Michael C. Burgess
|Michael C. Burgess|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 26th district
January 3, 2003
|Preceded by||Dick Armey|
|Born||Michael Clifton Burgess
December 23, 1950
|Alma mater||University of North Texas (B.S. and M.S.)
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (M.D.)
University of Texas at Dallas (M.S.)
|Committees||Energy and Commerce|
Michael Clifton Burgess (born December 23, 1950) is a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives representing Texas's 26th congressional district. In 2002, he defeated Scott Armey, the son of House Majority Leader and then-representative Dick Armey, in a primary runoff election. Prior to his election, he practiced as a doctor of obstetrics and gynecology. Burgess is a member of the congressional Tea Party Caucus, and he has been involved in the debates over health care reform and energy policy.
Early life, education, and medical career
Michael Burgess was born on December 23, 1950 in Rochester, Minnesota, the son of Norma (née Crowhurst) and Harry Meredith Burgess. He graduated from North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas) in 1972 and graduated from the medical school at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston in 1977. He completed a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas.
U.S. House of Representatives
Burgess, who had never held any public office and voted in the Democratic primaries in 1990, 1992, and 1994, entered in the 2002 Republican primary election to replace U.S. Congressman and House Majority Leader Dick Armey. His primary opponent was Armey's son, Scott. The district, comprising the majority of Denton County, was strongly Republican, and political pundits had predicted that if Scott Armey won, he was assured of at least a decade in Congress. Using the campaign slogan "My dad is NOT Dick Armey", Burgess touted the support of medical Political Action Committees and organizations like the National Beer Wholesalers Association. Burgess took second place in the primary behind Armey, finishing with 23% of the vote to Armey's 45%. Since neither candidate earned the required majority of votes, the election led to a primary runoff election. Before the runoff, The Dallas Morning News released a series of articles alleging that Armey used his influence as a judge to procure county jobs and contracts for his friends. The report hurt Armey's campaign, and Burgess won the runoff with 55% of the vote. He won the general election with 75% of the vote. He won re-election with 66% in 2004, 60% in 2006, 60% in 2008, 67% in 2010, and 68% in 2012.
Dr. Burgess won easy renomination to a seventh House term in the Republican primary held on March 4, 2014. He polled 33,727 votes (82.6 percent); intraparty rivals Joel A. Krause and Divenchy Watrous trailed with 6,406 votes (15.7 percent) and 696 votes (1.7 percent), respectively.
A member of the Republican Party and Tea Party caucus, Burgess is considered to be a conservative member of the House of Representatives. Through 2011, he had a lifetime rating of 93.59 percent from the American Conservative Union. Burgess is a signer of Americans for Tax Reform's Taxpayer Protection Pledge, wherein the signer pledges to:
ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses; and
TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.
Burgess is one of nine medical doctors in Congress, and one of seven in the House of Representatives. In May 2009, Congressional Quarterly noted that Congressman Burgess had "become a prominent voice on health care issues" in the U.S. House. Since the 111th United States Congress, he has chaired the Congressional Health Care caucus, of which he is the only official member.
As a member of the United States House Energy Subcommittee on Energy and Power, Burgess has been active in the debate over energy policy. In 2011, he submitted an amendment to the 2012 Energy and Water Appropriations Act to defund part of the act that established higher efficiency standards for household light bulbs. However, Burgess' claims that the standards represented a "ban" on conventional lightbulbs were rated as "Mostly False" by the fact checking website PolitiFact.com.
Impeachment of Obama
On August 9, 2011, Burgess met with a Tea Party group in Keller, Texas to discuss his vote to raise the debt ceiling. When a constituent asked if the House of Representatives was considering impeaching President Barack Obama, Burgess responded, "It needs to happen, and I agree with you it would tie things up... No question about that."
Comments on fetal pain and pleasure
While speaking in support of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act at a committee meeting on June 17, 2013, Burgess reasoned that abortions should be illegal after 15 weeks because he had seen fetuses commit intelligent behaviors involving both pleasure and pain, commenting that he had seen male fetuses place their "hands between their legs":
You watch a sonogram of a 15 week baby and they have movements that are purposeful. They stroke their face. If they are a male baby, they may have their hand between their legs. I mean, they feel pleasure. Why is it so hard to think they feel pain?
Although he never used the phrase specifically, Burgess' comments were widely regarded as referring to fetal masturbation, and they attracted national attention and controversy. According to other doctors, his statements were "not based on science" at the moment, since the evidence is not yet clear as to whether late-term fetuses are aware of pleasure and pain.
During a House Rules Committee hearing about Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban abortions 20 weeks after fertilization, Representative Burgess made an argument that a 15-week baby has movements that are purposeful. Burgess suggested that abortions should be limited to the first 15 weeks, rather than the proposed 20 because of the movements and "self-exploration", especially in male fetuses.
- Committee on Energy and Commerce
- Burgess, Michael (2011). Doctor in the House: A Physician-Turned-Congressman Offers His Prescription for Scrapping Obamacare – and Saving America's Medical System. Midpoint Trade Books. ISBN 978-1-936488-25-4. Retrieved 2011-11-16.
- "Congressman Michael C. Burgess M.D.". Retrieved 2012-06-15.
- Burgess, Michael (2006-07-26). One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain (Speech). Dallas, Texas. Retrieved 2012-06-12.
- "Rep. Michael Burgess (R–Texas)". Congressional Quarterly. Retrieved 2011-10-16.
- Michalski, Dan (2002-11-01). The Rise and Fall of Scott Armey. D Magazine. Retrieved 2011-09-13.
- "Michael Burgess Campaign Finance". Open Secrets. Retrieved 2011-09-13.
- "Republican primary election returns, March 4, 2014". enr.sos.state.tx.us. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
- "2011 Congressional Votes by Delegation". American Conservative Union. 2011. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
- "The Taxpayer Protection Pledge Signers 112th Congressional List" (PDF). Americans for Tax Reform. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
- "U.S. House: Taxpayer Protection Pledge" (PDF). Americans for Tax Reform. 2011. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
- Armstrong, Drew (2009-05-06). Luntz Shapes GOP Messages on Health Care. Congressional Quarterly. Archived from the original on 2009-05-14. Retrieved 2009-08-21.
- "Congressional Health Care Caucus – About". 2009. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
- French, Lauren (2011-07-15). "Michael Burgess’ Light Bulb Amendment Passes House". Houston Chronicle. Texas on the Potomac. Retrieved 2012-09-24.
- Selby, Gardner (2011-06-15). Seaborn, Jody, ed. "Michael Burgess Says Stores Will be Barred from Selling 100-watt Bulbs in 2012". Retrieved 2012-09-24.
- Batheja, Aman (2011-08-09). "Burgess meets with unhappy Tea Party group". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved 2011-09-13.
- Flock, Elizabeth (June 18, 2013). "Comments by Rep. Michael Burgess About Fetuses Masturbating Not Based in Science, Doctors Say". US News & World Report. Retrieved June 18, 2013.
- Stan, Adele M. (June 17, 2013). "Texas Congressman: Masturbating Fetuses Prove Need for Abortion Ban". RH Reality Check. Retrieved June 18, 2013.
- Abad-Santos, Alexander (June 18, 2013). Yahoo News "GOP Congressman Wants to Ban Abortion to Save Masturbating Fetuses". The Atlantic Wire. Retrieved June 18, 2013.
- Merlan, Anna (June 18, 2013). Yahoo News "Texas Congressman: Masturbating Fetuses Are Proof That Fetal Pain Is Real". The Atlantic Wire. Retrieved June 18, 2013.
- Kettler, Brooke (June 18, 2013). "Rep. Michael Burgess Says 15-Week-Old Male Fetuses Pleasure Themselves". ABC News. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
- Congressman Michael C. Burgess official U.S. House site
- Michael Burgess for Congress
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Biography, voting record, and interest group ratings at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at The Library of Congress
- Profile at SourceWatch
|United States House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 26th congressional district
|United States order of precedence (ceremonial)|
|United States Representatives by seniority