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oving crates outside Rep. Elise Stefanik's old office Tuesday. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The House plans to renovate members' suites even though staff are worried about an influx of contractors and D.C. is tightening restrictions on large gatherings, some staffers told Axios.

Why it matters: The Capitol has been closed to public tours since March. Work over the holiday season comes as U.S. coronavirus cases spike, Americans beg for more pandemic assistance and food lines grow.

One measure aimed at reducing risk is also raising eyebrows: "Only members’ personal offices will receive new paint, furniture, carpet and drapes (if eligible)," said a "Dear Colleague" letter sent by the Architect of the Capitol.

  • Staffers have to wait until January to get their office space spiffed up.

What they're saying:  "The problem is, members are used to a concierge experience," one staffer told Axios.

  • "I wish we could serve as an example to people on how to run their hygiene and safety operations. There’s an arc toward progress, but there’s still a lot of work to do."

Go deeper

Jan 12, 2021 - Politics & Policy

McCarthy: "Undisputedly" no evidence Antifa participated in deadly Capitol siege

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said on a conference call with members Monday that there is "undisputedly" no evidence that people linked to Antifa participated in last week's deadly siege on the Capitol, per sources on the call, and told members he had urged President Trump to call President-elect Biden after Trump promised a transfer of power.

Driving the news: Earlier Monday, McCarthy sent a letter to rank and file House Republicans, saying he remains opposed to impeaching Trump over his actions around last week's deadly Capitol siege, and laid out other responses lawmakers could make, including censure.

Updated 45 mins ago - Science

This powerful new accelerator looks for keys to the center of atoms

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nuclear physicists trying to piece together how atoms are built are about to get a powerful new tool.

Why it matters: When the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams begins experiments later this spring, physicists from around the world will use the particle accelerator to better understand the inner workings of atoms that make up all the matter that can be seen in the universe.

Updated 47 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized COVID patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated" — Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Teens and adults missed 37 million vaccinations during COVID — Team USA 100% vaccinated against COVID ahead of Beijing Olympics — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — Annual COVID vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO.
  3. Politics: Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates — Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults — Beijing officials urge COVID-19 "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics.
  5. Variant tracker