MICHAEL BILIRAKIS, Republican Congressman from Tarpon Springs in Florida's Ninth District, was first elected to Congress on November 2, 1982 and has been reelected to each succeeding Congress. In 1982, at the urging of friends, associates and residents of the newly-formed Ninth District, Mike accepted the challenge of his first Congressional race. He credits strong traditional values, close family ties and avid community involvement for his victories in 1982 and in subsequent reelections. In his terms in Congress, Mike has carried those personal values to the national forum, protecting Social Security, Medicare and federal retirement programs; expanding access to quality health care; promoting disease research; improving education; strengthening
Bilirakis, born on July 16, 1930, has a wife Evelyn and two children.
Bilirakis had various professional experience, including:
Aerospace Contract Administrator
Geophysical Engineer, Offshore Oil Exploration
American Judicature Society
American Bar Association
Florida Bar Association
West Pasco Bar Association.
No elected office prior to U.S. Congress.
MICHAEL BILIRAKIS, Republican Congressman from Tarpon Springs in Florida's Ninth District, was first elected to Congress on November 2, 1982 and has been reelected to each succeeding Congress. His committee assignments in the 108th Congress include membership on the Energy and Commerce Committee, where he serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Health, and as a member of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet and the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Mike is also Vice-Chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee and a member of the Oversight Subcommittee.
In recognition of his efforts on behalf of veterans, Mike has received many national awards, including the L. Mendel Rivers Award of Excellence from the Air Force
Bilirakis holds a JD from University of Florida, 1963. He attended George Washington University 1959-1960. He also holds a BS in Engineering from University of Pittsburgh, 1959.
United States Air Force, 1951-1955
Port security is a very important issue for the 109th Congress. U.S. ports handle 95% of our nation's overseas trade by volume, more than six million cruise passengers annually, and support mobilization and deployment of the U.S. Armed Forces. They are critical assets and must be protected from threats.
This issue is receiving greater attention in the wake of the U.S. ports sale to Dubai Port (DP) World, a United Arab Emirates-based company. After serious concerns about the acquisition were raised and congressional action was threatened, DP World voluntarily decided to give up control of U.S. ports which were part of the deal. The company announced that it intends to sell the U.S. port terminal assets it acquired under the deal
Candidate Website (10/02/2004)
Mike worked to secure enactment of the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act.
This issue is receiving greater attention in the wake of the U.S. ports sale to Dubai Port (DP) World, a United Arab Emirates-based company. After serious concerns about the acquisition were raised and congressional action was threatened, DP World voluntarily decided to give up control of U.S. ports which were part of
On May 11, 2005, I was on the floor of the House of Representatives casting a vote when the House Sergeant of Arms and U.S. Capitol Police began evacuating the entire Capitol campus due to an aircraft that had entered the restricted airspace around Washington D.C. Thankfully, this tense situation ended up a being a false alarm. However, the Capitol Police and other law enforcement officers who stepped up and assisted Members of Congress, our staffs, and the thousands of visitors during the evacuation deserve praise for a job well done.
As we celebrate National Police Week, it is important that we honor the thousands of law enforcement officers -- and other first responders -- who place themselves in harm's way to ensure the safety of our nation
Millions of Americans visit their local post office each year on April 15th, generally with a single purpose in mind: mailing in their tax returns. Yet there is another date this month which should concern all taxpayers: April 26.
April 26 is Tax Freedom Day, so named not because Americans will avoid paying taxes on that day, but because it is the first day of 2006 in which the nation as a whole has earned enough money to pay for its annual tax burden or the cost of government. To put it another way, Americans collectively will have worked the first four months of this year just to pay their tax obligations.
I think most Americans would agree that some degree of taxation is necessary -- after all, the federal government has a constitutional
In November 2005, the President's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform issued its recommendations for changes to the tax code. The Administration and Congress are reviewing the Panel's suggestions and examining different options for reforming the tax system. Recent debate has focused on the idea of replacing the current income tax system with a flat tax or a consumption-based tax such as the "fair tax," although there are several solutions that have been advanced to address the problems taxpayers encounter.
During my tenure in Congress, I have cosponsored many measures to fundamentally reform the tax system, and I remain committed to carefully evaluating every suggestion to make the system fairer and simpler. The time for action is now -- Congress must reform the system and enact sensible tax policy to ease the burden on American families and make April 15th just another spring day.
Mike was instrumental in the passage of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003. As Subcommittee Chairman, he not only helped draft the House version of the Medicare bill but was also chosen to be one of the few members appointed to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. And although Mike is thrilled to have legislation that he has worked on so tirelessly passed into law, he recognizes that his work is not done as his Committee is responsible for overseeing the implementation of this historic new benefit.
For more than a decade, the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has served to raise awareness of domestic violence and to address violent crimes against women and their children, including rape and spousal abuse. Since the enactment of VAWA in 1994, the rate of domestic violence has diminished in the United States. However, despite making great strides in breaking the cycle of violence, much work remains to be done.
Domestic violence affects women, men and children of all racial, social, religious, ethnic, and economic groups in the United States. The month of October has been recognized as an appropriate month for activities furthering awareness of domestic violence and to honor the dedication and success of those
Gang violence has risen sharply in the United States in recent years and is no longer confined to the so-called "inner city." The DOJ estimates than more than 25,000 gangs and over 750,000 gang members are active across the United States today. Major cities, small towns and rural areas alike have been subjected to violent gang activity, and for many young people, gangs offer an alluring opportunity to "belong" to a group of their peers.
The Children's Safety and Violent Crime Reduction Act also would strengthen efforts to assist local law enforcement in targeting and prosecuting violent criminals who are associated with street gangs. The bill would authorize funding for joint federal, state, and local gang investigation and prosecution efforts
Every day you share your personal information about yourself with others, and it usually is so routine that you do not realize you are doing it. If you are like most American consumers, you may be growing increasingly concerned about the security of your personal identification and financial information, and rightly so -- the crime of identity theft has risen sharply in recent years. Recent thefts of consumer data from information brokers and financial institutions only have served to heighten these concerns.
Congress already has enacted one law designed to curb identity theft. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act (Public Law 108-159) gives consumers the right to one free credit report per year and access to their credit scores.
Domestic violence affects women, men and children of all racial, social, religious, ethnic, and economic groups in the United States. The month of October has been recognized as an appropriate month for activities furthering awareness of domestic violence and to honor the dedication and success of those working tirelessly
Americans are the most generous and compassionate people in the world. This fact was underscored by the outpouring of support -- financial and otherwise -- following the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. The national tragedy prompted Americans young and old to open their hearts and provide nearly $1.1 billion to date to help the victims. While these acts of giving have been reported and lauded around the world, they served as just another example of the willingness of Americans to help a friend or neighbor in need.
And that need is great -- over one million people require meals, shelter, financial assistance, and other essential services as a result of Hurricane Katrina. The American Red Cross, which has raised approximately $827 million
For 10 years, Mike served as the Chairman of the Health Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over much of the health-related legislation introduced in the House of Representatives. As Subcommittee Chairman and now as Vice-Chairman of the full Committee, Mike is a vocal advocate for medical research and a national leader on health reform. He was also instrumental in the passage of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003. As Subcommittee Chairman, he not only helped draft the House version of the Medicare bill but was also chosen to be one of the few members appointed to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. And although Mike is thrilled to have legislation that he has worked
As Subcommittee Chairman and now as Vice-Chairman of the full Committee, Mike is a vocal advocate for medical research.
Cancer has affected most of us in some way. We have either had it ourselves or have known loved ones or close friends who have experienced one of its many forms. We have seen the suffering cancer causes. We have heard the cries for help from those who have it. Too often, we have watched helplessly as they have lost hope and succumbed to this dreaded disease.
There is good news to report. According to the National Cancer Institute's Annual Report to the Nation on Cancer, Americans are less likely to get, and subsequently die, from cancer than we once were. Overall cancer rates have declined over the past decade, while
Impaired driving (driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs) is one of the United States' most often committed and deadliest crimes. In 2004, during the month of December alone, 1,210 people across America were killed in highway crashes involving a driver or a motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .01 or higher. Of those, 1,054 had an illegal BAC level of .08 or above. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data shows that over 15,000 people died throughout 2004 in alcohol-related crashes. A 2005 poll conducted by the Gallup Organization on behalf of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) found that 60 percent of those surveyed who consume alcoholic beverages on occasion have operated a vehicle
As a member of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, Mike helped secure additional resources for Florida's veterans -- including $44.1 million for a spinal cord injury unit in Tampa and a more equitable resource allocation method implemented by the Department of Veterans Affairs. When Mike was running for Congress, he promised to bring a VA outpatient clinic to Pasco County. By keeping constant pressure on the VA, he was able to fulfill his pledge when the VA outpatient clinic in Port Richey, Florida opened its doors to veterans in September 1985.
Throughout his congressional career, Mike has been a leader in efforts to secure cost-of-living increases for veterans with service-related disabilities. For more than eighteen years, Mike has led the
As a member of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, Mike helped secure additional resources for Florida's veterans -- including $44.1 million for a spinal cord injury unit in Tampa and a more equitable resource allocation method implemented by the Department of Veterans Affairs.