Friday, December 21, 2007

The Soapbox

North Texas’ Representatives during 2007:
Dr. Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (TX-26)
By Joe Shehan

The end of the first session of the 110th Congress is here. While under the leadership of the Democratic party and the first woman Speaker of the House, the U.S. Congress has received the lowest ranking in its’ history. Even rank and file Democrats are disgusted with this generation of Democratic leadership, however, wanting to dedicate time to this topic in another column, I would like to take a look at the local representatives in this column, and see if they were really worth sending back to another term in office. Therefore, I choose to start with U.S. Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. Republican, representing the 26th district of Texas.

For full disclosure it is important for you to know that I spent the last year working for Dr. Burgess in D.C. Now lets see what he has done.

During the first session of the 110th Congress, Dr. Burgess introduced 20 bills and 4 amendments for consideration, and missed very few votes on the floor and in committee. Of the bills introduced, the majority dealt with healthcare and health related issues ranging from physician reimbursement (H.R. 2585) to a fix for the current SCHIP bill (H.R. 1013). Congressman Burgess introduced legislation that would help raise funds for Veterans’ Healthcare through a Veterans’ postal stamp (H.R. 4116), and Dr. Burgess introduced legislation that would enact the Flat Tax (H.R. 1040), which would revolutionize the way taxes are collected, and would lessen the tax burden on the American people.

As you can see Congressman Burgess has been busy these last twelve months trying to create legislation that helps the American people and the people of North Texas. That being said, one piece of legislation that stands out to me is his most recent introduction; H.R. 4190, which amends title 5, U.S.C., to exclude Members of Congress from the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program. This legislation most likely has no hope of getting out of committee or even becoming law, but it is rooted in a genuine desire to force the hand of Congress to do something real to fix healthcare in this country.

Now for those of you out there who would like to use your tired rhetoric and accuse Congressman Burgess of doing nothing while in Congress, the above simply dispels these accusations. You can also look up the following link to see for yourselves.

Representative Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (TX-26) serves is district with distinction and grace. When uninformed constituents and ignorant, partisan bloggers began to attack him over SCHIP, Dr. Burgess took his case to the people of is district. He also, sat down at the table with the Democrats to try to reach a compromise. This was something that ate up a lot of his time, created great stress for him and his office, and bore very little fruit if any at all, but because of his desire to best serve the people of the 26th District he did it.

In an antagonistic Congress, where many Republicans flew the coop by retiring, Congressman Burgess stood up, worked hard for his district, and deserves the gratitude of those who are able to give it. You may not agree with his platform, or even agree with every vote Dr. Burgess casts, but the one thing you can’t say is he does not work hard for Texas 26. Congressman Burgess deserves two more years.

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