Michael C Burgess

House Democrats, Republicans Unite Behind Opioids Bill
Bipartisan measure now heads to the Senate

Oxycodone pain pills prescribed for a patient with chronic pain lie on display in Norwich, Conn. (John Moore/Getty Images)

The House passed consensus legislation, 393-8, on Friday intended to help combat the opioid crisis. The legislative compromise was finalized earlier this week, and now heads to the Senate for a final vote.

The two chambers came to an agreement on Tuesday, but made additional changes to the bill after the Congressional Budget Office initially estimated that the bill would increase the deficit by $44 million over the next 10 years.

Hospital Drug Discount Program Under Lawmakers’ Microscope
House panel to examine legislation Wednesday

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar was to address a conference of hospitals participating in a drug discount program facing Congressional scrutiny. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A House panel that has been scrutinizing hospitals’ use of a drug discount program will examine on Wednesday pieces of legislation that stem from members’ concerns over the discounts.

The Energy and Commerce Committee’s oversight panel has had two hearings in the past year on the program, known as 340B. The committee has requested information from hospitals that participate and in January published a report outlining ways the drug discount program could be better run.

Burgess Heckled At Town Hall About Children at the Border
Responds by blaming countries that migrants are leaving

Republican Rep. Michael Burgess gave multiple non-answer responses when asked about the separation of children and their parents at the border at a town hall in his North Texas district. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Rep. Michael Burgess was confronted by constituents in a town hall meeting in his North Texas district Monday about the Trump administration’s policy of separating child migrants from their parents at the border.

Speaking at Denton High School, constituents asked him about his stance on undocumented immigrants being separated from their children while they await prosecution, NBC5 reported.

House Prepares for Week of Action on Opioid Bills
‘Collectively these bills do not go far enough’

Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., participates in the House Democrats’ news conference on health care reform in the Capitol on Thursday, July 20, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House will begin a voting marathon Tuesday on 34 bills designed to address the opioid epidemic. While most are not likely to be contentious, two have previously stirred controversy.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., reserved about a week and a half of floor time to discuss opioid legislation. Additional bills are likely to be considered next week, such as four bill packages the House Ways and Means Committee approved with bipartisan support.

Committees Tackle Politically Powerful Issue of Opioids Legislation
Senate HELP panel advanced bipartisan package Tuesday

Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, chairs the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, which will consider over 60 bills to address the opioids crisis at a Wednesday markup. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House heads into a marathon opioid markup Wednesday, a day after the Senate health committee approved bipartisan legislation of its own addressing the crisis. Both chambers are eager to advance bills to combat the crisis under an aggressive timeline, with an eye toward demonstrating action before the midterms on an issue that affects voters representing most demographics and districts.

“Even though this epidemic is worse in some parts of the country than others, find me a congressional district where this isn’t an issue,” said Keith Humphreys, a drug policy expert at Stanford. “Absolutely, they do not want to go into an election and have their constituents mad at them.”

Louise Slaughter Dead at 88 After More Than Three Trailblazing Decades in Congress
New York Democrat fell and suffered concussion at D.C. residence last week

New York Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, who became the first chairwoman of the House Rules Committee in 2007, has died. In this July 2014 photo with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Slaughter and other members appear at a press conference following the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, the first woman to chair the House Rules Committee, died early Friday after falling at her Washington home last week. She was 88 years old.

Her office said the New York Democrat died at George Washington University Hospital, where she was being treated. The 16-term lawmaker was the oldest sitting member of Congress.

Congress, Waiting for an Omnibus to Arrive
Senate staying on banking legislation, House looks at votes on guns

Lawmakers could get their first look at an omnibus spending bill this week.. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Keep an eye out for the release of a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill this week. Negotiators are aiming to complete work on the sprawling bill and pass it before March 23, when the fifth stopgap funding measure of the fiscal year expires.

The bipartisan budget deal enacted last month freed up an additional $143 billion for discretionary programs in fiscal 2018 — $80 billion for defense and $63 billion for nondefense accounts.

GOP Plans to Keep Discussing Health Care, Even if Trump Does Not

Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., thinks the GOP needs to continue discussing the nation's challenges when it comes to health insurance. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Health care policy isn’t set to be a major focus of President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address Tuesday, although some Republicans say the GOP needs to talk about the rising costs of health insurance.

Republicans on Capitol Hill say they don’t want Trump to shy away from talking about health care, despite the fact that the 2010 health care law remains mostly intact a year into the GOP-controlled Congress and Trump presidency. Some Republicans say they’d like to hear Trump encourage lawmakers to keep working to address rising premium costs.

GOP Candidates Who Stand With Roy Moore
Four 2018 hopefuls attended Alabama Republican’s rally Monday night

Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert was the only lawmaker at Senate candidate Roy Moore’s rally Monday night in Midland City, Ala. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

MIDLAND CITY, Ala. — Most Republican lawmakers have shunned Roy Moore. And top GOP candidates have ducked questions about him. But four 2018 hopefuls traveled to Alabama on Monday to show their support.

These candidates are backing the former state Supreme Court chief justice even after allegations surfaced that he inappropriately pursued — and in two cases assaulted — teenage girls when he was in his 30s. Moore still has the support of President Donald Trump and former White House adviser Steve Bannon, and this small cohort of GOP primary candidates looking to take on the party establishment.

House Volleys CHIP Measure to Senate
Issue of offsets to cost are major sticking point

The House passed a reauthorization of CHIP, and now it’s the Senate's turn to consider renewing the health insurance program’s funding. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

After months of disputes and delays, the House voted Friday to renew funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, community health centers and other public health programs. The legislation passed easily, 242-174, although many Democrats opposed the measure due to disagreements over the offsets.

“Three times at the request of the Democrats, we delayed committee action,” said Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden of Oregon. “These delays meant Congress went past the deadline of Sept. 30. We cannot wait any longer. Patients cannot wait any longer.”