Week ahead: Budget fights begin anew

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House leaders this coming week will decide how to move forward on Rep. Fred Upton's (R-Mich.) promise to repeal the birth control mandate. And Senate Republicans will debate whether to pursue similar efforts as amendments to the pending transportation bill.

The healthcare law might also come up for criticism in the House Judiciary Committee, which will delve into President Obama's recess appointments during a hearing Wednesday. Among the most controversial: The July 2010 appointment of Don Berwick to run the Medicare agency, which was never vetted by the Senate Finance Committee.

In other Capitol Hill news, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee holds a hearing Tuesday on the challenges to pain relief in the U.S. healthcare system. Lawrence Tabak, principal deputy director at the National Institutes of Health, is slated to testify.

And on Wednesday morning, the Energy and Commerce health subcommittee holds the last in a series of three hearings on proposed user fees that help pay for Food and Drug Administration regulators who review and approve new medical products. The hearing focuses on the reauthorization of the Medical Device User Fee Act, which expires Sept. 30.

Off Capitol Hill, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) on Monday makes the case for overturning the health law's birth control mandate during a Heritage Foundation event titled “Obamacare Tramples on Religious Liberty: Why We Shouldn’t Be Surprised.”

Tuesday morning, GE hosts a panel on medical innovation as part of its weeklong forum on “American Competitiveness: What Works.” The event at the Mellon auditorium features former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach.

And on Thursday, Scotusblog and Bloomberg Law present “A Supreme Court Argument Briefing” at the National Press Club. Debating the challenges against the health law will be Paul Clement and Michael Carvin, counsel for the plaintiffs, and former Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal.


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