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.