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Prior to being entrusted with representing the constituents of the 26th District in the House of Representatives, Congressman Michael Burgess, M.D. practiced medicine as an obstetrician for 30 years.
Congressman Burgess serves on House Energy and Commerce Committee as the chairman of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, in addition to sitting on the Subcommittee on Health and the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Congressman Burgess also serves on the Rules Committee and the Helsinki Commission, where he helps shape foreign policy through the monitor and compliance oversight of the Helsinki Accords. He is also the founder and co-chairman of the Congressional Health Caucus.
Congressman Burgess’ medical background gives him a unique perspective on health policy and legislation affecting health care. A tireless advocate for reining in rising health care costs, Dr. Burgess has fought to expand care options for patients, sensibly reform liability laws to protect patients’ rights, and ensure that we are educating enough doctors to provide proper care for civilians and veterans alike. His commitment to protecting patients’ rights and raising the bar for our standard of care can be seen in his votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act and his integral part in bipartisan efforts to reform the Food and Drug Administration.
Dr. Burgess has fought to repeal the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate since entering Congress in 2003, a goal that was achieved in the 114th Congress when both chambers overwhelmingly supported repeal. By voting to end a misguided policy that had been in place for almost twenty years, Congressman Burgess helped to ensure that seniors have greater access and better quality care from physicians, health care providers have more stable and predictable reimbursements, and buttress the fiscal health of the Medicare system as a whole.
Over the last two decades, North Texas has become an economic powerhouse and served as an example for the rest of the country in weathering and recovering from the mortgage crisis. As a result, the 26th District is part of one of the fastest growing regions in the country. Congressman Burgess recognizes that growth cannot happen without infrastructure and in 2005 amended the Highway Bill to provide for development credits, design-build, and environmental streamlining. As an advocate for his constituents and the region as a whole, he has consistently worked to improve the efficiency and safety of the roads, highways and air service in North Texas.
A fiscal conservative, Congressman Burgess knows that a more efficient, effective, and transparent government can be achieved through measures that reduce both waste and our tax burden. He supports a flat tax and has introduced a flat tax bill in every Congressional session in which he has served. Congressman Burgess also recognizes the primacy of Constitutional principles and opposes federal overreach that wrongly encroaches on our rights, freedoms, and lives. He recognizes that we deserve more control over our lives and wallets.
Dr. Burgess believes that turning a blind eye towards immigrants who come to our country illegally is a disservice to those that seek to do so in accordance with our laws, and has worked to secure our borders while strengthening our commitment to enforcing those immigration laws that are already in place. He is opposed to any attempts to grant amnesty to those whose first act in our country is to break the law.
Congressman Burgess is a proven problem-solver committed to finding common sense, workable solutions to the challenges that Americans face. Those traits were recognized by National Federation of Independent Business when they recognized him with the Guardian of Small Business award, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce when they awarded him the Spirit of Enterprise award, and the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste who named him a Taxpayer Hero, among many others.
Congressman Burgess proudly represents most of Denton County and parts of Dallas and Tarrant Counties. Denton is not just where he lives, it is where he is from.
Before going to Washington D.C. to represent the 26th Congressional District, Congressman Michael Burgess served his neighbors in North Texas as Dr. Michael Burgess. As a physician, Dr. Burgess focused on the wellbeing of his patients; as a U.S. Representative, Congressman Burgess continues in that commitment through sensible healthcare reform aimed at improving affordability and accessibility.
In 2009, Congressman Burgess founded the Congressional Healthcare Caucus and has served as the chairman since its inception. The Caucus’ mission is to serve as an educational resource to Members of Congress and their staff on healthcare issues. As a physician, Congressman Burgess has a unique perspective on healthcare issues and how best to address the many challenges that stand in the way of access and affordability to everyday Americans, and as your Congressman it is his goal to add his voice to your own in shaping healthcare policy.
Healthcare will continue to be a priority to Congressman Burgess in future sessions, just as it is in your own household. When President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law, Congress and the Ameriican people were presented with a massive government intervention in an already complex system, increasing costs, decreasing access, and breeding multiple new layers of government bureaucracy.
Congressman Burgess believes wholeheartedly that the repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the implementation of legislation that will actually reduce healthcare costs, increase patient choice, reform liability laws and ensuring that there are enough doctors to care for our families and neighbors is of utmost importance. We cannot accomplish those goals by inserting the federal government between you and your doctor.
The U.S. economy is the largest in the world. Many of the challenges that our fellow citizens face every day can only be addressed by a growing economy, and Congressman Burgess supports policies like health care and tax reform that encourage economic growth.
Out of control governmental spending is an enormous problem in our country and is the primary cause of our growing federal deficit. Congressman Burgess is a fiscal conservative and fights to restrain discretionary spending. Without a strong Congressional commitment to reining in government spending, future generations will be the ones who get the bill. Congressman Burgess will continue to fight for fiscal restraint and a balanced budget that still addresses the needs of our communities.
Our current tax system is in desperate need of reform. In every session of Congress in which he has served Congressman Burgess has introduced the Freedom Flat Tax Act, a bill which aims to simplify the American tax code and remove the many distortions and perverse incentives inherent in our byzantine tax code.
Small business is the fuel that makes the American economy go. Congressman Burgess is committed to getting the federal government out of the way of the small business owner by reducing the time spent on paperwork, compliance and taxes. The Congressman will fight for the entrepreneurs that stoke the American economy by reducing their regulatory burden.
Just as the promise of peace was shattered just a few decades after the Treaty of Versailles, so too it was again not even a decade and a half after the fall of the Berlin Wall. New threats face us in the new century: terrorism, nuclear proliferation, unconventional warfare, and local conflicts that threaten to spill over into regional conflicts. New threats call for new policies in defense of our nation, among which are reform of our intelligence agencies and armed services. Since being elected to the House of Representatives, Congressman Burgess has been fighting to maintain the U.S. armed forces as the strongest and most capable military in the world.
The turn of a century is a symbolic thing. The turn of the 21st century brought terrorism to the forefront of the American consciousness as over 3,000 lives winked out on live television. The American people have since taken the lead in combating terrorism worldwide, with hundreds of thousands of American men and women sacrificing time at home with their families to serve overseas and thousands sacrificing their very lives to make sure another September 11 does not happen again on American soil. Soldiers from the 26th District, alongside other units from Texas, have been continuing a long tradition of meritorious service to our state and nation.
Congressman Burgess believes that we must not lose our will to fight global terrorism, whether it is perpetrated by capable enemies foreign or domestic. Our enemies in this war do not respect the legal, cultural or moral structures that serve as the foundation for American society. They seek only to kill as many Americans and other citizens of modern, free nations in a misguided attempt to realize a world ruled by religious monomania. Congressman Burgess believes we will prevail in this fight because hope is stronger than terror and rage.
ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
While energy conservation and efficiency gains are a part of a responsible energy policy, our current alternative energy technology does not yet allow us to turn our back on domestic production of traditional energy sources. As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Congressman Burgess advocates for policies that ensure safe and affordable energy production that keep Americans working.
There are vast reservoirs of domestic energy sources that can power a surge of American economic growth. The United States currently imports almost 60% of its oil, much of it from nations whose actions and goals run contrary to our own. The further development of the oil fields in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Reserve and the Outer Continental Shelf is a critical component of a sound national energy policy. Responsible development of our natural resources, however, requires that we do so in a manner that protects our environment and ecology.
Alternative energy sources will play an integral part of our energy production in the future and the 26th District is on the bleeding edge of that future. Congressman Burgess is proud to represent a district that is home to a company that manufactures solar panels, another that makes wind turbines, a biodiesel plant powered by natural gas from a municipal landfill, and a school district that heats and cools its schools with geothermal power.
We should leave no stone unturned in our quest for energy independence. That is why Congressman Burgess drives a hybrid vehicle, has taken steps to improve the energy efficiency of his own home, and hosts an annual Energy Efficiency and Conservation Summit and Fair. Conservation allows all of us to make an impact on this country’s overall energy consumption. Every little bit counts, from keeping your vehicle tires properly inflated, installing energy efficient lighting, to buying EnergyStar appliances for your home. It’s a win-win… it doesn’t just save energy, it saves money.
Texas’ own Barnett Shale has been an important part of the U.S. moving toward cleaner sources of energy, sourced domestically, and providing jobs and affordable energy production. The Barnett Shale formation also ensured that Texans didn’t suffer from the recent recession to the same extent that many other states and regions did. Congressman Burgess believes in the responsible development of this critical resource, and has worked with state and federal agencies to ensure that air and water quality are monitored.
Over the past decade, immigration has become a crisis for our nation. With over one million immigrants streaming into our country every year, our education, terrorism, healthcare, and prison systems are being heavily burdened by this growing population.
I believe that we must begin to address our immigration problem by gaining control of our borders. A couple of years ago, the House of Representative passed a responsible bill, which will increase the number of border patrol agents along the southern border, as well as enhancing both the physical and virtual walls that are already in place. It is imperative that we as a nation be able to regulate who is coming into our nation and for what purpose. The current border situation is a threat to our nation’s security, and I am committed to addressing this problem.
When discussing immigration we must also look at the policies that our current immigration system now operates by. Congress must take a common sense approach when creating policy that aims at reducing illegal immigration, and we must be willing to place tighter controls on legal immigration. As a nation we cannot afford to implement an amnesty program, and as your Congressman, I will not support any legislation that proposes to do so. I am also a member of the House Immigration Reform Caucus which is made up of like minded Members of Congress that are dedicated to protecting our borders.
With your support I will continue to work towards a no-nonsense approach to our nation’s immigration problems. This work will be a time consuming process, but I am dedicated to bringing this crisis under control.
Over the past year, Congress has passed several large spending bills and bailouts and I proudly voted against all of them – enough is enough! Only 17 out of 435 Members of Congress that have voted “No” on all of the bailouts and I am pleased to say that I am one of those 17 Members of Congress. I opposed H.R. 5140, the Recovery Rebates and Economic Stimulus for the American People Act of 2008 ($145.9 Billion); H.R. 3221, the Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008 ($1 Trillion +); H.R. 1424, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 ($700 Billion); H.R. 7321, the Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act ($17 Billion) and H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 ($787 Billion).
I voted against these bills because I felt that they were examples of wasteful government handouts at the expense of the American taxpayers. Congress has a responsibility to help fix the cause of our current economic situation and hold those accountable for their actions. We cannot do that when we continue to reward failure. We have a duty to protect American taxpayers from more debt, higher taxes, and untold financial risk and we cannot fulfill that duty when we are irresponsible stewards of federal funds. You can rest assured that I will continue to oppose big spending bills which provide wasteful spending.