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Week ahead: Dems, GOP work together on health policy

Democrats and Republicans will work hand in hand this week to make sure the American people have access to medicines and medical devices.

No, it's not a dream — just FDA user fees.

Congress has until Sept. 30 to reauthorize the user fees that fund the Food and Drug Administration regulators who approve new drugs and medical devices. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will mark up its bill on Wednesday. The House Energy and Commerce's Health subcommittee is also expected to hold its markup soon.

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Both parties want to renew the user fee agreements, but unresolved issues remain concerning the right balance between getting new drugs and devices approved quickly versus making sure they're safe.

The consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, which is close to Democrats, wrote to lawmakers recently expressing its opposition to the House draft bill because of provisions that would “weaken the oversight of these products, endangering the health and lives of patients.”

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Energy and Commerce Committee marks up legislation to achieve the $97 billion in deficit savings required under Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanMcCarthy faces pushback from anxious Republicans over interview comments Pelosi and Trump go a full year without speaking Jordan vows to back McCarthy as leader even if House loses more GOP seats MORE's (R-Wis.) budget.

On Wednesday, two subpanels of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hold a twin hearing on whether the government is adequately protecting taxpayers from Medicaid fraud. Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyBarrett confirmation stokes Democrats' fears over ObamaCare On The Money: Power players play chess match on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi bullish, Trump tempers optimism | Analysis: Nearly 1M have run out of jobless benefits Grassley: Voters should be skeptical of Biden's pledge to not raise middle class taxes MORE (R-Iowa), ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Michele BachmannMichele Marie BachmannEvangelicals shouldn't be defending Trump in tiff over editorial Mellman: The 'lane theory' is the wrong lane to be in White House backs Stephen Miller amid white nationalist allegations MORE (R-Minn.) will testify.

Also on Wednesday, Ryan holds a hearing on “replacing the sequester.”

On Friday, the Ways and Means subcommittee on Health holds a hearing on Medicare premium support models, such as Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) proposal in the budget the House adopted last month.

Finally, Friday is also the deadline for the Obama administration to respond to House Republicans' questions about the money the IRS is spending to implement Obama's healthcare reform law.

Off Capitol Hill, the Medicare trustees release their report on Medicare's finances on Monday.

The conservative American Enterprise Institute holds a forum on “The Future of Medicare: A Reality Check” Tuesday morning. Sens. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrAs Trump downplayed the virus publicly, memo based on private briefings sparked stock sell-offs: NYT Hillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns Bipartisan representatives demand answers on expired surveillance programs MORE (R-N.C.) and Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnDemocrats step up hardball tactics in Supreme Court fight COVID response shows a way forward on private gun sale checks Inspector general independence must be a bipartisan priority in 2020 MORE (R-Okla.) will participate.

Starting Wednesday, the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America — aka the Big “I” — holds its annual Legislative Conference and Convention.

Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) of the House Ways and Means Committee will address the group at noon on Wednesday. Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneEnsuring more Americans have access to 5G technology Pence won't preside over Barrett's final confirmation vote Gaffes put spotlight on Meadows at tough time for Trump MORE (R-S.D.), the chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, and Rep. John BarrowJohn Jenkins BarrowRepublican wins Georgia secretary of state runoff to replace Kemp The most important runoff election is one you probably never heard of Our democracy can’t afford to cut legal aid services from the budget MORE (D-Ga.), co-chairman of the Blue Dog Coalition, follow suit on Thursday starting at 7:45 a.m.