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NIH Contractor Dispute Underscores Agency Conflicts
Agency is trying to change cultural norms that led to 2015 scandal

NIH Director Francis S. Collins pledged in 2015 that all research conducted on the agency’s premises would adhere to federal manufacturing standards. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A key contractor at the National Institutes of Health is urging employees to forgo compliance with federal guidelines, citing consent agreements signed by patients that acknowledge the risk of participating in clinical research at the agency, Roll Call has learned.

The agency denies the contractor’s actions and that it would ever relax compliance.

How Bad Political Manners Fomented the Health Care Mess
Lawmakers feel free to misbehave when their leaders drop ‘regular order’

Republicans in Congress may be emulating President Donald Trump’s political manners. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A president whose brand is all about flouting basic political manners is getting matched in misbehavior more and more by fellow Republicans in Congress.

The first six months under President Donald Trump have been marked not only by a further coarsening of GOP rhetoric, stoked mainly by incessant infighting in backrooms, but also by increasing defiance of decades of behavioral norms — from Trump’s nominal friends and skeptics alike, when they’ve been trying to work with him and when they’ve been scrambling to maneuver despite him.

Word on the Hill: Week Ahead
Your social schedule for the week

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his Republican Conference continue debate over health care this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Welcome back to another full legislative week.

It won’t be as hot as it has been after the temperature drops tonight, so you might actually want to get outside tomorrow.

Another March on Washington?
March fatigue and mixed results from Trump protests has critics getting skeptical of results

Protesters march up 14th Street past the Washington Monument during the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday, jan. 21, 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

While activists planned Monday’s “Medicare for All” march on Washington to channel energy toward a policy goal, some are becoming skeptical of whether large marches in the capital accomplish much at all as they are becoming somewhat routine.

With the GOP’s effort to repeal the 2010 health care law stalled, many Democrats and those further to the left are rallying around single-payer health care as an alternative. But with Democratic leadership largely opposed to the idea, activists are looking for ways to show public support for it and pressure lawmakers.

Word on the Hill: Capitol Hill Reality Show Casting Call
Congressional tennis roster update and brunch plans

A reality show is seeking staffers from both parties. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There’s a casting call next week for Capitol Hill staffers for a new reality show about working in Congress.

The posting on Brad Traverse Jobs reads: 

Take Five: Jimmy Gomez
California Democrat reflects on his first week in Congress

California Rep. Jimmy Gomez previously worked on the Hill for Rep. Hilda L. Solis and recalls telling himself he wouldn’t return to Washington until he was a member of Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Freshman Rep. Jimmy Gomez, 42, a California Democrat, talks about the time between his being elected and being sworn in, returning as a former Hill staffer, and his welcome to Washington compared to Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte’s.

Q: What has surprised you about Congress so far?

Word on the Hill: Learn How to Reduce Stress
Travel advice and play-in demonstration

On Tuesday, Washington commuters received a free banana from Amazon.com crew who were handing them out at Union Station to mark the online giant’s Prime Day. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

With Senate staffers getting a shorter August recess this year, the Senate Wellness Fair might be coming at a good time.

There will be demonstrations on stress-reducing breathing techniques, as well as posture improvement and acupuncture from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today in the Senate Hart Office Building, Room 902.

Is Shorter August Recess Prelude to Deals?
Health care, nominations will go long way to determining path

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday the Senate would postpone its annual August recess by two weeks. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has announced a truncated August recess, but the new schedule might just be the opening bid in a complex negotiation with Democratic leaders over the terms of debate on executive and judicial nominees, as well as big-ticket legislative items. 

In his statement announcing the delay, McConnell said the chamber would work on the fiscal 2018 authorization bill for the Defense Department and “the backlog of critical nominations that have been mindlessly stalled by Democrats.”

Opinion: Don’t Skip the Recess, Skip the Games
It’s time to change the dynamic in Washington, not the calendar

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can blame his own party for slowing down progress on the health care bill, Murphy writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced to his members Tuesday that he’s canceling the first two weeks of the August recess to plow through a pile of undone business, including passing health care reform, a debt-ceiling increase, the Department of Defense authorization bill, and a Food and Drug Administration user authorization bill.

It’s easy to see why McConnell decided to push back the recess. For one thing, the rowdy town hall meetings in some senators’ home states last week were probably unpleasant enough to convince anyone that August in Washington is totally underrated. Two more weeks in the swamp? Great!

First Trump Inauguration Protester Sentenced to 4 Months in Prison
But protesters say Dane Powell acted heroically on January 20th.

Queer Resistance faction of the activism group, #DisruptJ20, hold a dance “block” party at the 13th Street Inauguration entry point on Jan. 20, 2017. (Matt Rhodes for CQ Roll Call)

Dane Powell will serve four months in prison and two months of probation for felony rioting and assaulting a police officer in the first sentencing of the nearly 200 people who were arrested in downtown Washington on the day of President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Protests on Inauguration Day resulted in a few broken windows and other incidents of vandalism, as well as one burned limo.