Mac Thornberry

Mac Thornberry


Thornberry blasts President's budget as 'unrealistic'


U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) issued the following statement after President Obama released his Fiscal Year 2017 budget: 

The President released the final budget proposal of his Administration today, and it is as unrealistic as all of his previous proposals. He is a lame duck trying to stay relevant, but he knows that provisions like a $10 tax on every barrel of oil will never pass Congress. 

"This is another reminder of why this year's presidential election is so important: we need to put a conservative back in the White House that can work with Congress to get our country back on track.

You can download video interview footage for news purposes on this issue by clicking here. Read More

Thornberry reacts to the 2016 State of the Union


U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) issued the following statement after President Obama’s State of the Union speech:

"Tonight, it was clear that President Obama is content to spend his last year in office using the same rhetoric and following the same failed policies that have been such a disappointment and have resulted in a more dangerous world."

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Bill to 'gut' Obamacare goes to President's desk


U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) today voted in support of H.R. 3762, the “Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Act of 2015,” which passed the House by a vote of 240-181 and the Senate by a vote of 52-47. The bill would decrease the federal deficit by $516 billion over the next 10 years, restrict funds to groups that perform voluntary abortions, and repeal major provisions of Obamacare.

The legislation passed under a special procedure called 'reconciliation' that can be used once per congressional session to prevent filibusters in the Senate. This is the first time a bill that restricts funds to groups that perform voluntary abortions and also repeals major provisions of Obamacare has made it to President Obama’s desk.

“I have and will continue to oppose using taxpayer dollars to support organizations that perform abortions," said Thornberry. "I voted against the health care bill when it passed Congress in 2010, and I have voted more than 50 times to send a bill to the President that repeals, dismantles, or stops funding for this plan.”

The bill strips all federal funding, including Medicaid, from providers of elective abortions for one year while Congress completes its investigation into Planned Parenthood’s practices surrounding the selling of fetal tissue. The funding would be redirected to more than 9,000 women’s health care service providers that do not provide elective abortions. 

To dismantle Obamacare, the legislation also:

     • Decreases the deficit by $516 billion over the next 10 years;
     • Repeals the 40 Percent Excise Tax on High Cost Health Plan, or the “Cadillac Tax;”
     • Repeals the Medical Device Tax;
     • Repeals the Prevention and Public Health Fund, commonly known as the “Obamacare Slush 
     • Repeals the Auto-Enrollment Mandate;
     • Eliminates penalties for noncompliance with the Individual and Employer Mandates;
     • Eliminates government subsidies for people to purchase plans bought through the 
     • Repeals expansion of Medicaid adopted by 30 states; and
     • Repeals the over-the-counter medicine tax, prescription drug tax, an annual fee on health 
        insurers, and tax on indoor tanning services.

Click here to download video footage for news purposes of Mac answering questions about the bill. Read More

Thornberry: 'President is wrong on gun control'


U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s announced executive actions on gun control:

President Obama is wrong to think that we have crime and terrorism because there are not enough gun laws.

Gun control only affects law-abiding citizens, not criminals and terrorists who violate laws in carrying out their acts.

The President should focus on dealing with the real causes of crime at home and terrorism around the world rather than look for excuses to push his political agenda."

Click here to watch Thornberry speak against Obama's executive actions on gun control.  Read More

We want a confident America


Dear Friend,

As 2015 winds to a close, it is a good time to think back to what the year has brought. For our country, we face many new and growing challenges. They will not wait on us to conduct our elections; in fact, some of those who threaten us in the world may try to take advantage of the situation.

In Congress this year, several important measures have been passed and signed into law.

Some of them include:

  • In October, Congress passed the first “National Defense Authorization Act” (NDAA) that I introduced as Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. It includes a pay raise for the troops and funding for Sheppard Air Force Base, the Pantex Plant, and the V-22 Osprey program at Bell Helicopter’s Military Aircraft Assembly Center in Amarillo.
  • In August, the President signed into law provisions I introduced that would make the excise tax on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and diesel comparable on an energy-equivalent basis.
  • In April, Congress passed and the President signed into law the “Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015” that permanently repeals and replaces Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate system, which was driving doctors out of the Medicare system. It also includes an extension for a number of Medicare payment programs important to our rural hospitals.

In addition, the House passed many bills that are awaiting action in the Senate. Some of them include:

  • This month, the House passed the “Red River Private Property Protection Act,” which I introduced with Sen. Cornyn. This bill is a big victory for private property owners everywhere who deserve to know that the federal government cannot come in and take away what they own.
  • In April, the House passed the “Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015” that I cosponsored and has been a priority for me. The death tax requires families to turn over portions of an inheritance to the government, which often harms small business owners, farmers, and ranchers.

I am also hopeful about what Congress can accomplish in 2016. The new House Speaker Paul Ryan recently outlined a bold, conservative vision for how we can make America confident again at home and abroad. In part, he said:

"We want a confident America—a purposeful America. We want to know we stand for freedom and show it—not with bluster or bravado, but with calm, steady action. We want our military to command respect from our adversaries and to inspire confidence in our allies. And when they come home, we want to give our veterans the care they deserve. We want our president, whatever the party, to always keep an eye on our interests and never turn a blind eye to the truth. We want America to lead again. That is the America we need."

Speaker Ryan’s optimistic vision for America reminds me of the same type of vision Ronald Reagan provided to Americans in 1980, and it is one that I share.

Our country is a special place, because we Americans have always been sustained, through good times and bad, by a noble vision—a vision not only of what the world around us is today but what we as a free people can make it be tomorrow.”- President Ronald Reagan

I invite you to watch Speaker Ryan’s full speech by clicking on the image below.

A Confident America - Speaker Paul Ryan

Sally and I wish you all a merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.


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House passes budget and tax bills


U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) voted this week in support of the “Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015” that passed the House by vote of 318-109 and the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016” that passed by a vote of 316-113.

“There are a number of good and important provisions for the country and for our area in these bills,” said Thornberry. “While there are also a number of provisions that I support – and have voted for – that did not survive negotiations, many did.”

Some of the chief provisions include:

Providing essential funding for our military;
Repealing the 40-year-old ban on exporting crude oil;
Limiting EPA funding to its lowest level since 2008;
Repealing the Country-of Origin-Labeling (COOL) law that threatened to harm the beef and other livestock industries;
Extending and then phasing out the wind production tax credit;
Delaying implementation of several provisions and taxes associated with Obamacare; and
Strengthening security of the Visa Waiver Program.

The PATH bill also made permanent over 20 tax provisions that Congress has been extending one year at a time, making it difficult for businesses and individuals to plan. These permanent deductions include:

State and local sales tax deduction, which is important in states like Texas that do not have a state income tax;
Section 179 expensing for small businesses;
The Research and Development Tax Credit;
Charitable deduction for contributions of food inventory; and
Many other tax provisions were extended for two or five years.

Finally, attached to the measure is a cybersecurity bill, similar to that recommended by the Cyber Security Task Force, which Thornberry chaired in 2011 and 2012. 

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A Victory for All American Private Property Owners


U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry Sen. John Cornyn
Wichita Falls Times Record News

Imagine that you had worked hard to purchase a piece of property, pay your taxes on the land, and plan to pass it along to your children for their use and enjoyment. All seems well until an agency of the federal government decides that it really owns your land and swoops in to take it away. You try to fight the government in court but while you do, a cloud hangs over the title to the property for years.

That is the nightmare facing more than 150 land owners along a 116-mile stretch of the Red River. However, stopping this land grab by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is important for more than just those directly affected. Property rights affect all of us, and we must stand together to protect them.

As part of BLM's update to its Resource Management Plan two years ago, the agency originally claimed that it owned up to 90,000 more acres than it previously suggested along the Red River. It later reduced that estimate to approximately 30,000 acres. But the federal government has only surveyed about 6,400 acres of the land in question, and these spot surveys are highly contested. They appear to stray greatly from the survey method mandated by the Supreme Court in the 1920s. BLM has also stated that it does not plan to survey the rest of the land in question.

Since 2013, our offices have held countless meetings, phone calls, and site visits with these landowners, as well as local and state officials, to coordinate action. As a result of these interactions, we introduced theRed River Private Property Protection Act in the House and Senate — legislation that seeks to end questions about the federal government's ownership of the disputed land. And in one of the most encouraging developments in this long fight, the U.S. House of Representatives this week passed the bill.

The legislation will require that an actual survey be taken of the entire 116-mile stretch in question using the gradient boundary survey method developed and backed by the Supreme Court. This survey must also be conducted by licensed state land surveyors chosen by the Texas General Land Office and be paid for by the government. Importantly, the final survey must ultimately be approved by the State of Texas.

The bill also allows the landowner to appeal any further federal government ownership claims to their land through an Administrative Law judge. Once these claims are settled, BLM must sell off the surface rights of the remaining publicly-owned land at fair market value after the proper boundary line is located and settled. The bill also explicitly states that the interest of the states and the sovereign rights of the federally-recognized Indian tribes will not be affected. And the Congressional Budget Office estimates that this legislation would save U.S. taxpayers about $3 million. In short, this legislation would keep Texans from losing their property to a federal land grab.

By establishing a process to resolve uncertainty, this commonsense legislation would ultimately protect the property rights of Texans. The right to own private property is a cornerstone of our way of life. We will continue to do everything we can to protect that right for these landowners and all Texans.

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Bill to protect Red River landowners from Obama Administration passes House


The “Red River Private Property Protection Act,” H.R. 2130, introduced by U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon), today passed the House of Representatives. The bill, which passed by a vote of 253-177, would provide legal certainty to landowners by ending any questions about the federal government's ownership of disputed land along the Red River. 
“This is a big victory for the landowners along the Red River and also for property owners everywhere who deserve to know that the federal government cannot come in and take away what they own. I hope we can use this momentum to get the bill passed in the Senate and then signed into law by the President,” Thornberry said. “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.” 
Many landowners and other public officials are alarmed that Bureau of Land Management (BLM) actions might result in disputed claims of ownership. Since concern first arose in December 2013, Thornberry’s office has held multiple meetings, phone calls, and other correspondence with landowners, as well as local and state officials, to coordinate action. Thornberry’s bill reflects the input they received by listening to landowners, the Texas General Land Office, and many others.
“Texas families that have owned land along the Red River for generations deserve certainty that their property rights will be protected from overreach by the Obama Administration. Today’s vote is a positive step toward ensuring the federal government’s land claims are restrained and Texas landowner rights are protected,” Sen. Cornyn said.
The legislation will provide legal certainty to property owners along the Red River by:
  • Commissioning a survey of the entire 116-mile stretch of contested area along the Red River using the gradient boundary survey method developed and backed by the Supreme Court to find the proper boundary between private and federally owned land. 
  • Ordering that the survey be conducted within two years by Licensed State Land Surveyors and approved by the Texas General Land Office in consultation with The Commissioners of the Land Office in Oklahoma.
  • Allowing landowners who hold the proper right, title, and/or interest in the contested area to appeal the determination of the survey to an administrative law judge.  Landowners are also able to file for a modified Color-of-Title Act land patent request for public land that has been held in good faith and in peaceful adverse possession for $1.25 per acre.
  • Preventing any contested land from being included in the Resource Management Plan outside of the provisions in the bill.
  • Requiring the BLM to sell the remaining federal lands along the Red River at no less than market value and setting forth procedures for offering adjacent landowners the first rights of refusal. The bill also explicitly states that nothing in the Act shall be construed to modify the Red River Boundary Compact  and that the interest of Texas and Oklahoma and the sovereignty rights of the federally recognized Indian tribes north of the South Bank boundary line will not be affected.
You can download and use video of Mac speaking in support of his bill on the floor of the House of Representatives here. Read More

House votes to strengthen security of the Visa Waiver Program


U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) voted yesterday in support of a bill that would deny visa waivers to those who have traveled to or are nationals of countries with significant terrorist activity and enhance the screening of all travelers from Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries. The “Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015,” H.R. 158, passed the House by a vote of 407-19.

“Many terrorist recruits and sympathizers who traveled to join ISIS have passports from countries that receive visa waivers and do not currently need a visa to enter the United States,” said Thornberry. “This bill would stop terrorists from exploiting this weakness in our border controls by requiring those traveling from countries deemed high-risk, even for business or tourism, to go through more stringent screenings and be approved for a visa. This bill would also improve intelligence sharing, which is key to stopping attacks.”

H.R. 158 would require dual nationals and individuals who have traveled to certain nations or state sponsors of terror - including Syria, Iran, and Iraq - since March 1, 2011, to obtain a visa before traveling to the U.S. rather than entering through the VWP. The Secretary of Homeland Security would be able to designate additional countries of concern should threats arise and suspend a country from VWP if information-sharing requirements are not sufficiently met. 

The bill would also amend the “Immigration and Nationality Act” to include terrorism risk as a factor under the Electronic System for Travel Authorization that the Secretary of Homeland Security shall consider when determining whether a foreign national is eligible to travel to the U.S.

Many VWP countries fail to screen travelers through INTERPOL, which maintains global databases of lost or stolen passports and information about travelers wanted by law enforcement agencies based on ties to terrorism and criminal activity. This bill would require VWP countries to check travelers against INTERPOL to determine if a traveler is wanted or if a fraudulent passport is being used. VWP countries would be required to issue their citizens fraud-resistant electronic passports containing biometric information, confirm such documents are legitimate when they are scanned upon travel, and notify INTERPOL within 24 hours of their citizens’ passport being reported missing. 

The VWP, created in 1986, currently allows citizens from all 38 participating countries who have a valid passport and pass security screenings to travel to the U.S. for up to 90 days for business or tourism without obtaining a visa. VWP countries must participate in security reviews every other year, offer reciprocal visa-free travel to U.S. citizens, and share counterterrorism and law enforcement information with the U.S.

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Thornberry votes in support of broad energy bill


U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) voted today in support of the “North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2015,” which includes a number of importantLiquefied Natural Gas (LNG), oil, and natural gas provisions and also enhances the security of the U.S. electric power grid. The bill,H.R. 8, passed the House by a vote of 249-174.

The legislation would enhance emergency preparedness and use advanced technologies to address threats to the electric system while improving infrastructure vulnerabilities. It would also expedite the permitting process for LNG exports and natural gas pipelines and lift the ban on oil exports.

“We must maximize our energy potential by modernizing our policies,” said Thornberry. “By promoting American energy exports to our allies, reducing unnecessary regulations, and reinforcing our energy infrastructure, we can grow our economy and ensure that our energy systems are sheltered from threats and rid of deficiencies.”

H.R. 8 would address grid security, oil exports, and important permits and decisions for LNG exports and natural gas pipelines by:

  • Repealing the crude oil export ban;
  • Streamlining and imposingdeadlines onDepartment of Energy (DOE)LNG export permit decisions;
  • Requiring the Interior Department to consider and approve applications for natural gas pipeline rights-of-way in the designated corridors on federally owned lands within one year;
  • Requiring DOE to establish a Strategic Transformer Reserve to store large power transformers and mobile electric substations in strategic locations and a voluntary “Cyber Sense” program to identify and promote products intended to enhance the cybersecurity of the bulk-power system;
  • Requiring electrical utilities to study and implement measures to increase the resilience to their infrastructure; and
  • Requiring the Interior Department to consider and approve applications for natural gas pipeline rights-of-way in the designated corridors on federally owned lands within one year.
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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


Ted Poe


Sam Johnson


John Ratcliffe


Jeb Hensarling


Joe Barton


John Culberson


Kevin Brady


Michael McCaul


Michael Conaway


Kay Granger


Randy Weber


Bill Flores


Randy Neugebauer


Lamar Smith


Pete Olson


Will Hurd


Kenny Marchant


Roger Williams


Michael Burgess


Blake Farenthold


John Carter


Pete Sessions


Brian Babin


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