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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.

Moderna says vaccine appears to protect against new COVID-19 variants

Photo: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine is effective against new variants of the virus that first appeared in the U.K. and in South Africa, the company announced on Monday.

Yes, but: The vaccine was as effective against the strain from U.K., but saw a six-fold reduction in antibodies against the South Africa variant. Even still, the neutralizing antibodies generated by the vaccine "remain above levels that are expected to be protective," according to the company.

Dave Lawler, author of World
Updated 1 hour ago - World

Xi Jinping warns against "new cold war" in Davos speech

Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Wang Zhao - Pool/Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping warned that a "new cold war" could turn hot, and must be avoided, in a speech on Monday at World Economic Forum’s virtual “Davos Agenda” conference.

Why it matters: Xi didn't refer directly to U.S.-China tensions, but the subtext was clear. These were his first remarks to an international audience since the inauguration of President Biden, whose administration has already concurred with Donald Trump's determination that China is committing "genocide" against Uyghur Muslims, and issued a warning about China's aggression toward Taiwan.