Unlike so much else in the 112th Congress, the package of legislation to authorize Food and Drug Administration user fee agreements is humming along. At a House markup last week, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., was one of many members who commended his colleagues for their ability to collaborate and compromise: "Consideration of this bill should be a model for legislative action," he said. The "UFA" legislation, as it's known, is nearly identical on the House and Senate sides, has passed through markups with nary a complaint, and looks set to pass months before the programs it reauthorizes are set to expire at the end of September.
In a session marked by so much partisan rancor, why are the UFA bills different? What can Congress learn from this process?