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Burgess during Budget Hearing: "Magnitude of the changes contemplated in this reconciliation package require the full input of Congress"

September 25, 2021

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), delivered the following opening remarks during today's House Budget Committee markup on the partisan reconciliation package the Democratic Majority is pushing through the House of Representatives.  

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As Prepared for Delivery:

"Today we are considering a bill that will fundamentally change life in America for every citizen. We marked up the Energy and Commerce portion of this bill over three days last week, and yet, no Republican amendments were adopted. This is a partisan product that will cost the American taxpayer $4.3 trillion over ten years. The Congressional Budget Office hasn’t even scored this entire package, and they likely will not finish that task for two to three weeks. This is not only bad governing but is also downright dangerous for the economic future of this country. Inflation remains a concern; pumping $4 trillion into this already hot market will practically ensure our economy overheats, requiring the federal reserve to raise interest rates on American families. 

"We are going to devastate our nation’s energy and our nation’s health care. This is an anti-energy bill; we should commit to making energy more reliable, more affordable, and more accessible. But this bill does none of those things. Recently, America became energy independent. This bill imposes a $1,800 per ton tax on methane and creates a Clean Electricity Payment Program (CEPP). The American Gas Association predicts this tax will add $100 a year to home energy bills.

"The CEPP aims to ensure that 80% of electricity generated in the U.S. comes from zero-carbon sources by 2030. This program will distort the electricity market by providing subsidies for wind and solar and penalizing electricity providers that cannot meet federally mandated standards. This will result in more expensive energy for average Americans, less reliability, and less resilience. 

"This legislation also contains some of the most significant changes to our health care system, crippling access, stifling innovation, and decimating the quality of care. This is one step closer to government-controlled health care where there is no patient choice, no consumer choice, and no escape. 

"The drug pricing provisions will force businesses and biomedical innovation to take the government’s price or be charged an excise task of up to 95%. What manufacturer would build capital in a country where their innovations may be subject to a 95% tax? The Congressional Budget Office found that H.R. 3, from which the provisions in this bill originated, would lead to 8 to 15 fewer drugs coming to market in the ten-year budget window, and more recent studies indicate it could be as much as 250. 

"Additionally, Democrats have decided to ignore the 60% of Americans who oppose taxpayer-funded abortions. This legislation makes no mention of the Hyde amendment and would significantly expand taxpayer funded abortions. A new federal Medicaid program, not subject to the Hyde Amendment, would be established for states that have not expanded Medicaid. Every state that has chosen not to expand Medicaid would now be forced to offer abortion as a federally funded service. 

"The magnitude of the changes contemplated in this reconciliation package require the full input of Congress, not just those on one side."