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Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr. covers politics and the White House for The Washington Times. He can be reached at

Articles by Tom Howell Jr.

D.C. budget proposal up for first vote

The D.C. Council on Wednesday will deliver a vote on the budget for the upcoming fiscal year, placing its stamp on a plan that has hinged on taxes, cuts and political wrangling to close a $322 million budget gap. Published May 24, 2011

City State: Cheh memo outlines committee ‘priorities’

D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh's lightened the tone of what's been a fairly contentious budget process with the release late Tuesday of a memo outlining her committee "priorities" in advance of an initial vote Tuesday on the city spending plan. Published May 24, 2011

Barry rails against pension changes

Flanked by more than a dozen D.C. firefighters in red T-shirts, council member Marion Barry on Monday voiced his opposition to legislation that would place tighter fiscal controls on the District's pension obligations to police, firefighters and teachers. Published May 23, 2011

D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown

Brown’s D.C. budget markup eliminates many tax hikes

With the D.C.'s spending plan now in his hands, D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown is steadfast on what will happen to Mayor Vincent C. Gray's proposal to raise the income tax on wealthier households. No way, no how. Published May 21, 2011

Medical examiner loses key approval

The D.C. medical examiner's office is "at a loss" to explain why a professional association declined to renew the office's accreditation, while questions remain about the potential impact on law enforcement initiatives and perceptions in the courtroom, city officials said. Published May 19, 2011

Gray appoints two to administration posts

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray on Wednesday announced his picks to lead the D.C. Department of Transportation and the medical team within the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services. Published May 18, 2011

D.C. school exam scores voided

The District has invalidated 2010 standardized test scores from three D.C. public school classrooms, citing clear evidence of violations or a "strong suspicion" of them, the city's Office of the State Superintendent of Education said Wednesday. Published May 18, 2011

Needy go to D.C. city hall to protest cuts

Stephen Hopkins-Bey says he has a pretty clear picture of what will happen if District lawmakers follow through on proposed cuts in their upcoming budget that would likely close the homeless shelter in which he lives. Published May 18, 2011

D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown

Brown introduces expanded ethics rules

D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown introduced legislation Tuesday that would broadly expand disclosure requirements and other ethics rules for city employees and elected officials. Published May 17, 2011

Jack Evans, Ward 2 Democrat

D.C. Council clashes on Gray’s tax increases

The D.C. Council should scrap seven of the 13 tax and fee initiatives proposed in Mayor Vincent C. Gray's spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year, a council member with oversight of D.C. finances said Monday. Published May 16, 2011

Cheh: Green’s testimony ‘implausible’

Vincent C. Gray's campaign chairman says she never gave money or promised a job to the minor 2010 mayoral candidate who says he got both to furtively act as a Gray campaign operative last year. Published May 15, 2011

Lorraine A. Green, chairman of Mayor Vincent C. Gray's campaign and head of his transition team, testifies at a hearing at the Wilson Building in Washington, D.C., on Friday, May 13, 2011 to discuss the hiring practices within the Gray administration. Next to Ms. Green is her attorney, Thomas C. Green. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Gray confidante denies allegations of wrongdoing

Vincent C. Gray's campaign chairman testified Friday that she did not give payments or the promise a job to a minor mayoral candidate who says he got both those perks to furtively act as a Gray campaign operative last year. Published May 13, 2011

Vincent C. Gray

‘Yes’ pile will bring D.C. $127M in revenue

When Mayor Vincent C. Gray's budget team sifted through revenue-generating ideas for the coming fiscal year, they placed them in "yes" or "no" piles and let the executive choose among concepts "on the bubble," his budget director said. Published May 12, 2011

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray (left) and City Council Chairman Kwame Brown are sworn in May 12 on Capitol Hill as they prepare to testify at a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee hearing on the city's budget. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Issa proposes path to greater D.C. budget autonomy

The chairman of a U.S. House committee with oversight of D.C. affairs proposed a plan on Thursday that allows the District to spend its local funds on its terms by insulating it from federal budget squabbles on Capitol Hill. Published May 12, 2011

D.C. council chairman, mayor to testify on budget

Mayor Vincent C. Gray is "not going to speculate" on a U.S. House oversight committee's request to hear testimony Thursday on the District's budget - a move that raised the specter of the congressionally imposed financial control board. Published May 11, 2011

Business leaders balk at Gray’s tax plan

D.C. business and trade leaders sounded the alarm Monday about Mayor Vincent C. Grays call to increase or create 13 taxes to close a $322 million budget gap in the upcoming fiscal year. Published May 9, 2011

** FILE** Jim Graham

DYRS hearing probes agency’s internal friction

Recent violence at the New Beginnings Youth Development Center in Laurel illustrates a fundamental problem with the District's approach to juvenile offenders placed in residential treatment facilities, where "the youths are the boss" and "every kid knows this and acts accordingly," D.C. Council member Jim Graham said on Saturday. Published May 7, 2011