Michael Burgess

Michael Burgess

TEXAS' 26th DISTRICT

Texas GOP to Obama: 'A Country That Has Lost Control of Its Borders Has Lost Control of Its Future'

2014/07/24

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) today signed on to a letter to President Obama asking him to address the current national security and humanitarian crisis on the Texas border.

In the letter, which was signed by the entire Texas Republican delegation, the members wrote that only the president has the authority to stop the surge of illegal immigration by minors by enforcing current immigration laws.

The members asked President Obama to take five actions: suspend his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive order, end the policy that gives convicted criminal immigrants a free pass into the U.S., improve cooperation with local law enforcement agencies, crack down on immigration fraud and expedite the processing and removal illegal immigrants who are apprehended on the border.

“Your administration has used existing laws as an excuse for your failure to end the national security and humanitarian crisis on our southern border,” the members wrote. “However, the majority of immigrants apprehended at the border during this crisis can be legally repatriated immediately. Instead, you have permitted almost all to remain in the United States, further encouraging illegal immigration.”

Taking the five actions described in the letter will “save lives and discourage those you have enticed to enter illegally through your current policies,” the members concluded.

Burgess has been active on the issue of unaccompanied children on the Texas border. He traveled to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio to tour the facility holding the recent immigrants in June, and traveled to McAllen, Texas to tour the border and intake facility. As a physician, he has expressed concern about the health and cost of care for these minors and has repeatedly called on President Obama to strengthen his position on this issue and visit the border himself.

Last week, he introduced legislation that would direct the president to reduce foreign aid from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Mexico by $15,000 per child who originated from that particular country. 

A copy of the letter may be found here

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In Case You Missed It: Burgess Statement on Halbig v. Burwell

2014/07/22

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), vice-chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, today took to the House floor to react to the Halbig v. Burwell decision, which upheld a challenge to Obamacare health insurance subsidies being granted in the federal exchange.



Click here to watch. Click here to read his remarks as prepared for delivery. 
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U.S. Helsinki Commission Calls for Investigation, Accountability for Terrorist Act in Ukraine Separatist Region

2014/07/21

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), a member of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (the U.S. Helsinki Commission) joined the Commission in calling for unfettered access to the crash site of the Malaysian Airlines MH17, which is territory controlled by separatists in Ukraine. The members said this access will allow for the establishment of responsibility for the killings and will bring justice when said parties are held accountable.

“The downing of Malaysian Air flight 17 is an unspeakable tragedy. It did not have to happen and those responsible must be held accountable,” Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, said. “As we mourn for those lost and share our heartfelt prayers with the victims' families, I encourage international efforts to establish what happened and who was responsible. In particular, I welcome the efforts and courage of the OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission team which has made its way to the crash site. I am extremely disappointed to learn that they were forced to depart after a mere 75 minutes due to aggression by the Moscow-sponsored separatists.  
 
"This heinous crime is a direct consequence of Russia’s unjustified aggression in Ukraine which began with the annexation of Crimea nearly five months ago and has continued in two regions in eastern Ukraine, in violation of OSCE and other international norms. It is a direct result of Putin’s destabilization of Ukraine. The top three leaders of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic are all Russian citizens, and two of them are Russian intelligence operatives," Cardin continued. “Russia has continued to sponsor these terrorists with heavy weapons, equipment and men continuing to flow across the Russian border into Ukraine. If Russian involvement is confirmed, serious consideration needs to be given to designating the Donetsk People’s Republic a Foreign Terrorist Organization and the Russian Federation a State Sponsor of Terrorism.” 
 
Representative Chris Smith (NJ-04), co-chairman of the Commission, said, “Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the 298 innocent victims, including 80 children, who perished, likely at the hands of Russian operatives. I urge the President to vigorously work for full access for identification and removal of victims’ remains, and international investigation. The entire area should be treated as a crime scene as the plane appears to have been shot down by a surface-to-air missile launched from a separatist-controlled area. This follows a pattern of actions where the rebels have shot down Ukrainian military planes and helicopters, most recently a Ukrainian military cargo plane earlier this week, for which they took credit.”
 
“I am profoundly saddened and outraged at the senseless loss of innocent civilians on Malaysian Airlines Flight 17,” Burgess said. “I am extremely disturbed by the lack of access for international observers and first responders and by reports of looting and of people contaminating the crash site.  Not only must we be able to conduct a proper investigation, but the remains of the victims must be treated properly and with the utmost respect. I am also troubled by reports that there may be other efforts by the separatists and Russian authorities to cover up what really happened.”

Burgess recently traveled to Ukraine to monitor their elections. More information may be found here and here

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The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, is an independent agency of the Federal Government charged with monitoring compliance with the Helsinki Accords and advancing comprehensive security through promotion of human rights, democracy, and economic, environmental and military cooperation in 57 countries. The Commission consists of nine members from the U.S. Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense, and Commerce.
 
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Burgess Introduces Unaccompanied Children Assistance Control Act

2014/07/21

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) last week introduced a bill that would help the United States better handle the rising cost of the tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors who are crossing into the United States from Central America.

The Unaccompanied Alien Children Assistance Control Act, H.R. 5141, would direct the president to reduce foreign aid from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Mexico by $15,000 per child who originated from that particular country. The money saved by this bill could then be redirected to assist states with the rising costs of these children, as well as aid in border security efforts.

“President Obama’s open door policy on immigration has resulted in a huge strain on our system,” Burgess said. “With the number of unaccompanied immigrant children crossing into the U.S. expected to grow to six figures by next year, it is clear that something must be done to offset the tremendous cost that this crisis on our border is costing Texans and citizen of other states. The U.S. already gives generously in foreign aid to these countries, but we cannot continue to do so if our limited resources are dedicated to caring for these migrant children who have been sent to our country illegally. This bill is an important first step in dealing with the crisis that is before us in a common sense way.”

Burgess has been active on the issue of unaccompanied children on the Texas border. He traveled to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio to tour the facility holding the recent immigrants in June, and travelled to McAllen, Texas to tour the border and intake facility. As a physician, he has expressed concern about the health and cost of care for these minors and has repeatedly called on President Obama to strengthen his position on this issue and visit the border himself

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Burgess Statement on Lawsuit Against the President

2014/07/16

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), a member of the House Committee on Rules, today issued the following statement in reaction to today’s hearing to discuss a lawsuit against President Obama for his failure to enforce provisions of the Affordable Care Act:

“Today’s hearing was the first step in a deliberative process of determining whether or not the House of Representatives will move forward with litigation against the president for his failure to enforce key aspects of his health law. 

“While there are numerous examples of President Obama acting unilaterally and unlawfully, his delay of the employer mandate is the most straight forward example of his overreach and, therefore, the example that has the best chance of standing in a court of law. Today, we heard from a panel of distinguished legal experts from across the political spectrum. It is my hope they will guide us as we work through this process.

“This is uncharted territory and thus a novel concept. One body of one branch of government has never before sued another in a court of law. Today’s hearing was a fact finding expedition to hear legal theories that would allow such a suit.

“President Obama has made the Affordable Care Act his signature achievement. He campaigned on it. He wrote it. He signed it into law. And he defended it to the courts. For him to then turn his back on a core provision of it is surprising, unfair and harmful to American employers and families. But simply put, it is also illegal. By circumventing Congress and cherry picking which parts he chooses to enforce, he is legislating without the legislative branch. 

“I disagree wholeheartedly with the heath care law. I oppose the employer mandate because I think it is harmful to American businesses, insurers, doctors, patients and hospitals. But I still maintain that using this example of the president’s overreach is the best opportunity we will have to keep the powers of the executive branch in check and prevent erosion of our bicameral system of government. It is the duty of the People’s House, and I plan to do my part as a member of that body. And as Abraham Lincoln said, ‘the best way to end a bad law is to enforce it strictly.’”


For more information on today’s hearing and the lawsuit, click here

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MEDIA ADVISORY: Burgess, Lee, Schakowsky to Indroduce 'Audit the Pentagon' Bill

2014/07/16

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) will join Congresswomen Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) in discussing new legislation to encourage greater fiscal accountability and transparency at the Pentagon by imposing a 0.5% penalty for unauditable units while protecting funding for personnel and critical national security needs. 

The members will join Grover Norquist for a press conference tomorrow to introduce the bill.

WHEN: Thursday, July 17, 2014, 9 a.m. ET

WHERE: House Triangle

WHO: Congressman Michael Burgess (R-TX), Vice-Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittees on Health and Oversight & Investigations, and  member of the House Rules Committee; 

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), member of the House Appropriations and Budget Committees;

Grover Norquist, founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform, and

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. 

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Burgess: CDC Anthrax Exposure is a 'Fire Alarm' That Deserves Serious Attention

2014/07/16

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 issued the following statement regarding the recent breach of safety at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and the subsequent Committee investigation into the matter:

“The Centers for Disease Control plays a vital role in protecting Americans from dangerous outbreaks and bioterrorism threats. They are who the world turns to during a public health crisis. That is why it is all the more upsetting that a breach of safety occurred that could have harmed our finest medical researchers and scientists, who work tirelessly to protect the public from exposure of harmful pathogens.

“Despite the potential for danger involved, it is clear the CDC is taking the right steps to remedy this situation. They have created a high-level working group that reports directly to the CDC director. They have also suspended the transfer of biological materials until they can once again do so safely. But they must remain vigilant; this issue cannot be swept under the rug.

“That is why, when the exposure occurred in late June, I called for a Committee investigation into the matter. Indeed, the purpose of the Energy and Commerce Committee is to protect consumers and reduce public harm. We must continue to hold the CDC to the high standards we always have.

“Since more and more reports continue to surface indicating improper handling of biological materials, I urge the CDC to view this as more that a wakeup call, but a fire alarm that deserves serious attention.”


Burgess noted back in June that this issue deserves a congressional hearing. His remarks may be found here.

More information on today’s hearing may be found here.

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Burgess to Host Annual Energy Summit and Fair

2014/07/11

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (TX-26) today announced he will host the 2014 Energy Summit and Fair on Saturday, July 12, at the University of North Texas’ Discovery Park Campus. Local and state officials, as well as industry experts and businesses, will attend and speak at the summit and will highlight steps North Texans can take to become more energy efficient while saving on their energy costs.

The Energy Summit will bring together local leaders and industry experts to highlight steps North Texans can take to become more energy efficient and reduce their energy costs. In addition, there will also be a fair with booths providing energy-related information and resources, as well as displays featuring fuel efficient vehicles and a solar powered competition car.

“We must all do our part to become more energy efficient and strive for an energy independent America,” Burgess said.  “I invite you to join me as I bring together experts to discuss our country’s energy agenda, including the future of energy in America, ways Texas has lead the nation in many types of renewable energies and how recent federal policies will impact Texas.”

2014 Energy Summit & Fair
Saturday, July 12, 2014
8:00 a.m. to 12 noon

University of North Texas • Discovery Park 
3940 N. Elm Street • Denton, TX 76207

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Light Bulb Amendment Included in 2015 Energy & Water Appropriations Bill

2014/07/10

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), a member of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Energy and Power, today introduced an amendment to an annual spending bill that would ensure the federal government cannot mandate the type of light bulbs Americans choose to buy for their homes.

The amendment was included in the Fiscal Year 2015 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill, H.R. 4923, which will be voted on later today. Burgess’ amendment has been accepted for the past three years by voice vote and has been included in the annual appropriations legislation signed by President Obama each year since its first inclusion in 2010.

“With the extreme expansion of federal powers undertaken by the Obama administration and congressional Democrats, Americans have realized just how far the Constitution’s commerce clause has been manipulated from its original intent,”
Burgess said. “The light bulb mandate is the perfect example of this. The founding fathers never intended the commerce clause to be used to allow the federal government to regulate and pass mandates on consumer products that do not pose a threat to either human health or safety.”

The Department of Energy included language in the 2007 Energy Independence Security Act that would take away consumer choice as it pertains to which light bulbs consumers may buy. This amendment would ban the federal government from doing this.

“The bottom line is that the federal government has no business taking away the freedom of Americans to choose what light bulbs they purchase for their own homes,”
Burgess said.

The text of this amendment may be found here.

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Burgess Opening Statement "21st Century Cures: Modernizing Clinical Trials

2014/07/09

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, as prepared for delivery, at a hearing titled, “21st Century Cures: Modernizing Clinical Trials”:

“This country has set the gold standard for clinical trials; specifically, the rigorous investigative approach we require.

“However, that does not mean the bar cannot be raised to keep up with emerging science and new techniques in investigational review. 

“Failure to adapt could turn what was once considered the standard of excellence in regulation into an antiquated and out of touch system with the field it applies.

“One needs look no further than personalized medicine and the human genome for an example of this. We are approaching a time when treatments could be tailored for a person’s specific genetic code. 

“There is no way such a revolutionary approach to treatment could be evaluated in the same way as a single molecule drug meant for large populations.

“I appreciate the subcommittee asking the question: How can we build in more flexibility and innovation into the trials process so that these just-over-the-horizon therapies can make their way to patients?

“While these changes must always ultimately retain the integrity needed to ensure the end product is safe and effective, we cannot be caught off guard and risk watching innovative therapies suffocate at the hands of a regulatory system that has not kept up.”


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Contact Information

2336 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-7772
Fax 202-225-2919
burgess.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Energy and Commerce

Rules

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.


Serving With

Louie Gohmert

TEXAS' 1st DISTRICT

Ted Poe

TEXAS' 2nd DISTRICT

Sam Johnson

TEXAS' 3rd DISTRICT

Ralph Hall

TEXAS' 4th DISTRICT

Jeb Hensarling

TEXAS' 5th DISTRICT

Joe Barton

TEXAS' 6th DISTRICT

John Culberson

TEXAS' 7th DISTRICT

Kevin Brady

TEXAS' 8th DISTRICT

Michael McCaul

TEXAS' 10th DISTRICT

Michael Conaway

TEXAS' 11th DISTRICT

Kay Granger

TEXAS' 12th DISTRICT

Mac Thornberry

TEXAS' 13th DISTRICT

Randy Weber

TEXAS' 14th DISTRICT

Bill Flores

TEXAS' 17th DISTRICT

Randy Neugebauer

TEXAS' 19th DISTRICT

Lamar Smith

TEXAS' 21st DISTRICT

Pete Olson

TEXAS' 22nd DISTRICT

Kenny Marchant

TEXAS' 24th DISTRICT

Roger Williams

TEXAS' 25th DISTRICT

Blake Farenthold

TEXAS' 27th DISTRICT

John Carter

TEXAS' 31st DISTRICT

Pete Sessions

TEXAS' 32nd DISTRICT

Steve Stockman

TEXAS' 36th DISTRICT

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