan Obamacare deal

President Trump on Wednesday backed off his support for a bipartisan deal to restore critical Obamacare payments, dealing a major blow to the effort just a day after he praised the compromise that a key senator said the president himself had "engineered." Published October 18, 2017

Senate Health Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, Tennessee Republican, struck the agreement with Sen. Patty Murray, Washington Democrat, to fund pivotal "cost-sharing" payments for two years. (Associated Press/File)

Trump supports bipartisan short-term fix to stabilize Obamacare

President Trump threw his support Tuesday behind a short-term Obamacare fix that would restart payments to insurance companies, saying it was a way to buy time while Republicans work toward a broad repeal that he insisted they will eventually find the votes to pass. Published October 17, 2017

President Donald Trump sits for a radio interview in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in the White House complex in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Activists, Democrats launch campaign against Obamacare 'sabotage'

A grass-roots alliance launched a campaign Tuesday to highlight and resist President Trump's attempts to weaken Obamacare, hoping to pin blame on the White House for stumbles in the markets before 2018 enrollment begins next month. Published October 17, 2017

In this June 6, 2017, file photo, Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee ranking member Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., asks a question during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Sen. McCaskill seeks repeal of law that limited DEA amid opioids crisis

Red-state Democrats cried foul Monday over a 2016 law that made it harder for federal agents to freeze suspicious shipments of pain pills, saying Congress and the Obama administration goofed by approving what turned out to be an industry-friendly bill, rather than the stiff crackdown they'd wanted. Published October 16, 2017

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, said Democrats are "not about closing down government." She said Republicans who call the shots on Capitol Hill bear responsibility for what happens next after President Trump halted payments to insurers under the Obama-era health care law. (Associated Press/File)

Democrats downplay shutdown over Obamacare, but deal with Trump looks unlikely

Democrats on Sunday downplayed talk of forcing a government shutdown after President Trump launched a twin assault on Obamacare, saying they will continue their uphill push to negotiate fixes to the law after the administration halted critical "cost-sharing payments" to insurers and ordered agencies to explore the sale of cheaper plans across state lines. Published October 15, 2017

FILE - In this March 25, 2015, file photo, protestors one wearing a birth control pills costume participate in a demonstration in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, as the court heard oral arguments in the challenges of President Barack Obama's health care law requirement that businesses provide their female employees with health insurance that includes access to contraceptives. Religion, birth control and the Obama health care overhaul are about to collide at the Supreme Court yet again. Faith-affiliated charities, colleges and hospitals that oppose some or all contraception as immoral are battling the Obama administration over rules that allow them to opt out of covering the contraceptives for women that are among a range of preventive services that must be included in health plans at no extra cost. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

Trump rolls back Obama-era contraception mandate

The Trump administration said Friday it will let a vast universe of employers duck Obamacare's contraceptive mandate by claiming a religious or moral objection -- a long-awaited move that thrilled pro-life conservatives and appalled Democrats and civil liberties groups, who said they will sue. Published October 6, 2017

This Feb. 19, 2013, file photo shows OxyContin pills arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

Senators, agencies plot ways to head off opioids addiction

Government officials on Thursday said they're scrambling to keep Americans from getting hooked on opioids in the first place, from cutting the number of pills in circulation to crafting drugs that attack pain without triggering brain receptors that crave another high. Published October 5, 2017

In this May 18, 2017, file photo, the website is seen on a laptop computer, in Washington. Former Obama administration officials say they're launching a private campaign to encourage people to sign up for coverage next year under the Affordable Care Act. With the start of open enrollment just weeks away on Nov. 1, the Trump administration has slashed "Obamacare's" ad budget, as well as grants to outside organizations that are supposed to help consumers sign up. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Ex-Obama officials launch campaign to promote Obamacare signups

When the Trump administration said it was slashing its budget for Obamacare outreach by more than $100 million, Lori Lodes was flabbergasted. Ms. Lodes, who promoted the federal website under President Obama, excoriated the new administration on social media, saying TV ads were the "No. 1 driver" for getting people to sign up. Published October 4, 2017

Former Health and Human Services Secretary Thomas Price (standing) resigned from his position Friday following a scandal about the cost of his travel. Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney sent out a memo to agency heads about approving travel plans. (Associated Press photographs)

Democrats hope HHS pick who won't topple Obamacare

President Trump's next pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services could send a major signal about how committed the administration is to using executive powers to unwind the 2010 health care law. Published October 2, 2017

Senate Budget Committee chairman Sen. Michael Enzi's budget proposal was crafted with tax reform in mind. (Associated Press)

Tax reform delays new Trump shot at Obamacare repeal

The Senate GOP's new budget pushes Obamacare repeal to the sidelines in its drive for sweeping tax cuts, meaning President Trump won't get another clear shot at repealing the health-care law until late winter or spring. Published October 1, 2017