Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX) Discusses the Future of Our National Security at the National Press Club

Communications • January 20, 2016

The day after President Obama delivered his last State of the Union address, Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, outlined a vision for American strategy going forward.

Watch the full video here.

Below are several excerpts from Chairman Thornberry’s remarks on Wednesday, January 13, at the National Press Club:

On the Constitutional Role of Congress | “Too many of us tend to assume that it is the Executive’s job to decide what we need to defend the country, and then send the bill to Congress, expecting us to salute and write the check. “…Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution …says that it is Congress’s duty to ‘raise and support, provide and maintain, make rules for the government and regulation of’ the military forces of the United States.  And the men and women on both sides of the aisle in our committee take that responsibility very seriously.”

Reflecting on State of the Union, World Today | ”The world is more dangerous today than it was in 2009. Despite the President’s claim [at the State of the Union address], that is not just ‘hot air;’ that is reality. But, it is certainly unlikely that the Obama administration will do anything in its last year to change that situation or to alter that trajectory. No President is irrelevant, but the country and much of the world are moving on.”

On the Choices America Needs to Make | “If we do not have the ability to continue to be a force for good, or if we are unwilling to play that role, someone else will step in to fill the vacuum. That’s what seems to be happening all around the world. …I think we take for granted the world which we have helped build since World War II and the benefits it has provided to us and to mankind. Too many of us assume that human progress inevitably marches forward. But as Robert Kagan argues…the current order will last only as long as those who built it retain the capacity to defend it. ‘In the end, the decision is in the hands of Americans.  Decline…is a choice.’ I think that’s right. It is in our hands. It depends on the choices we make.”

Click here to view the full remarks as prepared for delivery.


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