Michael Burgess

Michael Burgess


Burgess Leads Bipartisan Group in Introducing Bill to Improve Access to Maternity Care


Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) today led a group of bipartisan, bicameral members of Congress in introducing legislation to improve access to maternity care for patients in rural and under-served areas. 

The bill, known as the Improving Access to Maternity Care Act (H.R. 1209 and S. 628), aims to reduce professional maternity care shortages by incentivizing providers to practice in these rural areas to the tune of a $50,000 student loan repayment. In exchange, they would agree to two years of service in an area experiencing care shortages. The bill would create a maternity care health professional shortage (HPSA) designation. 

Burgess, who introduced a similar bill last year, was joined in this effort by U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WA), along with Congresswoman Lois Capps (D-CA).

The bill addresses alarming statistics, such as the fact that babies born to mothers who received no prenatal care are three times more likely to be low birth weight and are five times more likely to die than babies whose mothers received care. 

In Texas, there has been virtually no increase in the number of OB-GYNs trained since 1980, yet the population of women in the United States has increased by a quarter during that time. An alarming number of women who live in rural communities in Texas are more than 60 minutes away from a hospital offering perinatal services.

“Our bill not only takes an important step towards allowing American women and their families the access to the proper care they need, but it also includes common-sense incentives for physicians to serve these areas,” Burgess said. “As an OB-GYN, I can attest that this is the type of legislation that benefits both for the doctor and the patient – it’s a win all around.” 

"In Illinois, there is only one OB-GYN for every 3,660 women throughout the state, and many of our obstetric hospitals are understaffed," Kirk said. "Though 63 new ob-gyns are trained annually in Illinois, the number of retiring providers is just as high. This bipartisan legislation incentivizes providers to care for mothers and babies in areas where the care is most needed."

“The Improving Access to Maternity Care Act will identify areas of shortage and inadequate access to help target resources so providers can deliver the type of care that communities in Wisconsin and across our country so desperately need,” Baldwin said. “I’m proud to join this bipartisan effort to ensure that healthier pregnancies lead to healthier babies.”

“This bipartisan, common-sense bill will go a long way toward providing vital access to maternity care for women and their families,” Capps said. “I am proud to co-author this bill because as a nurse, I know firsthand the critical importance of providing early quality health care to expecting mothers, especially in under-served areas. Specifically, this bill will help ensure that we’re properly identifying maternal health provider shortage areas, and increasing access to high quality providers in those communities.”

“Access to quality maternal care is essential for healthy mothers and healthy babies in America. Unfortunately,in under-served parts of our country, expecting women face shortages of qualified maternity care providers, including OB-GYNs,” John C. Jennings, President of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said. “The Improving Access to Maternity Care Act will help respond to the needs of under-served American women and will bring more equality to maternal care in America.”

H.R. 1209 and S. 628 are endorsed by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM). 

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Burgess Reintroduces Health Savings Accounts Legislation


Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) today introduced legislation that would expand the use of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), which allow individuals to set aside funds for themselves and their families to help with the increasing cost of deductibles and out-of-pocket healthcare expenses. 

Currently, individuals are only permitted to purchase HSAs for certain insurance plans that are limited by how much one is able to contribute. Often, the limit is much lower than their deductible.

Burgess’ legislation would allow HSAs to be used more broadly, increasing patient choice in how their healthcare dollars are spent. 

“I have long been a proponent of expanding the use of HSAs, especially in light of how vastly the president’s health care law limits personal choice when it comes to paying for health care,” Burgess said. “This legislation allows individuals to use their own money more effectively and brings back an element of freedom when it comes to paying for health care.”

The bill, which is almost identical to the version Burgess introduced last Congress, would allow parents to set up HSAs for their children while allowing them to claim an after-tax deduction. It also raises the contribution limit to match the maximum out-of-pocket limit. In addition, it provides bankruptcy protections to HSAs in the same way retirement accounts are currently protected. 

“It is unfair for the federal government to further punish a person who has gone bankrupt by also taking away money he or she has carefully set aside for health care for themselves and their children,” Burgess said. “This bill is an important step in the right direction to help mitigate some of the problems that have arisen as a result of the president’s damaging health care law.”

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Burgess Responds to FCC Regulation of the Internet


Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, today issued the following statement in response to the announcement from the Federal Communications Commission that it will implement regulations of the Internet:

“The Internet for decades has been an open frontier for limitless free speech, innovation, creation, business and economic growth and, importantly, immeasurable amounts of free information at our fingertips. 

“The Internet is one of the very last spaces we can access in our daily lives without the burdensome intrusion of the federal government. Because it has not been regulated until now, it has been one of the success stories of our modern time in terms of boundless freedom, opportunity, diversity and innovation. Regulation of this space by unelected Washington bureaucrats is the nail in the coffin for American ingenuity. Sadly, because of the FCC’s ruling today, it is only a matter of time when the Internet – like everything else – is no longer a story of freedom and advancement, but of big government, divisiveness, red tape and consumer frustration that does nothing to improve American competitiveness and growth.”

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Burgess, Green Bills to Improve Trauma Systems Pass Committee


WASHINGTON, D.C – Congressmen Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) and Gene Green (D-TX) today announced two of their bills to improve treatment and access to care for trauma patients were reported out of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

The bills, the Trauma Systems and Regionalization of Emergency Care Reauthorization Act (H.R. 648) and the Access to Life-Saving Trauma Care for All Americans Act (H.R. 647), both address the issue of disparity within areas with access to proper trauma systems and those without, as well as closure of these systems.

H.R. 647 reauthorizes the Trauma Care Center Grants and Trauma Service Availability Grants. These programs are designed to provide grants to prevent further trauma center closures, address shortfalls in trauma services and improve access to and the availability of trauma care in underserved areas. H.R. 648 reauthorizes Trauma and Emergency Care Systems Grants. These programs are essential to ensure the coordination of trauma care delivery among trauma centers, as well as implement and evaluate innovative models of regionalized emergency care systems. 

“Following a trauma, a patient needs access to care as soon as possible – within the ‘golden hour,’” Burgess said. “But sadly, 45 million Americans lack access to a trauma center within this amount of time. As a physician, I know how important it is that we have adequate, fully developed and functional trauma systems in the U.S. To let another system atrophy and widen the disparity between areas with access to trauma systems and those without is unfair to patients who need urgent care when the unthinkable happens.”

“Reauthorization of these programs will help to prevent trauma center closures, facilitate the development of more efficient regionalized systems of care, and improve our ability to save lives,” Green said. “Trauma can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. The importance of a robust and efficient trauma care system and quality trauma centers is an issue we where we can come together to ensure that all Americans have access to care when their life depends on it.” 

This legislation has been endorsed by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons, the American Burn Association, the American College of Emergency Physicians, the American College of Surgeons, the American Trauma Society, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, Association of Critical Care Transport, The American Heart Association, American Stroke Association, Emergency Nurses Association, Society of Trauma Nurses, American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma, National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, The Orthopedic Trauma Association and the Trauma Center Association of America.

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Texas House Republicans Joint Statement in Response to Rules Committee Exchange Between Burgess and Hastings


Washington, D.C. – Texas House Republicans, in a show of solidarity, today issued the following joint statement in response to disparaging comments about the state of Texas made Monday by Congressman Alcee Hastings (D-FL) to Congressman Michael Burgess (R-TX) during a House Rules Committee hearing on legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act:

“Don’t mess with Texas.” 

Today’s statement, #DontMessWithTexas, was made by Congressmen Louie Gohmert, Ted Poe, Will Hurd, Sam Johnson, John Ratcliffe, Jeb Hensarling, Joe Barton, John Culberson, Kevin Brady, Michael McCaul, Michael Conaway, Mac Thornberry, Randy Weber, Bill Flores, Randy Neugebauer, Lamar Smith, Pete Olson, Kenny Marchant, Roger Williams, Blake Farenthold, Michael Burgess, John Carter, Pete Sessions, Brian Babin and Congresswoman Kay Granger. 

In addition to issuing the statement, the members also called on Congressman Hastings to apologize to the citizens of Texas for his comments, which can be found here. More information on Monday’s Rules Committee hearing may be found here

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Burgess' Priorities Included in 21st Century Cures Initial Discussion Document


Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, today issued the following statement in response to the release of the initial discussion document that outlines proposals that are part of the 21st Century Cures initiative, which includes 10 measures that originated in Burgess’ office:

“As a physician, my mission first and foremost is to find methods and treatments that will help alleviate human pain and suffering,” Burgess said. “Our 21st Century Cures initiative is one of the most comprehensive legislative concepts the Energy and Commerce Committee has ever taken on. I am pleased that the projects I have worked on – such as neurological research legislation, access to materials for physicians and interoperability standards for Electronic Health Records – are part of this effort.”

The 21st Century Cures initiative is an effort to take a comprehensive look at what steps the Congress can take to accelerate the pace of cures in America. It examines the full arc of the process, from discovery to development to delivery, to ensure we are taking full advantage of the advances made in science and technology to keep America the innovation capital of the world. 

Last week, Burgess introduced three pieces of legislation as part of the Cures initiative. More information may be found here, here and here

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Burgess Supports Boehner's Invitation to Israeli Prime Minister


Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, today issued the following statement on the invitation from House Speaker John Boehner to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before a joint session of Congress next month:

“A strong and stable Israel is in the best interest of the United States, and we must and will do all we can to aid our longtime ally in fighting the dangerous threat of radical Islam. For that reason, I am fully supportive of Speaker Boehner’s invitation to Prime Minister Netanyahu and I look forward to hearing him address the Congress in February. I also agree with the Speaker’s criticism of President Obama for threatening to veto sanctions against Iran for refusing to end its nuclear program. Failing to support our allies is a bad strategy and should never be an option.”

Proposed legislation that would sanction Iran in case negotiations to end its nuclear program fail has been supported by members of both parties, including Burgess. Burgess’ statement refers to a section of President Obama’s State of the Union address on January 21 in which he vowed to veto this legislation. The White House has criticized the Speaker’s invitation as a breach of protocol because he did not first consult the Obama administration. 

For more on Burgess’ stance on this issue, click here

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Burgess Introduces Bill to Ensure DOD Has Sole Drone Strike Authority


Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, today introduced legislation that would remove any authority the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) has to carry out drone strikes abroad and transfer that power solely to the Department of Defense (DOD).

The legislation, H.R. 466, is in response to the intelligence community’s practice of keeping drone strike authority within their purview and thus limiting the authority of the armed forces to carry out these missions.  

Burgess, who introduced identical legislation in the 113th Congress, said the best use of our CIA is to gather intelligence for the DOD’s use and not to act as a paramilitary organization with authority to conduct its own missions.

“The emphasis that the CIA has placed on carrying out drone strikes abroad dangerously blurs the lines of jurisdiction between it and the military,” Burgess said. “Acting as an arm of the military goes against the mission statement of the CIA, but worse, it could impair the agency’s ability to conduct its most vital undertaking, which is to gather intelligence.”

To read more about this legislation, click here

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Burgess Says Speeches by the President and Texas Governor are 'A Study in Contrasts'


Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, today issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s State of the Union address:

This morning, I was in the audience in my home state of Texas as our new governor, Greg Abbott, delivered his inaugural address. This evening, I was in Washington as our president delivered his sixth State of the Union address. 

The marked differences in their speeches – and their approaches to governing – come as no surprise. On the one hand, Texas is an economic success story; on the other, the policies of this administration continue to present persistent headwinds to the vitality of the U.S. economy. 

Consider the contrasts: Governor Abbott pointed out that Texas is number one in job creation. President Obama still refuses to build the Keystone pipeline, which would create thousands of new jobs. 

Governor Abbot stressed that the government is the servant of the people, not the other way around. President Obama continues to dismiss the separation of powers and govern by executive order. 

Governor Abbott said Texans are tired of seeing our state sovereignty and the rule of law ignored by a federal government that refuses to secure our border. President Obama acted unilaterally to turn the Texas border from “porous” to “wide open,” endangering the lives of tens of thousands of innocent children in the process.

Governor Abbott said he will place a greater value on hiring excellent teachers in our schools. President Obama, by contrast, has a plan to spend billions of tax dollars to make community college free for all, thereby diminishing the value of good vocational jobs.

Governor Abbott described the rags-to-riches assent of successful Texans like Dan Duncan and Colleen Barrett. President Obama described his plan to issue even more government handouts, thereby removing the dignity that comes from hard work and the hope to one day achieve more than we are born with. 

Governor Abbott ended his speech by saying that even the future is bigger in Texas. Under the policies of President Obama, all that is bigger are our taxes, our deficit and our ideological differences. Until the Obama administration adopts the “Texas model” of economic governance, we can only expect more of the same.

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Burgess Introduces Medical Testing Availability Act


Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, on Tuesday introduced bipartisan legislation that would allow manufacturers of “Research Use Only” products without over-burdensome regulation from the Food and Drug Administration. The bill was co-authored by Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA). 

The Medical Testing Availability Act, H.R. 298, would prohibit the implementation of previously proposed regulatory changes to medical testing products the FDA designated for “Research Use Only.” The bill would enshrine in law correct practice allowing communications among customer service and technical support entities between the drug or testing product’s manufacturer and the user of the product on “Research Use Only” materials.

“Incredible advances in personalized medicine hold great potential for patients and healthcare providers to detect, diagnose and treat disease,” Burgess said. “But physicians and medical professionals must be able to access them in order to provide the best care for their patients. Our bill is an important step towards improving medical innovation in the United States and, ultimately, finding cures to ailments that affect thousands of Americans each year.” 

“This narrowly tailored bill strikes a clear balance between the important developments in personalized medicine and the rights of patients to safely explore new care options,” Speier said. “The potential for personalized medical care is limitless. With new technologies developed in many companies in my district, we are experiencing an information revolution in patient diagnostics. Every patient is an individual. By supporting this growing industry, we can ensure doctors of the future have access to the best information possible to treat their patients. I am proud to work with my colleague Congressman Burgess on this bipartisan effort.”

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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.

Serving With

Louie Gohmert


Ted Poe


Sam Johnson


John Ratcliffe


Jeb Hensarling


Joe Barton


John Culberson


Kevin Brady


Michael McCaul


Michael Conaway


Kay Granger


Mac Thornberry


Randy Weber


Bill Flores


Randy Neugebauer


Lamar Smith


Pete Olson


Will Hurd


Kenny Marchant


Roger Williams


Blake Farenthold


John Carter


Pete Sessions


Brian Babin


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