Welcome to Sneak Peek, our weekly lookahead for both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, plus our best scoops.
Tonight's newsletter is 1,321 words, a 5-minute read.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Striking a big, bipartisan deal on drug prices is one of President Trump’s last opportunities before the election to make good on a sweeping campaign promise — and Trump himself is the biggest x-factor, Axios' Sam Baker and I report.
The big picture: On policy, Trump and Democrats are aligned — but the Dems may not want to make a deal just before the election.
Driving the news: Speaker Pelosi will release a drug-pricing plan shortly after Congress returns to work this week, a House Democratic aide confirmed. And Democrats will try to keep the issue on the front burner for the rest of the year.
There are signs it’s working, but congressional and administration sources are deeply skeptical that anything will happen.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
The DNC research team has mined thousands of lawsuits from 50 states as part of a massive new research trove on President Trump that will be weaponized through pols and reporters in key states, Axios' Alexi McCammond reports.
Why it matters: This new plan shows what Democrats think Trump's biggest vulnerabilities will be. And unlike in 2016, Trump now has a policy record.
A source said this document will likely find its way to local reporters in battleground states as Trump diverts funds from the military to fund the wall.
What we're hearing: At a meeting last week with about 20 operatives and strategists, DNC chair Tom Perez said he plans to focus the party's messaging on Trump's performance, not "awfulness," according to a source in the room: "Prosecute the case that he is bad at his job and it is hurting people in real ways."
Now that President Trump has called off a secret Camp David meeting with the Taliban and Afghan leaders, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is urging Trump to get the upper hand by negotiating a free trade agreement with Pakistan.
Graham said the new leadership in Pakistan "understands the benefit of integrating the Pakistan economy with the American economy to put pressure on the Taliban."
Photo: Stefan Zaklin/Getty Images
The House and Senate are back from August recess this week. Here are the 5 big items that will shape the fall on the Hill:
Meanwhile, McConnell has made it abundantly clear over the last several weeks that he does not plan to bring any bills to the floor that don't have a chance of becoming law.
Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images
The House Judiciary Committee will mark up a series of bills this week aimed at curbing gun violence, per a senior Democratic aide. They include legislation that would ban high capacity ammunition magazines and prohibit those convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes from possessing firearms, among other bills. See the full summary of the measures here.
The Senate will have a cloture vote on Kelly Craft for U.S. ambassador to the UN on Monday, per a Republican leadership aide.
President Trump's schedule:
Worth noting: ABC hosts the third Democratic debate in Houston on Thursday.
Justice Gorsuch. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Not quite 2½ years after being sworn in, Justice Neil Gorsuch reveals that he holed up in the White House's Lincoln Bedroom the day that President Trump announced he was nominating him to the high court.
What he's saying: In "A Republic, If You Can Keep It," out Tuesday from Crown Forum Publishers, Gorsuch says he and his wife, Louise, snuck into the White House residence through the kitchen entrance:
"Earlier in the day, the President tweeted: 'Getting ready to deliver a VERY IMPORTANT DECISION! 8:00 P.M.' The media knew the decision concerned the Supreme Court pick but had no idea who the nominee would be. Television commentators speculated all day. Meanwhile, I sat quietly in the Lincoln Bedroom working on my remarks for the evening’s announcement.
The President had offered me that historic spot as an office for the day. Knowing that Louise was born and raised in England, he gave her the use of the bedroom across the hall typically reserved for Queen Elizabeth and once occupied by Winston Churchill."