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Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at [email protected].

Articles by Tom Howell Jr.

This Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017, photo shows an arrangement of pills of the opioid oxycodone-acetaminophen in New York. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison) ** FILE **

DEA eyes changes, not repeal, of embattled 2016 law on opioids

A top DEA official told Congress on Tuesday the agency would like to reform -- rather than repeal -- a 2016 law that made it harder for agents to suspend opioid shipments that could fall into the hands of corrupt doctors or criminal dealers. Published December 12, 2017

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, center, arrives as Republican senators gather to meet with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on the GOP effort to overhaul the tax code, on Capitol Hill, Friday, Dec. 1, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Sen. Susan Collins' vote could be key for tax bill

Progressives who cheered when Republican Sen. Susan Collins tanked efforts to repeal Obamacare are pleading for a repeat on the GOP tax bill, saying she should revoke her support after House Republicans threw cold water on the pact leaders used to win her vote. Published December 10, 2017

The Capitol is seen in Washington, early Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, days before a budget clash could produce a partial government shutdown by the weekend unless there's an agreement on a measure temporarily keeping agencies open. President Donald Trump and congressional leaders have scheduled a meeting to sort out their differences over spending, immigration and other priorities. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Congress passes stopgap bill to avert government shutdown

House Republicans rallied around a stopgap bill to keep the government open for another two weeks, freeing up space to finish their prized tax bill but kicking thorny spending decisions to just before Christmas. Published December 7, 2017

Obamacare signups hit 3.6 million

Signups on Obamacare's main website remained strong in their fifth week, reaching 3.6 million, though enrollees aren't coming in fast enough to expand the program's pool of enrollees, according to government figures released Wednesday. Published December 6, 2017

From left, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., meet with reporters after House Republicans held a closed-door strategy session as the deadline looms to pass a spending bill to fund the government by week's end, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House panel delays meeting on critical spending bill

House leaders delayed consideration Tuesday of a stopgap funding bill needed to avoid a government shutdown this weekend, as the GOP tried to mollify its restive conference and maintain a strong negotiating hand in year-end spending talks. Published December 5, 2017

In this Nov. 2, 2017, file photo, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., flanked by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, left, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., holds a news conference on Capitol Hill to respond to the Republican tax reform plan in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Top Democrats set for spending talks with GOP, Trump

Top Democrats said Monday they will reengage with President Trump and GOP leaders to discuss a year-end spending deal, hoping to avoid a government shutdown over immigration and other thorny issues after feuding torpedoed earlier talks. Published December 4, 2017

President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump donates $100K in pay to HHS

The White House on Thursday said President Trump is donating his quarterly paycheck to the Health and Human Services Department to help combat an opioids crisis that is killing tens of thousands of Americans each year. Published November 30, 2017

Alex Azar, President Donald Trump's nominee to become Secretary of Health and Human Services, arrives to testify before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Trump's HHS pick: Drug prices 'are too high'

President Trump's pick to lead the Health and Human Services Department said prescription drug prices are "too high" but that he is well-equipped to try and tackle the problem. Published November 29, 2017

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during a news conference in Trenton, N.J., on Sept. 18, 2017. (Associated Press) **FILE**

N.J. Gov. Chris Christie: Opioids fight needs much more than $1B

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Tuesday that the death toll from the U.S. opioid epidemic is equal to "a Sept. 11 every 21/2 weeks," as he urged Congress to refill the fund that President Trump is eyeing to wage war on addiction. Published November 28, 2017

A draft copy of the 21-page of a Health and Human Services Department form proposed for use to apply for low-cost insurance from Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program is photographed in Washington on March 12, 2013. The government's application for health insurance, which uninsured people will use to get taxpayer subsidized coverage starting next year. Applying could get complicated, with multiple questions about income, household composition, employer coverage and even race and ethnicity. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Colorado warns CHIP families: Research other coverage options

Colorado officials sent out letters Monday urging families who rely on the Children's Health Insurance Program to research other coverage options in case Congress fails to renew federal funding for the program by Jan. 31, when the state will run out of money to cover children. Published November 27, 2017

Red Cross volunteers speak to women as they are busy cooking, whilst educating villagers about the plague outbreak, 30 miles west of Antananarivo, Madagascar, Monday, Oct. 16, 2017. As plague cases rose last week in Madagascar's capital, many city dwellers panicked. They waited in long lines for antibiotics at pharmacies and reached through bus windows to buy masks from street vendors. Schools have been canceled, and public gatherings are banned. (AP Photo/Alexander Joe)

WHO: Plague outbreak in Madagascar is slowing

Madagascar's "unprecedented" outbreak of plague is slowing, but responders cannot afford to ease off the fight until the risk of transmission dies down in the spring, the World Health Organization said Monday. Published November 27, 2017

Obamacare support dips slightly: Gallup poll

Half of Americans approve of Obamacare, the Gallup polling company said Monday, meaning support has ebbed from earlier in the year, as Republicans plotted the program's demise. Published November 27, 2017