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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.

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 maintains strong start to sign-ups, hitting 2.3M

Obamacare's brisk start to 2018 enrollment continued for a third week, as sign-ups climbed to nearly 2.3 million and continued to outpace last year's round, though not fast enough to expand the program's pool of customers over the full season. Published November 22, 2017

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska returns to her office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017, as work in the Senate begins to wind down toward August recess. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) ** FILE **

GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski supports repealing Obamacare mandate

Sen. Lisa Murkowski says she supports repealing Obamacare's individual mandate to hold insurance, giving a notable thumbs up to a contentious piece of President Trump's tax overhaul, though she stopped short of a full endorsement of the tax plan. Published November 22, 2017

In this Wednesday, April 5, 2017, file photo, Dr. Scott Gottlieb speaks during his confirmation hearing before a Senate committee, in Washington, as President Donald Trump's nominee to head the Food and Drug Administration. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

FDA pushes companies to develop opioids that resist abuse

The Food and Drug Administration issued guidance Tuesday to push drugmakers to craft cheaper generic painkillers that are more difficult to snort, inject or otherwise abuse than standard opioids. Published November 21, 2017

A photo of his children hangs on the wall in the home of Kyle Graves, in Franklin, Tenn., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. He knows his kids won't come around if he falls back into addiction. His hopes of rebuilding a life with those five kids, now grown, help keep him clean. "I'd like to have a house, a place they can come over and have a cookout on the weekend," he said. "They know I love 'em with all my heart," he said. "They still have issues. I've offered to get them together and talk to them. I guess they're not ready yet." (AP Photo/David Goldman)

White House says opioid epidemic even worse than thought

The opioid crisis is killing thousands more Americans than previously thought and cost half a trillion dollars in 2015, the Trump administration said Monday in a report that recalculated the toll of prescription-drug and heroin abuse. Published November 20, 2017

Americans will hold Republicans responsible for Obamacare dip: Poll

Half the public will blame President Trump and Republicans if Obamacare enrollment dips this year, according to a nonpartisan poll that says more Americans are holding the GOP responsible for the law's fate than Democrats who crafted and passed the stumbling program. Published November 17, 2017

This July 19, 2001, file photo shows OxyContin tablets at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot) ** FILE **

State AGs ask Congress to repeal law that 'hamstrung' DEA's opioids fight

Nearly every state attorney general in the country wants Congress to repeal a 2016 law that reportedly made it "virtually impossible" for the Drug Enforcement Administration to suspend orders of narcotics that could fall into the hands of corrupt doctors or illicit pharmacies. Published November 14, 2017

Voters in Maine cheered last week after opting to join 31 other states and expand Medicaid under President Obama's Affordable Care Act. (Associated Press/File)

Health care voters turn Republican election strength into liability

Seven years after Obamacare crushed Democrats at the ballot box, the party is using health care to launch a revival, saying President Trump and congressional Republicans are paying a price for their fumbled repeal effort and will sink further next year. Published November 12, 2017

A White House cabal called the "Tax Team" has kept pressure on House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (left) to stay in sync with President Trump's priorities. (Associated Press)

Top House tax-writer won't accept plank of Senate tax-cut plan

The House's main tax-writer said his chamber won't accept a Senate plan to eliminate a property tax deduction that's critical for states like New York and California, underscoring the thorny path Republicans face in settling on a final product by Christmas. Published November 12, 2017

In this Aug. 31, 2017, file photo, Sen. Pat Toomey holds a town-hall meeting at the WLVT/PBS 39-TV studios in Bethlehem, Pa. (Tom Gralish/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, File)

Sen. Pat Toomey says Roy Moore should drop out of Senate race in Alabama

A tide of Republicans are distancing themselves from Roy Moore, the GOP nominee for the Senate in Alabama, or urging him to drop out of the race without delay, saying they're unswayed by his rebuttal to claims that he pursued relationships with teen girls during his 30s. Published November 12, 2017