National Institutes of Health

Trump to Nominate New HHS Secretary Alex Azar
Former pharmaceutical president vocal Obamacare opponent

Tom Price (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Trump announced on Twitter he plans to nominate Alex Azar to be the next secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Azar will be “a star for better healthcare and lower drug prices,” Trump wrote in his tweet announcing the coming nomination.

Trump Declares Opioid Crisis a ‘National Health Emergency’
“We can be the generation that ends the opioid epidemic,” president says

President Donald Trump said addressing the opioids crisis “will require all of our effort.” (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Updated 5:30 p.m. | President Donald Trump on Thursday declared the nations’s opioid crisis a “national health emergency,” saying the country would fight the drug epidemic as a “national family.”

“This is a worldwide problem,” he said, flanked by public health officials, families with small children and first lady Melania Trump in the East Room of the White House. “It’s just been so long in making. Addressing it will require all of our effort.”

Trump to Declare Opioid Crisis a Nationwide Public Health Emergency
Officials say administration working with Congress on additional funding

President Donald Trump’s declaration will make the opioid crisis the number one priority for federal agencies, senior administration officials said. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump will declare the opioid crisis a nationwide public health emergency on Thursday, according to senior administration officials.

The declaration would direct all federal agencies to make the crisis their number one priority. It would include awareness and prevention programs and allow the federal government to work with states to redistribute already-available grants that support substance abuse efforts.

Congressional Democrats Call for More Gun Violence Research
Report, House bill draw attention to lack of federal funding

Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy sponsored a bill that could lead to more federal funding for gun violence research. (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

Congressional Democrats have launched renewed calls for federal research into gun violence prevention in the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting.

Senate Democrats on Wednesday presented a report from the Government Accountability Office highlighting the limitations lawmakers have imposed on researchers attempting to understand gun violence, which they called a “public health crisis.”

Chris Collins Slams Louise Slaughter as a ‘Despicable Human Being’ Over Ethics Review
New York Democrat filed ethics charges against Republican colleague

New York Rep. Chris Collins is facing scrutiny over whether he shared nonpublic information about a company in which he is an investor. (Tom Williams/Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Rep. Chris Collins has slammed fellow New Yorker Louise M. Slaughter as a “despicable human being” over the ethics charges the Democratic congresswoman filed against him.

“She’s on a witch hunt, she’s a despicable human,” Collins said of his colleague, Fox News reported. “You don’t go after another member.”

Want to Know How to Curb Gun Violence? Don’t Ask Congress
Majorities have blocked gun-related research for decades

Former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords turns to shake her fist at the Capitol as her husband, retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, looks on during a news conference after the mass shooting in Las Vegas. (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

The mass shooting in Las Vegas last week — like every high-profile mass shooting — raised a host of questions about why such horrors happen and how they can be prevented. But don’t look to Congress to help provide the answers.

Could gunman Stephen Paddock have been stopped while he was stockpiling dozens of weapons ahead of his rampage if law enforcement officials had tracked and flagged suspicious gun purchasing patterns?

Which of These Bills Is Not Like the Others? The Defense Budget
Testy and balky debate, like this year, still has ended with authorization for 57 straight years

Two U.S. army Blackhawk helicopters approach for landing at an airfield in Australia during a joint U.S. and Australian training exercise in July. (Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images File Photo)

For the uninitiated, it might have seemed last week like the annual legislation authorizing the nation’s military was about to come off the rails. And only now does it appear to be clamoring out of some thick mud — yet another example of a Congress so challenged when it comes to discharging even its most fundamental responsibilities.

Rest assured, though: There’s truly nothing more certain in the Capitol’s life cycle than enactment of the annual National Defense Authorization Act.

McCain to Continue Cancer Treatment While Working
Arizona Republican diagnosed with a brain tumor in July

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., will continue to receive chemotherapy and radiation treatment while working. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Sen. John McCain will continue to receive chemotherapy and radiation treatment while maintaining his work schedule in the U.S. Senate, his office announced on Tuesday.

“Senator McCain received an MRI at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland yesterday. Following the advice of his doctors, Senator McCain will continue to receive targeted radiation and chemotherapy treatments at NIH while maintaining a regular work schedule in the United States Senate,” the statement read.

Complaints From Top NIH Scientist Preceded Rollback Of Lab Restrictions
Internal pushback highlights aftermath of 2015 scandal

Current National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins was the head of the agency when major safety issues were uncovered in 2015. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Complaints from a top scientist at the National Institutes of Health preceded at least a partial rollback of restrictions on the number of patients that could receive treatment in his lab, according to emails obtained by CQ Roll Call under the Freedom of Information Act. 

The facility in question was previously closed after an independent audit revealed black mold in the lab, among other major compliance issues. 

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.