Politics Top 5

1. Little-known liberals reshape Democratic policy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Democrats' shift to the left with big ideas like Medicare for All, along with the rise of progressives like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is changing the balance of power in the party’s unofficial policy establishment.

Why it matters: Think tanks, policy analysts and advocacy groups are vitally important — they help shape the party’s policy platforms and channel the base’s enthusiasm. And a new set of players are gaining power in that world just as Democrats seize the reins in the House and wade into a policy-heavy primary for 2020.

2. Lawmakers say they've reached a deal to avoid another shutdown

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Top congressional lawmakers told reporters late Monday that they have reached a bipartisan legislative agreement that would avert another partial government shutdown later this week, the Associated Press reports.

Why it matters: The news came minutes before President Trump was set to speak before a campaign-style rally in El Paso, Texas, focused on immigration and border issues. While lawmakers did not immediately release details of the agreement, which comes after budget talks collapsed over the weekend due to Democratic demands to limit the number of immigrant detentions, two Democratic Hill sources confirmed to Axios that it includes $1.375 billion for a physical border barrier with restrictions — far less than the $5.7 billion initially requested by Trump.