Michael Burgess

Michael Burgess


Burgess: 'I Want to Make Sure We Are Doing Everything in Our Power to Stop Ebola'


Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), vice-chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, today delivered the following opening statement at a hearing to examine the U.S. response to the Ebola crisis, which has afflicted three people at a hospital just 35 miles from Burgess’ North Texas Congressional district:

America’s response to the Ebola Virus Disease is not a political issue. This is a public health crisis and a dire one at that. The frightening truth is that we cannot guarantee the safety of our health care workers on the front lines of response. 

In West Africa, there have been 416 healthcare workers who have contracted Ebola. 233 of them have died. That is a 56% mortality rate. 

As of today, two health care workers contracted Ebola in the United States. According to the CDC, they were exposed to the virus before Mr. Duncan, Patient Zero, was diagnosed. In turn, the focus must now be on preparedness for hospitals around the country. 

Indeed, we must learn from the current situation at Texas Presbyterian and use any information we can gather to help better prepare other hospitals around the country. 

We are here today because we need answers to our questions about both the CDC’s and the Administration’s flawed responses. While I believe the CDC had protocols in place, it seems to me there was a breakdown in the communication between the CDC and hospitals around the country.   

This past August, the Inspector General at the Department of Homeland Security issued a report on personal protective equipment and antiviral medical countermeasures. 

They found that, and I quote, “The Department of Homeland Security did not adequately conduct a needs assessment prior to purchasing pandemic preparedness supplies and then did not effectively manage its stockpile of pandemic PPE and antiviral medical countermeasures.” This illustrates just how unprepared we may still be.

Drugs companies are stating that they will have basic information on the efficacy of their drugs and vaccines by the end of the year. The end of the year is too late. We have been actively funding research on vaccinations and drug treatments for over a decade, but now the time to perform is now. When will these protocols be expedited?

Relevant agencies have the statutory authority to quarantine and isolate individuals who are infected with or carrying an infectious communicable disease. 

Secretary Burwell has this authority which is enumerated in the Public Health Service Act. When will this authority be used?
Numerous laws have been passed in the past decade to better prepare us for an outbreak of infectious illness, to increase coordination, and to fast- track drug development. The Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Dr. Lurie, has been notably absent. 

I have a long-standing relationship with Texas Presbyterian. This crisis is in my back yard. I want to make sure we are doing everything in our power to stop Ebola.

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Congressman Burgess Statement on the Death of Texas Ebola Patient


Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) today issued the following statement after officials at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital confirmed the death of Thomas Eric Duncan:

“I am saddened to learn of the death of Mr. Duncan, the Texas Presbyterian patient in Dallas who had been fighting Ebola. This is a reminder of the dangerous and deadly nature of this disease. It also underscores why everyone involved in the Ebola response, both at home and abroad, must remain vigilant when it comes to rigorous infection control and exposure protocol.”


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Suspicion Confirmed: Patient Tested Positive for Ebola in Dallas


Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) today issued the following statement after officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first case of Ebola has been diagnosed in the United States at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Texas, just 35 miles from Burgess’ North Texas Congressional district:

“Unfortunately, the inevitable has occurred. In this global age in which we live, this type of spread was very likely with an epidemic of this size and scope. The scale of this outbreak is unprecedented. More than 6,000 people are confirmed to be infected, and this number is known to be greatly underreported. While our country’s infection control capabilities and isolation techniques to contain the virus are strong, the seriousness of this virus and the ease with which it may be contracted makes intense vigilance in the monitoring of local contacts critical. 

“As a physician, I was concerned by this long before it was front page news and received numerous briefings with those tacking the outbreak, including the director of the CDC. I am concerned in particular with the disproportionate number of health care workers who were infected with this disease by working on the front lines. I was fully briefed on this specific situation just moments after the news broke, and I will remain in close contact with officials there in the coming weeks and months. 

“This is a grave situation that requires all hands on deck.”  

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Burgess' MD CARE Act Signed Into Law


Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) today announced that his legislation to improve care for patients with muscular dystrophy has been signed into public law.

H.R. 594, the Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Community Assistance, Research and Education Amendments of 2014, also known as the MD CARE Act, was enacted in 2001 and reauthorized in 2008. Burgess and other members of the House and Senate added amendments to further update and improve upon what was already successful legislation. 

“This is a true success story,” Burgess said. “In patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy alone, the MD CARE Act has increased the lifespan of patients by about 10 years on average. It has dramatically improved and standardized clinical care, which helps drive better patient outcomes.” 

The MD CARE Act is responsible for enhancing research efforts to focus on cardiac, pulmonary and other systems of importance to muscular dystrophy patients. It updates existing care standards and fills gaps to focus on how to properly care for muscular dystrophy patients and intensifies existing tracking of various forms of muscular dystrophy. Finally, it ensures this data informs the research agenda.

“It was always my goal as a physician to help save lives and alleviate pain and suffering, and I wanted to continue to do that in my capacity as a member of Congress,”
Burgess continued. “Seeing this important legislation become law, knowing it will significantly improve lives, is a victory for health care professionals, medical researchers and muscular dystrophy patients everywhere.”

For more information, click here

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Burgess Opening Statement "21st Century Cures: Examining the Regulation of Laboratory Developed Tests"


Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), vice chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, today issued the following opening statement at a hearing titled “21st Century Cures: Examining the Regulation of Laboratory Developed Tests”:

I have attended every Cures event in DC and several across the nation.

Repeatedly we hear of the potential of genomic medicine to understand illness, quickly diagnosis it and target treatment. This has been embraced in a bipartisan manner.

I strongly believe in this potential. Here’s an example:

A few months ago, CDC briefed my staff on an emerging global health threat in the form of a virus. They had sequenced the virus, provided information to researchers and even knew where in the particular country’s jungle the virus originated. It was impressive to say the least.

Here’s one more: Back in 2009, H1N1, a subtype of the Influenza A virus, spread rapidly.  

During the first week of the outbreak, 16 laboratories had LDTs that could identify H1N1 from other H1 viruses.  Most results were available within 24 hours. The speed helped inform public health reactions.  

The FDA had no approved commercial kit. If they had, under the proposed framework – even if it was 15 years old and inferior – these LDTs would have been blocked from doctors and public health officials. 

FDA regulation of tests like these will be burdensome and will slow the ability of clinical laboratories to develop tests that can allow us to respond to public health crises. It is also duplicative – Congress already established a regulatory framework applicable to labs and laboratory testing, known as CLIA. 

However, I have conceded additional review of certain tests may be warranted.  Previously, I introduced legislation to meet patient needs and ensure tests are accurate, reliable and clinically valid by making improvements to CLIA.

I authored section 1143 of the Food Drug Safety & Innovation Act so we would be able to discuss how patients, the practice of medicine, innovation and the economy would all be harmed if FDA tried to fit LDTs into the misaligned definition of medical device.
I fundamentally believe FDA has no statutory authority to regulate LDTs.

For FDA to have jurisdiction, it must be a traditional device and be commercially distributed among states. LDTs do not fall under either category.  

Professional medical services are not regulated by FDA. 

If they start to be, we are effectively opening the door to the federal regulation of the practice of medicine. I adamantly reject and will vehemently oppose that notion.

In addition to these significant jurisdictional issues, the process FDA is considering is of great concern. Even if the courts determined FDA authority over LDTs, the agency would need to amend its current regulations through rulemaking.  

The FDCA, the Administrative Procedures Act and the Supreme Court all require disseminating rules to modify current regulation or to create legally enforceable regulations. 

Instead, the FDA continues on its jurisdictional power grab by attacking innovation, threatening professional practice and risking countless jobs in order to claim authority over all they see. They are doing this even at the expense of allowing the core mission of the FDA to suffer as a consequence. 

I can’t think of a worse result: denying patients and doctors innovative tests while redirecting resources that could be used to approve the next miracle medical device or drug.

I thank you for the hearing and yield. 

For more information on this hearing, click here

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Burgess Statement on Gov. Rick Perry Indictment


Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) today issued the following statement in response to the indictment of Texas Governor Rick Perry for allegedly abusing his power by threatening to veto funding for a state anti-corruption unit after District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg (D) refused to resign following her arrest for drunken driving:

“Governor Perry acted well within his rights by exercising veto power in direct response to criminal activities of a county district attorney. This indictment is intended to harm Perry’s career and reputation as he wraps up his tenure as our state’s longest serving Governor.  Perry has served Texas well – our economy is booming, more businesses move to Texas from other locations around the country every month, and his response to the immigration crisis at our border shows leadership and integrity.  It is time we focus on more important issues – like jobs and the economy – and commend Perry for the positive work he has done as Governor of Texas.”

For more on this issue, click here

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Burgess Introduces Legislation to Send Military Supplies to Ukraine


Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) on Thursday introduced legislation to supply the Ukrainian government with supplies and equipment to aid in their continued struggle against the Russian separatist army.

Burgess, who serves on the Helsinki Commission and recently traveled to Ukraine, said it has become increasingly clear the Ukrainian army is in dire need of supplies. 

“The Obama administration has done nothing to help the Ukrainians when they need it most,”
Burgess said. “We have yet to supply Ukraine with the requisite equipment, despite a request to do so by President Poroshenko. Ukraine is our ally; we need to start treating them as such. After all, a strong and free Ukraine is in the best interest of the United States.”

The bill, H.R. 5315, would create a lend-lease program in which the U.S. government would lease specific military equipment and supplies that is coming back from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to Ukraine. The legislation states unequivocally that no part of this should be construed as an Authorization for Use of Military Force. 

“As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan draw to a close, the equipment that was used is coming back to the U.S. in droves,” Burgess continued. “There would be no better use of these weapons and supplies than to lease them to those who are in dire need: the Ukrainian government.”


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MEDIA ADVISORY: Burgess to Host Town Hall Meetings Next Week


Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) today announced he will host two town hall meetings in the 26th District next week. They will be held on August 4 in Little Elm and August 5 in Trophy Club.

WHAT: Town Hall Meetings
WHEN: Monday, August 4, 2014 and Tuesday, August 5, 2014 from 7-8:30 p.m.
MONDAY: Little Elm High School Auditorium -- 1900 Walker Lane, Little Elm, TX 75068
TUESDAY: Byron Nelson High School Auditorium – 2775 Bobcat Blvd., Trophy Club, TX 76262

Dr. Burgess will discuss what he has been working on in Congress and answer questions from constituents. 

More information may be found on Dr. Burgess’ official website homepage at www.burgess.house.gov.
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Burgess Expresses Concern with FDA Guidance on Laboratory Developed Tests (LDTs)


Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), vice chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, today responded to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) notification to Congress that it will release draft guidance to regulate laboratory developed tests (LDTs) with the following statement:

“Applying FDA’s regulatory approach to LDTs is redundant, will stifle innovation and will require additional taxpayer funding for the FDA. To the extent concerns about ‘higher-risk’ tests exist; these can be addressed at no cost to the government through a modernization of The Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA). 

“Given the negative impact these policies – if pursued – could have on innovation, I am glad I was able to secure this notification requirement within the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act of 2012. LDTs are not medical device products sold through interstate commerce. They are services provided only to the ordering healthcare provider and offered only by labs that validate and develop them. Professional medical services are not regulated by FDA. More importantly, the question of agency jurisdiction over LDTs has never been legally clarified.  LDTs neither constitute “medical devices” nor are commercially distributed among states – both requirements for FDA jurisdiction under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).

“FDA is the subject of much criticism from industry groups who are already under their jurisdiction. As such, they are overburdened and take too long to approve products, which increases uncertainty for companies and negatively impacts innovation, as well as patient access to new treatments and devices. If LDTs were regulated as medical devices by FDA, it would significantly tax an already overtaxed agency and stifle access to these important tests.

“The Energy & Commerce Committee is continuing to develop the 21st Century Cures initiative and explore how we can encourage innovation. We are also looking into ways to increase our ability to detect, treat and cure disease. I fear today’s move by the FDA moves in the opposite direction and I look forward to raising this issue often in the coming months.”

Burgess’ provision within the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act of 2012 ensured that FDA would have to give Congress 60 days’ notice and a full description before enacting regulations such as this one. For more information, click here

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Burgess, Nadler Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Protect Organ Donors


Washington, D.C. – Congressmen Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) today introduced the Living Donor Protection Act, a bill to promote organ donation and protect the rights of living organ donors.

“Every year, thousands of living Americans donate kidneys, livers, and other organs to save the lives of family members, friends, and complete strangers struggling with chronic, life-threatening illnesses,” the Congressmen said. “Organ donation cuts health care costs as much as two-thirds by reducing the need for dialysis and other expensive medical interventions to treat chronic illnesses. Yet, after taking this heroic step to save a life, living organ donors may unfortunately face discrimination when they try to take medical leave or buy insurance. Our bill would address that injustice.”

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) does not specify that living organ donors can take unpaid leave to recover from their donation and does not guarantee that donors will have a job waiting for them after surgery. Further, according to a 2007 study in the American Journal of Transplantation, as many as 11% of living organ donors experience difficulty securing or paying for insurance after their procedures because of discriminatory practices.

The Living Donor Protection Act would promote organ donation and protect living organ donors in three ways:

1)      Prohibits life, disability, and long term care insurance companies from denying or limiting coverage and from charging higher premiums for living organ donors; 
2)      Clarifies that living organ donors may use FMLA time to recover from the surgeries and procedures involved in their donation; and 
3)      Directs HHS to update their materials on live organ donation to reflect these new protections and encourage more individuals to consider donating an organ

“Rather than putting roadblocks in the way of living organ donation, Congress should encourage more individuals to become living donors and protect the rights of those donors to receive the insurance and medical leave they need,” the Congressmen added.

The bill has support from numerous groups that advocate on behalf of organ transplantation.

“The National Kidney Foundation commends Congressmen Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Michael Burgess (R-TX) for their leadership in expanding opportunities for living organ donation that will ultimately help reduce the national shortage of organs,” Bruce Skyer, National Kidney Foundation (NKF) Chief Executive Officer, said. “NKF has long-advocated for additional protections for living donors, including prohibitions against denial of coverage or charging higher premiums for life insurance, disability insurance or long-term care insurance.  NKF has also maintained that people should be able to donate an organ without fear of losing their jobs. The additional protections under the Family and Medical Leave Act contained in this proposed legislation will enable more people to give the gift of life by donating their kidneys. The NKF is grateful for Congressman Nadler’s living donation efforts and for Congressman Burgess’s ongoing leadership on transplant initiatives.”

“Living donors should not have to worry about or suffer financial loss as a result of their benevolence,” Dr. David Reich, chairman of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS) Legislative Committee, said. Dr. Alan Langnas, ASTS President,  noted, “The Living Donor Protection Act of 2014 represents another important step toward the full removal of financial disincentives for living organ donors. Representatives Nadler and Burgess are championing sensible legislation and we wholeheartedly support their efforts.”

“Living organ donation, the gift of a healthy organ given to a patient with kidney, lung or liver failure, is simply an amazing act of human kindness and part of the miracle of transplantation,” American Society of Transplantation(AST) President Dr. Daniel Salomon, M.D., from the Scripps Center for Organ Transplantation. said. “The Living Donor Protection Act of 2014 supports the future of this form of organ donation by considering the special needs of the living donors and protecting their best interests while they are making this wonderful gift to another human being in need. The American Society of Transplantation (AST) applauds the leadership of Congressmen Jerrold Nadler and Michael Burgess for introducing this important and necessary organ donor protection legislation.”

“NATCO is very pleased to have Congressmen Burgess’and Nadler’s continued understanding and support of organ donation and transplantation issues made even more apparent through the introduction of this legislation,” Organization for Transplant Professionals (NATCO) President Carrie Lindower said. “It will eliminate the punishment of denied coverage and increased premiums living donors too often receive for simply wishing to give the gift of life.  Additionally, it further supports living donors by making organ donation surgery a part of the Family Medical Leave Act as it should be.” 

“I strongly support Congressmen Jerrold Nadler’s and Michael Burgess’s Living Donor Protection Act of 2014,” David Cohen, chairman of the Public Policy Committee within the American Society of Transplantation (AST) said. “This is a common sense approach to protect and promote the gift of living organ donation here at Columbia University Medical Center and around the nation.” 

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Contact Information

2336 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-7772
Fax 202-225-2919

Committee Assignments

Energy and Commerce


After spending nearly three decades practicing medicine in North Texas I have served the constituents of the 26th District since 2003 in the United States House of Representatives.

I currently serve on the prestigious House Energy and Commerce Committee and in the 113th Congress, 2013 and 2014, will serve as the Vice Chairman of both the Subcommittee on Health and the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, and as a member of the Energy and Power Subcommittee. In addition, I am a member of the Rules Committee and the Helsinki Commission. In 2009, I founded, and currently serve as Co-Chair of the Congressional Health Caucus.

Because of my medical background, I have been a strong advocate for health care legislation aimed at reducing health care costs, improving choices, reforming liability laws to put the needs of patients first, and ensuring there are enough doctors in the public and private sector to care for America’s patients and veterans. I have played an important role in bipartisan efforts to ensure the safety of food, drugs, and consumer products, and have introduced legislation to strengthen our ability to stop dangerous products from coming into the country.

As a Member of Congress representing one of the fastest growing areas of the country, transportation is also a top priority. In 2005, I successfully amended the Highway Bill to include development credits, design-build, and environmental streamlining. During my time on Capitol Hill, I have worked to build, maintain, and improve the safety of our roads, bridges, air service, and transit in the North Texas region.

A fiscal conservative, I believe Americans deserve a federal government that is more efficient, effective, less costly, and always transparent. I follow a strict adherence to the Constitution, and oppose unnecessary expansion of the federal government’s control over Americans’ personal freedoms. Instead, I believe in giving people more control over their lives and their money.

During my time on Capitol Hill, I have earned a reputation as a problem-solver who seeks sensible solutions to the challenges Americans face and have received several awards including: the Guardian of Small Business award by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB); the Spirit of Enterprise award by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; and the Taxpayer Hero award from the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste; among others.

Today, I represent the majority of Denton County, and parts of Dallas County and Tarrant County. I was raised in Denton, and attended The Selwyn School, graduating in 1968 as valedictorian. In addition, I graduated with both an undergraduate and a master’s degree from North Texas State University, now the University of North Texas.

I received my M.D. from the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, and completed my residency programs at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. I also received a master’s degree in Medical Management from the University of Texas at   Dallas, and in May of 2009 was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Public Service from the University of North Texas Health Sciences Center.

My wife, Laura, and I have been married for 39 years. We have three children and two grandsons.

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