Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The pharmaceutical industry's lobbyists will really have to work for those millions once Congress comes back from its August recess.

Driving the news: Drug pricing will likely dominate the fall agenda in Congress.

  • The bipartisan leadership of the Senate Finance Committee — Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) — released their long-awaited drug pricing bill yesterday. Finance is slated to mark it up on Thursday.
  • House Democrats, meanwhile, are planning to roll out their own bill after the recess — meaning both chambers could have their bills on the floor in September.

On the substance, the bipartisan Senate bill is pretty far-reaching, in the sense that it reaches into many parts of the system. The House bill may end up being more aggressive on its big-ticket items, though.

  • The Senate measure would cap price increases in Medicare Part D and Part B, put a cap on seniors' out-of-pocket costs, and reshape Part D more broadly to deal with some of the program's backwards incentives.

What they're saying: PhRMA, the industry's leading trade organization, said yesterday that the bill "fails to meet the fundamental test of providing meaningful relief at the pharmacy counter for the vast majority of seniors," while the White House signaled its support.

My thought bubble: Everyone's written a million stories about congressional Republicans being pulled between President Trump and some traditionally conservative idea or interest group.

  • But none of those traditional allies have brought as much campaign cash to the table as pharma. That tension could be real this time.
  • Even so, with a bipartisan framework to start and Trump's blessing on top of it, the industry will face a daunting challenge trying to stop the Senate from passing anything serious.
  • And if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can get the progressives in her caucus on board, then we'd be back to the dynamic I mentioned yesterday: testing the bounds of Pelosi's and Trump's ability and willingness to make a deal.

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 a.m. ET: 30,199,007 — Total deaths: 946,490— Total recoveries: 20,544, 967Map
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 a.m. ET: 6,675,593 — Total deaths: 197,644 — Total recoveries: 2,540,334 — Total tests: 90,710,730Map
  3. Politics: Former Pence aide says she plans to vote for Joe Biden, accusing Trump of costing lives in his coronavirus response.
  4. Health: Pew: 49% of Americans wouldn't get COVID-19 vaccine if available today Pandemic may cause cancer uptick The risks of moving too fast on a vaccine — COVID-19 racial disparities extend to health coverage losses.
  5. Business: Retail sales return to pre-coronavirus trend.
Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Mike Bloomberg's anti-chaos theory

CNN's Anderson Cooper questions Joe Biden last night at a drive-in town hall in Moosic, Pa., outside Scranton. Photo: CNN

Mike Bloomberg's $100 million Florida blitz begins today and will continue "wall to wall" in all 10 TV markets through Election Day, advisers tell me.

Why it matters: Bloomberg thinks that Joe Biden putting away Florida is the most feasible way to head off the national chaos we could have if the outcome of Trump v. Biden remained uncertain long after Election Day.

Biden's hardline Russia reset

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Getty Images photos: Mark Reinstein

When he talks about Russia, Joe Biden has sounded like Ronald Reagan all summer, setting up a potential Day 1 confrontation with Russian President Vladimir Putin if Biden were to win.

Why it matters: Biden has promised a forceful response against Russia for both election interference and alleged bounty payments to target American troops in Afghanistan. But being tougher than President Trump could be the easy part. The risk is overdoing it and making diplomacy impossible.