Mac Thornberry

Mac Thornberry

TEXAS' 13th DISTRICT

Thornberry votes to repeal and replace Obamacare

2017/05/04

U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) today voted in support of the “American Health Care Act,” H.R. 1628, which passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 217-213.

“Passing the American Health Care Act (AHCA) in the House is a major step toward repealing and replacing Obamacare,” Thornberry said. “This bill will help return power back to patients and their doctors while driving down costs. The Senate now needs to step up and pass it or something similar.”

Thornberry also stressed that this bill will not touch Medicare benefits in any way. He said his office has heard from some constituents who were worried that the AHCA would make cuts to the Medicare benefits. “That simply is not true,” he said. Legislation, H.R. 2192, also passed today to ensure that provisions in the bill apply to Members of Congress and congressional staff.

The AHCA is being considered by Congress under a special procedure known as reconciliation that requires a simple majority (51 votes) to pass in the Senate instead of the 60 votes necessary for most bills. However, only certain types of provisions can be included, which is the reason that further steps, regulatory and legislative, are needed to fully replace the Obamacare system. “We will continue to work to pass legislation that further repeals and replaces the disastrous law since Obamacare cannot be repealed and replaced in a single bill,” Thornberry said.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the bill will lower premiums by 10 percent, reduce the federal deficit by $150 billion, and lower taxes by nearly $1 trillion.  H.R. 1628 will also:

•  Dismantle the Obamacare taxes that have hurt job creators, increased premium and health care costs, and limited options for patients and health care providers, which includes taxes on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, health-insurance premiums, and medical devices;

•  Eliminate the Obamacare mandated penalties for individuals and employers;

•  Prohibit health insurers from denying coverage to patients based on pre-existing conditions or discriminating based on gender;

•  Help young adults access health insurance and stabilize the marketplace by allowing dependents to continue staying on their parents’ plan until they are 26;

•  Empower individuals and families to spend their health care dollars the way they want and need by enhancing and expanding Health Savings Accounts – nearly doubling the amount of money people can contribute and broadening how people can use it;

•  Establish a Patient and State Stability Fund, which provides states with $100 billion to design programs that meet the unique needs of their patient populations and help low-income Americans afford health care;

• Create a federal Invisible Risk Sharing Program to help further stabilize markets to help with high-cost medical claims and lower premiums;

•  Modernize and strengthen Medicaid  by transitioning to a “per capita allotment” so states can better serve the patients most in need; and

•  Help Americans access affordable, quality health care by providing a monthly tax credit to low and middle-income individuals and families who do not receive insurance through work or a government program.

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Thornberry votes to fund government, increase military spending

2017/05/03

U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) voted today in support of the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017” that passed by a vote of 309-118.

“This funding bill is the product of Congress and the White House working together to pass fiscally responsible legislation instead of continuing down the broken path of brinksmanship and partisan politics that we have been on for the last eight years. I am hopeful that the two branches can continue to work together for the good of our country,” Thornberry said.

The legislation provides $1.07 trillion in regular discretionary funding through September 30, 2017.  Locally, the bill appropriates funding for national security facilities and programs such as training missions at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls and nuclear weapons activities at Pantex in Amarillo. About $3 billion total is authorized for Bell’s V-22 Osprey and helicopter programs, including the procurement of 20 new Ospreys and 26 AH-1Z / UH-1Y helicopter upgrades. An additional $112 million is provided for the V-280 program. Much of the work for those aircraft will be performed in Amarillo.

“It is good that the defense needs in this measure do not appear to be tied to any other issue. For too long, some in both parties have attempted to use our military as leverage to pursue other political objectives. Our defense needs should stand on their own merits, and doing so here is an important step on the long path to rebuilding America’s military," said Thornberry, who serves as the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

The legislation makes what Thornberry calls “a down payment on restoring our military.” It provides half of the $30 billion increase that the President requested for defense, which includes $5 billion for urgent combat needs and $10 billion for beginning to restore military readiness.   

“We still have a long way to go to get our military in shape to meet the threats we face, and the importance of adequate funding in FY 2018 grows by the day,” said Thornberry.

Among other provisions, the bill:

• Provides $1.5 billion for additional border security improvements;
• Provides $50 million in additional current-year funding for VA to improve opiod and substance abuse prevention and treatment for veterans;
• Increases FBI operations by $277 million to combat terrorism, espionage, and cyber and violent crime;
• Ends Obama-era school meal regulations to provide flexibility for whole grains, milk, and sodium levels;
• Reduces EPA funding by $81 million;
• Freezes the IRS at current funding levels—$1 billion less than the Obama administration requested;
• Provides about $34 billion for the National Institute of Health, which represents an increase of $2 billion in funding over the previous year; and
• Maintains all existing pro-life policy and funding provisions.

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Thornberry congratulates local schools on winning Science Bowls

2017/04/26

Students from Amarillo High School and Bonham Middle School will compete in the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2017 National Science Bowl this week in Washington, D.C. after winning the Pantex Regional Science Bowls. 

U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) said, “I would like to congratulate the students from Amarillo High School and Bonham Middle School who each won the Pantex Regional Science Bowl. I am proud to have these hardworking and dedicated students representing District 13 in the National Science Bowl and am excited to see young people from our state interested in science and math. I wish these two bright young teams the best of luck the rest of the way.”

Amarillo High School’s team includes Kincannon Wilson, Tripp Harwell, Hunter Liu, Sahithi Tirumala, and Dawson Miller. They are coached by Rebekah McCallops and Kyle Hallett. Bonham Middle School’s team includes Ryan Jalbert, Josiah Miller, Rushmita Devulapalli, and Korbin Scroggins. They are coached by Hannah Galbreath and Kimberly Irving.

Their teams are one of 48 middle school teams and one of 63 high school teams from across the country that advanced to the national competition. 

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Thornberry responds to Trump tax reform proposal

2017/04/26

U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) today responded to President Trump’s proposal to reform the U.S. tax code.

“The tax reform outline that was released today by the White House is another encouraging step toward fixing our broken tax code. The proposal would simplify both individual and business taxes with the goal of encouraging economic growth,” said Thornberry. 

Among other provisions, the proposal would:

• Eliminate the Estate Tax, commonly referred to as the “Death Tax”;
• Reduce the number of tax brackets from seven to three;
• Repeal the 3.8 percent Obamacare tax on investment income; and
• Reduce the corporate tax rate to 15 percent.
 
“Small business owners, farmers, and ranchers are particularly vulnerable to the Death Tax, making it more difficult for future generations to build upon their family’s hard work,” Thornberry said. “Death should never be a taxable event. All Americans should be able to work hard, build, and save knowing that they can pass on what they have earned to their children and grandchildren.”

Thornberry has introduced or cosponsored a bill to repeal the death tax consistently while serving in Congress.

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Thornberry, Military Service Chiefs warn of serious consequences without proper military funding

2017/04/06

U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, held a hearing with the Service Chiefs of all branches of the military to hear their assessments of the consequences of the failure to pass the 2017 Department of Defense Appropriations bill with supplemental funding. The appropriations bill passed the House earlier this year with strong bipartisan support, but it has stalled in the Senate.

“There is widespread agreement that funding cuts under the Budget Control Act, plus a series of continuing resolutions, coupled with the pace of required deployments have damaged the U.S. military.  I believe that the damage has gone far deeper than most of us realize, requiring more time and more money to repair than is generally expected,” Thornberry said in his opening statement.

He continued, “The immediate issue before us is the expiration of the current continuing resolution on April 28. The House passed a full appropriations bill for fiscal year 2017 on March 8 by a vote of 371 to 48. The Senate has not yet acted on it. As I have said before, I will not vote for a defense continuing resolution for the rest of 2017. It would simply do too much harm.”

As the Senate considers adopting the 2017 appropriations bill - or imposing billions in cuts that a Continuing Resolution (CR) would represent - Thornberry requested an assessment of the harm a full-year CR or failure to include the added funding requested by the President would do to our men and women in uniform. 

According to the Department of Defense the military would face the following consequences:

• Expected pay will be cut for service members, including promised bonuses.
• The Marine Corps will reduce its force size by more than 2,000 Marines. 
• The Navy will halt the recruitment of 1,000 sailors.  
• The Air Force will halt the recruitment of 2,000 airmen.
• The Air Force will be unable to retain pilots when it is already 1,500 pilots short.
• Only one deploying Army unit will be able to conduct critical training after July 15.
• Navy training cuts will result in 20-30 percent fewer qualified pilots than required.
• The Air Force may have to ground all non-deploying squadrons on May 1.
• The Navy will ground four of the nine non-deployed carrier air wings.
• Three ships will not be deployed, creating gaps in Europe and the Middle East.
• The Marine Corps will cease flight operations in the United States in July.
• Only one third of all Navy Aircraft will be fully mission capable.
• The Navy will cancel or delay critical repairs on 14 ships. 

You can download video of Thornberry’s full statement here. Read More

Thornberry statement on BLM’s admission of error in Red River surveys

2017/04/05

U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) released the following statement in response to the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) announcement that it used incorrect methodology in three surveys that are the basis for the federal government’s claims to private property along the Red River:

The BLM’s admission that it used incorrect methodology in these surveys and the decision to suspend the surveys is welcome news.

The portions of the river that the agency has surveyed strayed widely from the accepted gradient boundary survey method established by the Supreme Court in Oklahoma v. Texas. It is encouraging that the BLM has admitted their error and that all administrative action will be suspended until the matter is resolved. I will continue working with the landowners, local and state officials, and Senator Cornyn (R-TX) until this issue is resolved once and for all.

A copy of the BLM letter can be found here. Information about Thornberry’s “Red River Gradient Boundary Survey Act,” which passed the House earlier this year, can be found here.

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Thornberry announces 2017 Congressional Art Competition

2017/03/28

U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) is now accepting entries for the 2017 Congressional Art Competition. The competition is open to all eligible high school students in the 13th Congressional District. The winner will have his or her art displayed in the United States Capitol for one year. The deadline for entries is April 18, 2017, and the winner will be announced April 26, 2017.

“Each year, I am impressed by the talent and creativity shown by high school artists from District 13,” said Thornberry. “Seeing our piece of Texas represented in the Capitol building by artwork from our district’s talented young people is something to be proud of.”  

The winning student will be invited to participate in the exhibition’s opening celebration in Washington, D.C. this summer. 

Guidelines for submissions can be found at www.thornberry.house.gov/art/.

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Thornberry statement on House failure to pass health care bill

2017/03/24

U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) released the following statement after it was announced that the “American Health Care Act,” H.R. 1628, would not receive a vote today in the House of Representatives:

“I am incredibly disappointed that the House did not pass the bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. The bill had its flaws, but it would have been a key first step toward reducing the cost of health insurance, giving patients more say over their health care, and improving Medicaid. It would have also eliminated taxes that are driving up the cost of health care for everyone. It was, without a doubt, better than what we have now under Obamacare.

“I stand ready to vote for other proposals that can improve health care in this country. But those who refused to support the bill today share some of the responsibility for what is to come in the weeks, months, and years ahead under Obamacare.”


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Thornberry urges USDA Secretary to extend Emergency Use of CRP Lands

2017/03/22

U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) today sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Acting Secretary Michael Young requesting that he provide a 60-day extension of the Emergency Use of CRP Lands for the Texas Panhandle Fires. The text of the letter is below.

“I am writing to respectfully request a 60-day extension of the Emergency Use of CRP Lands for the Texas Panhandle Fires.

“As you are aware, many counties in the Texas Panhandle recently experienced devastating wildfires. With almost 500,000 acres burned, thousands of miles of fence destroyed, and more than 2,000 head of livestock killed by smoke and flames; livestock producers are in dire need of places to house remaining livestock while fencing is re-established in these disaster areas.

“While the 30-day emergency use that has been approved by the USDA is very welcome and appreciated, I have heard from several producers that will not be able to build fences in time to meet the short deadlines. Replanting grasses and finding other sources of forage within a month’s time will also be a daunting, if not impossible, task. Additionally, there are several counties in my district that experienced heavy losses that are only eligible for grazing once every three years.

“Along with falling prices for cattle and our recent lack of rain, this disaster has certainly added additional uncertainty to affected producers. An extension of the Emergency Use of CRP Lands would provide a better opportunity for fencing to be rebuilt while providing a safe home for livestock. It will also help these struggling producers recover and get back on their feet.

“Within your rules and regulations, I ask that you give this request your full and prompt considerations. I look forward to our continued and shared work to ensure the viability of our nation’s agricultural producers.”

A copy of the letter can be downloaded here.

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Thornberry votes for Veterans Affairs reform bills

2017/03/17

U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) voted this week in support of two bills that will reform the Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital system and provide greater support for veterans.

“Meeting our commitments to our veterans is one of the most important responsibilities of the federal government. These bills make important reforms to the VA system to address some of the deficiencies within the system and allow it to better serve our nation’s veterans,” Thornberry said. “These men and women have put their lives on the line to keep our country safe, and they deserve our best in return.”

H.R. 1259 would: 

• Allow the VA Secretary to remove or demote a VA employee due to poor performance or misconduct;
• Enhance whistleblower protections;
• Allow the Secretary to reduce the pension of individuals in senior executive service positions who committed a felony that influenced their job performance; and
• Allow the Secretary to suspend, reprimand, or admonish an individual for actions based on performance or misconduct if their conduct does not rise to the level of removal.

H.R. 1367 would:

• Provide the VA Secretary more authority to hire employees for positions that the Inspector General has identified as having the largest staffing shortages;
• Require VA political appointees to be subject to annual performance plans and evaluations;
• Create a fellowship program that allows senior VA staff and private sector employees to participate in fellowships; and
• Expand preferential consideration for veterans seeking jobs with the federal employment.

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Contact Information

2329 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-3706
Fax 202-225-3486
thornberry.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Armed Services

A fifth generation Texan, Mac Thornberry has strong ties to the people he serves in the U.S. House of Representatives. Mac is a lifelong resident of the 13th District of Texas. His family has been ranching in the area since 1881 – a family business in which Mac remains actively involved.

Mac shares the values of the people he represents and continues to fight for the things that are important to them. He is a longtime advocate of lower taxes and limited government. Boosting domestic energy production, protecting private property rights, and reforming health care are top priorities for Mac. He strongly supports cutting government spending and creating the kind of policies that encourage economic growth, rather than suffocating it.  Additionally, as one of the few Members of Congress personally involved in agriculture, Mac understands the challenges agricultural producers face and has been a key player in efforts to support producers in the 13th District.

Mac has established himself as a leader in national security, an area in which he continues to be given new responsibilities and opportunities to help advance the security of our nation.  He serves as the Vice Chairman of the Armed Services Committee where he also leads the Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats, and Capabilities.  He also continues to serve on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
In early 2011, Mac was tapped by the Speaker of the House and Majority Leader to spearhead a Cybersecurity Task Force to guide House legislative action on this growing national security and economic threat. Well-respected by Members on both sides of the aisle for his insight and leadership, they asked Mac to chair a group of lawmakers representing nine major committees of jurisdiction. The charge was to make recommendations in a number of areas including updating existing laws, protecting critical infrastructure, and sharing cybersecurity information. On October 5, 2011, the Task Force released its recommendations, which have received a favorable response from Republicans and Democrats in the House and the Senate, as well as the White House, private businesses, and other outside organizations.
Mac is also widely respected as an innovator and strategic thinker.  He was one of the first in Congress to recognize the need to confront the threat of terrorism. Six months before the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Mac introduced a bill to create a new Department of Homeland Security, which formed the basis of legislation signed into law by President Bush 20 months later. He has also played a major role in shaping national policy on transformation of the military and strategic nuclear issues. In addition, he is at the forefront of efforts in Congress to protect the country from threats ranging from terrorist attacks to nuclear proliferation.
Born in Clarendon and raised on the family ranch in Donley County, Mac graduated from Clarendon High School before continuing his education at Texas Tech University. After obtaining a B.A. in history from Tech in 1980, he went on to the University of Texas Law School where he graduated in 1983. For the next several years, he worked in Washington, including serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs in the State Department under President Reagan.In 1989, Mac joined his brothers in the cattle business and practiced law in Amarillo.  He was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994.

Mac’s wife, Sally, is also a native Texan. They have two children.


Serving With

Louie Gohmert

TEXAS' 1st DISTRICT

Ted Poe

TEXAS' 2nd DISTRICT

Sam Johnson

TEXAS' 3rd DISTRICT

John Ratcliffe

TEXAS' 4th DISTRICT

Jeb Hensarling

TEXAS' 5th DISTRICT

Joe Barton

TEXAS' 6th DISTRICT

John Culberson

TEXAS' 7th DISTRICT

Kevin Brady

TEXAS' 8th DISTRICT

Michael McCaul

TEXAS' 10th DISTRICT

Michael Conaway

TEXAS' 11th DISTRICT

Kay Granger

TEXAS' 12th DISTRICT

Randy Weber

TEXAS' 14th DISTRICT

Bill Flores

TEXAS' 17th DISTRICT

Jodey Arrington

TEXAS' 19th DISTRICT

Lamar Smith

TEXAS' 21st DISTRICT

Pete Olson

TEXAS' 22nd DISTRICT

Will Hurd

TEXAS' 23rd DISTRICT

Kenny Marchant

TEXAS' 24th DISTRICT

Roger Williams

TEXAS' 25th DISTRICT

Michael Burgess

TEXAS' 26th DISTRICT

Blake Farenthold

TEXAS' 27th DISTRICT

John Carter

TEXAS' 31st DISTRICT

Pete Sessions

TEXAS' 32nd DISTRICT

Brian Babin

TEXAS' 36th DISTRICT

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