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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.

Sen. Chris Murphy, Connecticut Democrat, is shown during a committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on Jan. 11, 2017. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Senate Dems propose Medicare buy-in bill

A pair of Senate Democrats introduced a bill Wednesday that allows working-age Americans to buy into Medicare, a proposal that inches toward a single-payer system without fully embracing a government-run system in a pivotal election year. Published April 18, 2018

In this April 4, 2018 photo, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks on a question during a town hall meeting with Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, examining economic justice 50 years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) **FILE**

Sen. Bernie Sanders takes aim at opioid companies

Sen. Bernard Sanders took direct aim Tuesday at opioid makers he said are fueling the drug-overdose crisis, proposing legislation that would impose crippling fines and even jail time on company executives who downplay the addictive nature of their product. Published April 17, 2018

FILE - In a Monday, June 19, 2017 file photo, U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss., speaks to reporters about the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program, following a news conference in Canton, Miss. Harper said Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018 that he won't seek re-election this year. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

House panel to grill opioid distributors in May

Republican leaders announced Thursday they will haul executives from top opioid distributors before Congress to testify about their alleged roles in "pill dumping" in West Virginia -- a state reeling from the addiction crisis. Published April 12, 2018

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam gestures as he delivers his State of the Commonwealth address before a joint session of the Virginia General Assembly as Lt. gov. Justin Fairfax, left, and House Speaker Kirk cox, R-Colonial Heights, right, listen at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Monday, Jan. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) **FILE**

Virginia Democrats near victory on Medicaid expansion

Powered by last year's electoral victories and emboldened by GOP defections, Virginia Democrats are on the cusp of winning an expansion of Medicaid — something they've been seeking since Obamacare first passed eight years ago. Published April 10, 2018

FILE - In this July 27, 2017, file photo Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Cindy Hyde-Smith speaks at the Neshoba County Fair in Philadelphia, Miss. The state's governor will appoint Hyde-Smith as Mississippi's first female member of Congress to fill the Senate vacancy that will soon be created when Sen. Thad Cochran retires, three state Republicans told The Associated Press on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

VP Pence swears in Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith

Cindy Hyde-Smith was sworn in Monday as the junior senator from Mississippi, making her the first female member of Congress from the Southern state. Published April 9, 2018

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, pauses for a reporter's question at the Capitol  in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Sen. Alexander proposes bill to empower FDA in opioids fight

The Food and Drug Administration should use its share of anti-opioid money in the new omnibus spending bill to expand labs and train dogs to sniff out deadly fentanyl that's slipping through U.S. mail facilities, a top senator proposed Monday. Published March 26, 2018

Mainers for Health Care rally outside the State House prior to Gov. Paul LePage's State of the State address, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, in Augusta, Maine. The coalition that supported the successful Yes on 2 campaign to expand Medicaid in 2017 say LePage and his allies in the Legislature are trying to block Medicaid expansion, which is now state law. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Affordable health care tops 'worry list': Gallup poll

Fifty-five percent of Americans worry a "great deal" about finding affordable health care, according to a Gallup poll Monday that says the issue tops a list of more than a dozen problems facing the country. Published March 26, 2018

In this June 6, 2017, file photo, a reporter holds up an example of the amount of fentanyl that can be deadly, after a news conference about deaths from fentanyl exposure, at DEA Headquarters in Arlington, Va. The chief justice of the Massachusetts Trial Court told prosecutors she fears that allowing fentanyl and carfentanil into courtrooms as evidence puts people at risk even when the drugs are properly packaged. Some medical experts said a proposal to ban them from courtrooms appears to be driven by a misguided understanding of the real dangers of the substances. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

GOP lawmakers heed Trump's call to crack down on opioid dealers

Heeding President Trump's call to "get tough," Capitol Hill Republicans filed legislation Thursday that sets lengthy prison terms for fentanyl dealers, saying criminals must think twice before they peddle synthetic powders that can fit into a salt shaker, yet kill tens of thousands. Published March 22, 2018