Twenty years ago, the United States of America faced a tragedy of unthinkable proportions.
The September 11, 2001, terror attacks were designed to break the American spirit and shake the very foundation on which we stand; however, just as Americans have always done, we found strength and unity and refused to let senseless violence cripple our resolve.
It was nearly impossible to believe what was happening in our country, on our soil, and to our fellow Americans.
We can all remember what we were doing during those very moments. I was in the middle of a surgery when a nurse burst in telling us the news. Every American’s life was changed as a result of that day. Twenty years later, we still have not forgotten the events of September 11th or the stories of heroism that followed.
Today, I encourage you to remember the nearly 3,000 Americans who perished in the 9/11 attacks and the thousands of brave men and women who continue fighting to defend our nation.
Now, due to the recent events in Afghanistan, we are reminded that there are still threats around the world. We must reaffirm our commitment to putting the safety and security of our nation and our people above all else. We need strong leadership that prioritizes America’s national security; it is the most important factor in guaranteeing our prosperous future.
I always appreciate your comments, concerns, and questions on this issue or any other issue.
May God bless you and your family, may God bless the United States of America, and as the song says, God bless you Texas.
Burgess during E&C mark-up: We should commit to making energy more reliable, more affordable, more accessible
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), provided the following opening statement at today's House Energy and Commerce Committee mark-upon the Democrats' $3.5 trillion Budget Reconciliation Bill.
As Prepared for Delivery:
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The Chairmen sitting in this room with the portraits of all of our former chairs are looking down on us.
What is interesting to know is with this committee, you [Chairman Frank Pallone] are probably the only one who was here when this committee marked up the Clean Air Act, it took eight months. We are hearing a markup on a bill today that will fundamentally change life in America for every American citizen for generations, and we are spending two days. This is a travesty, Mr. Chairman. Something of which really none of us should be proud of to have our committee and our committee's expertise be trampled in the way it has been by the Speaker of the House with this bill that we have in front of us today.
We are going to devastate our nation’s energy, our nation’s health, and health communications. And, where is our oversight on the office of refugee resettlement?
So, recently we saw the previous Administration of this country achieve energy independence.A goal that had been sought since the early 1970s. Energy independence was not just about energy; it was about security and our security of the world. But, the current Administration decided that is was no longer important, we could buy our wind and solar from Chinese companies, and if you did have to need a little natural gas, maybe the Russians would sell it to you through the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline.
This is an anti-energy bill that we are considering in front of us today. We should commit to making energy more reliable, more affordable, and more accessible, but this bill does none of those. This legislation contains some of the most significant changes to our health care system. What are we going to achieve? We are going to cripple access, we are going to stifle innovation, and heaven help us as far as quality. There’s been no public debate, there’s been no dialogue. This is one large step closer to government-controlled health care. Health care in which there is no patient choice, there is no consumer choice, and worst of all there is no escape.
Last, we are the committee with oversight of the Office of Refugee Resettlement. As recently as the month of July, we learned about the 100,000 people who came into our country without the benefit of any sort of normal process on our southern border. Now we have a severe strain on the Office of Refugee Resettlement with all of the Afghan refugees that need to be bought in, vetted, and carefully assessed before they are allowed to enter into society. But we’re not doing that, we’re not having any oversight, we’re not having any hearing. Mr. Chairman, I say that this is a travesty, this should stop. This bill should not become a law.
WASHINGTON - House Democrats and Republicans clashed Monday over a proposed fee on methane emissions that could cost the natural gas industry in Texas and other states billions of dollars a year.
Within their $3.5 trillion budget legislation, Democrats laid out plans to charge oil and natural gas producers $1,500 per ton of methane allowed to escape into the atmosphere, part of a wide ranging series of initiatives designed to address U.S. contributions to climate change.
In 2019 the Environmental Protection Agency estimated that through leaks and flaring the U.S. oil and gas industry released 91.5 million tons of methane, even as large companies like Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell have sought to rein in those emissions to address climate change.
"There is no time for delay This summer the communities of nearly 1 in 3 Americans were hit by an extreme weather disaster," said Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. "Natural disasters cost Americans a record-shattering $95 billion in damages last year and they are expected to be even higher this year. Bold action is clearly needed — the days of incremental change are long gone."
At a hearing before the House Energy committee Monday, the proposal drew strong criticism from House Republicans, who accused the Democrats of risking massive increases in energy costs that could wreak havoc on the U.S. economy.
"This is nothing short of an attack on America's energy system," said Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Lake Dallas. "It's going to determine the nations fate for decades to come."
The American Petroleum Institute, the oil and gas industry’s largest lobbying group, criticized the fee as a jobs killer, arguing instead for better government regulation on drilling over direct fees on industry.
President Joe Biden, with backing from the progressive wing of his party, has sought to get the United States on the path to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by midcentury to avoid the most dire outcomes of climate change.
But right now the nation remains hugely dependent on oil, natural gas and coal, requiring a huge investment in new clean energy technologies that is drawing push back from even some Democrats.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., a critical vote in an evenly divided Senate, told CNN Sunday that he would not agree to any budget package that exceeded $1.5 trillion.
"The numbers they're wanting to pay for it and the tax changes they want to make, is that competitive? Does it keep us competitive or not? I believe there are some changes made that do not keep us competitive," Manchin said.
In the meantime, Republicans have sought to carve a path on climate change where they call for reduced emissions but argue that the best path is to allow industry to develop new technologies unobstructed by government regulation.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Houston, described the methane fee as one of a long list of proposals by Democrats, "promising you'll take care of their every need because you supposedly care the most."
"It puts federal government in charge of energy production," he said. "It sucks money out of the free market and puts it in the hands of bureaucrats."
WASHINGTON – TheGOP Doctors Caucus released the following statement after President Biden announced he would sign two executive orders that mandate COVID-19 vaccines for all federal employees and for private businesses that employ over 100 people.
“For over a year, the GOP Doctors Caucus has been at the forefront educating the American people on the safety and efficacy of our COVID-19 vaccines and encouraging everyone to talk to their doctors to decide what is best for their personal situation. It is un-American for the federal government to mandate what personal health choices private businesses must require of their employees. Some have correctly perceived federal mandates as tyrannical. Personal health choices are just that, and private businesses should set their own policies. Health matters have generally been directed by the states; these new federal directives will and should be challenged. If this administration truly wants all Americans to receive the vaccine, it will immediately abandon this massive overreach and stop finding new ways to further politicize this virus. Here is the simple truth when seeking health information, Americans should not listen to politicians, cable news, or social media — talk to your doctor,” said the GOP Doctors Caucus.
Yesterday, President Biden announced his six-pronged COVID-19 Action Plan to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates and stop the delta variant. His plan includes mandating that everyone working at businesses with 100+ employees must receive the vaccine. This mandate creates confusion, fear, and opposition. The government has no place in telling businesses what they must require employees to do for their personal health. If this Administration truly wants to see the last 25% of Americans receive the vaccine, they will immediately cease in finding new ways to politicize this virus.
Today, the GOP Doctors Caucus released a statement in opposition to the two executive orders President Biden is planning to sign. Public health matters are generally directed by each state. Further, the Supreme Court has historically ruled that this is a state issue. There is no constitutional authority for this action to be done on the federal level.
Over the last year, the Caucus has been at the forefront educating Americans on the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines. The Caucus ended the statement with this simple fact: “when seeking health information, Americans should not listen to politicians, cable news, or social media — talk to your doctor.”
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will require staff within all Medicare and Medicaid-certified facilities to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
AmeriCorpsstarted the Public Health AmeriCorps in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in order to recruit and prepare teams to respond to public health emergencies, and help communities recover from COVID-19.
A study by the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) and the CDC found there is low risk of miscarriage after receiving an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
According to a study by NEJM and CDC, COVID-19 vaccines in the United States are highly effective in preventing COVID-19 related hospitalizations.
The CDC issued a study on long-term COVID-19 symptoms experienced by individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19.
The Department of Health and Human Services’ Combat COVID website provides resources for individuals interested in participating in clinical trials for COVID-19 research, learning about treatment options, and vaccine information.
The American Medical Associationreleased eight new Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes for providers dispensing COVID-19 vaccines.
Moderna and Novavax are both developing a combination COVID-19 and flu vaccine.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a health alert warning about the use of ivermectin to treat or prevent COVID-19.
A study conducted by the CDC found that those who contracted COVID-19 are nearly 16 times more likely to develop myocarditis.
According to a study from the CDC, nearly two thirds of adults with disabilities reported mental health concerns and substance use during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CDCcreated COVID-19 resources for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The CDC’sAdvisory Committee on Immunization Practicesadvises individuals16 and older to receive the fully approved Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. This recommendation was endorsed by CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.
The Food and Drug Administrationupdated the expiration date of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to nine months for doses maintained at an ultra-low temperature (-90°C to -60°C).
Johnson & Johnsonreleased new data showing the efficacy of its COVID-19 vaccine being used as a booster shot for those vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal conducted a study that found those fully vaccinated against COVID-19 appear to have a lower chance of contracting long-term COVID-19 symptoms than those not vaccinated.
North Texas Update:
Last week, Gov. Abbottannounced that the Texas Department of State Health Services will deploy 2,500 more medical staff to health care facilities in Texas.
August has been a busy month. I must first address what we have witnessed over the last few weeks in Afghanistan.
My thoughts have continued toturn to the families I met with who have lost loved ones due to the Afghan conflict. To the service members who fearlessly and honorably served our country in Afghanistan, your efforts were not in vain. You protected our country and for that we are forever grateful. If you or a loved one is a veteran struggling with everything that has transpired over the last month please reach out to the Veterans Crisis Line:1-800-273-8255.
What America and the world have witnessed over the last few weeks raises the question of whether this Administration had even considered contingencies for their plan to withdraw from Afghanistan. It still appears President Biden is more concerned about taking the political win than ensuring the number one mission of getting every American and our allies out safely. I pushed this Administration to abandon its August 31, 2021, withdrawal deadline. This deadline declared by the Biden Administration led to an ultimatum from the Taliban – not even a real government – that all American forces must evacuate by this date. The America does not answer to foreign governments, let alone foreign terrorist organizations.
America deserves a full accounting from President Biden and his senior advisors on why they chose to withdraw from Afghanistan in this manner and to explain how the situation became fatal.
I know and respect many who are calling on President Biden to resign or to be impeached are serious. I certainly understand the anxiety and gravity of the situation as it presents itself; however, the lines of Constitutional succession do not provide an actual remedy at this time.
My office will continue to do all that it can to assist those seeking to evacuate Afghanistan. Here are a few helpful things to note:
If you are a US Citizen or a Legal Permanent Resident requesting assistance in departing Afghanistan you must complete the Repatriation Form located at Repatriation Assistance Request. State officials will reach out directly to you. Please do not show up at the airport without instructions from the flight organizer.
State Department officials continue to expedite the processing of all Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) and are working with applicants and their immediate family. Officials have stated “it will continue every day past August 31st”. If applicants have questions regarding their pending applications they can email NVCSIV@state.gov.
Applicants who have received word that their SIV have been issued will either have been issued a visa foil in their passport or will have a foil-free visa. They should follow the instructions sent to them by the Department of State. We continue to pursue all options to relocate interested and qualified Afghan SIVs and their immediate families.
Applicants with KBL case numbers have received Chief of Mission Approval and an approved I-360 petition. Their visa application is in processing. They will be contacted by email when they are eligible for a relocation flight.
Applicants with NVC case numbers may not yet have Chief of Mission Approval. If they have received a Chief of Mission Letter but do not yet have a KBL number, the applicant’s next step is getting an approved form I-360 from USCIS. They should continue to submit their complete case to the National Visa Center if they have not already done so. It is unlikely we will be able to assist applicants with NVC case numbers in the next few days, but we are committed to continuing to move SIV cases as quickly as possible.
Individuals who do not qualify for an Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) may qualify for the Priority 1 and/or Priority 2 (P1/P2) Program administered by the U.S. Refugee Admission Program (USRAP). The USRAP administers the P1/P2 program for Afghans at risk of persecution due to their affiliation with the U.S. but who are not eligible for an SIV.U.S. government official looking to refer an Afghan national for a P-1 or P-2 can find more information here, and questions about these programs can be emailed to here.
AMARILLO, Texas (KVII) — Exploring new methods of how to market the oil and gas industry to the public is at the forefront of this year’s Panhandle Producers Royalty Owners Association convention in Amarillo.
“Oil and gas has a bad rap for no reason," said Judy Stark, President of the PPROA.
There’s a negative stigma about the oil and gas industry that it’s environmentally insensitive. To help create and increase the appreciation for oil and gas, industry leaders are hoping to build a public relations campaign.
“What we need to do is be able to have an audience to make people understand how fossil fuels are used in so many industries," said Stark.
“Bringing people to the table citizens, industry, landowners, everyone that’s associated that has an impact here in Texas to relay the facts of what our impacts truly are on the environment," said Jim Wright, Texas Railroad Commissioner.
Congressman Michael Burgess of Denton insists that the right messaging strategy needs to be pursued to show how the industry is not the bad guy when it comes to the environment and needs to receive more credit for the work it does for the environmental landscape.
“The United States, year-over-year, since 2005, every year with one exception, has lowered its carbon emissions since 1985," said Burgess. "There’s been remarkable improvement with the carbon emissions from the energy sector.”
“People do need to know that energy produced in this country is done with an eye toward how we improve our emissions profile and how we improve the affordability and reliability of energy locally," said Wright.
Businesses are posting more job openings but hiring isn’t keeping pace. A labor shortage started after the industry reduced jobs thanks to layoffs and cuts and is now scrambling to find a new workforce to hire.
“It’s really difficult to find people who want to come to work," said Stark. "We just can’t find workforce. Difficulties to find people to take a job right now is one of the biggest things that our industry is going through.”
Stark said it’s not just entry-level positions that are available.
“I’d say get out there now and start applying for great jobs. People need you. People want you," said Stark.
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), released the following statement on the announcement of U.S. military forces being fully withdrawn from Afghanistan while hundreds of Americans are left waiting to evacuate.
“I am horrified and heartbroken by the Administration’s hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan," said Burgess. "Simply accounting for every American service member leaving does not equate to accomplishing our primary mission of evacuating every American and our faithful allies. Completely withdrawing our military before our primary mission was complete puts the fate of remaining Americans and allies in the hands of the Taliban. The August 31, 2021, deadline declared by the Biden Administration led to an ultimatum from the Taliban – not even a real government – that all American forces must evacuate by this date. The American Armed Forces do not answer to foreign governments, let alone foreign terrorist organizations.
America deserves a full accounting from President Biden and his senior advisors on why they chose to withdraw from Afghanistan in this manner and to explain how the situation became fatal.