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Senate Finance Chair Chuck Grassley. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

Seven pharmaceutical CEOs will face off against the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday in what could be the beginning of a bipartisan push to reduce drug prices.

What we're watching: Pharma would rather not be here, but if there's a silver lining for the industry, it's that this hearing — with 7 drug companies and no one else — is a pretty big platform to try to shift the blame to pharmacy benefit managers.

  • Expect to hear these executives return repeatedly to PBMs, arguing that even as drug prices rise, drug companies aren't keeping the extra money. Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) seems to be prepared for this already.

The big picture: Pharma is weaker on Capitol Hill right now than it has been in a very long time, and President Trump's willingness to take on the industry has frayed drugmakers' usual alliances with the GOP.

  • If lawmakers want to home in on specific issues within the drug-pricing system, this is a great opportunity.
  • You could do a lot worse, for example, than pressing AbbVie CEO Richard Gonzalez about the thicket of patents that continue to stave off competition for Humira, the world's best-selling drug.

Yes, but: Let's not get ahead of ourselves.

  • The House held a big angry hearing with Martin Shkreli in 2015, and Mylan CEO Heather Bresch in 2016. No laws changed either time. Both Daraprim and Mylan’s Epi-Pen cost just as much today as they did during those hearings.
  • As Kaiser Health News recently noted, lawmakers were incensed about the price of drugs at similar hearings 60 years ago. And yet, here we are.

Go deeper: Ohio is fighting back against one of the nation's biggest PBMs

Go deeper

In photos: Protests outside fortified capitols draw only small groups

Armed members of the far-right extremist group the Boogaloo Bois near the Michigan Capitol Building in Lansing on Jan. 17. About 20 protesters showed up, AP notes. Photo: Seth Herald/AFP via Getty Images

Small groups of protesters rallied outside fortified statehouses over the weekend ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

The big picture: Some protests attracted armed members of far-right extremist groups but there were no reports of clashes, as had been feared. The National Guard and law enforcement outnumbered demonstrators, as security was heightened around the U.S. to avoid a repeat of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riots, per AP.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations before leaving office

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump plans to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations on his final full day in office Tuesday, sources familiar with the matter told Axios.

Why it matters: This is a continuation of the president's controversial December spree that saw full pardons granted to more than two dozen people — including former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, longtime associate Roger Stone and Charles Kushner, the father of Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

  • The pardons set to be issued before Trump exits the White House will be a mix of criminal justice ones and pardons for people connected to the president, the sources said.
  • CNN first reported this news.

Go deeper: Convicts turn to D.C. fixers for Trump pardons

Schumer's m(aj)ority checklist

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Capitalizing on the Georgia runoffs, achieving a 50-50 Senate and launching an impeachment trial are weighty to-dos for getting Joe Biden's administration up and running on Day One.

What to watch: A blend of ceremonies, hearings and legal timelines will come into play on Tuesday and Wednesday so Chuck Schumer can actually claim the Senate majority and propel the new president's agenda.