Mac Thornberry

Mac Thornberry


Thornberry's defense bill passes the House


The U.S. House of Representatives passed the annual defense policy bill that authorizes spending for military personnel, weapons systems, national security programs, and foreign military operations by a vote of 375 to 34. This is the second National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to be passed under U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry’s (R-Clarendon) chairmanship of the House Armed Services Committee.

“Above all else, this bill is focused on supporting the men and women who keep our nation safe. It provides them the full pay raise to which they are entitled by law, it improves their health care system, it ensures they receive the equipment and training they need to do their jobs, and much more,” Thornberry said. “It also makes a clear statement to our friends and adversaries across the world that the United States will have the means to defend itself, and it begins to reassure the men and women who serve our nation that whatever they are asked to do, they will be prepared and supported fully.”

The bill authorizes nearly $619 billion in spending for national defense, which is $3.2 billion more than requested by the President. It also includes the largest pay increase for service members in six years at 2.1 percent. President Obama attempted to reduce it to a 1.6 percent raise.

This year’s NDAA not only stops the damaging cuts to our military’s size, it begins to make it stronger. It starts to stabilize the readiness problems that are making it more difficult for our troops to accomplish their mission and increasingly represents a danger to the lives. It contains landmark reforms to improve our military’s strength and agility.

Locally, the bill authorizes funding for national security facilities and programs such as training missions at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, including $91.9 million in construction projects. In addition, about $1.66 billion total is authorized for Bell’s V-22 Osprey and helicopter programs, including the procurement of 16 new Ospreys and 24 new AH-1Z / UH-1Y helicopters for the Marine Corps. Much of the work for those aircraft will be performed in Amarillo.

It provides $9.4 billion in funding for nuclear weapons activities—including those performed at Pantex—which is a $186 million increase to the budget request. This includes full funding for the critically important production work at Pantex for the W76 life extension program. To help address the severe backlog of maintenance on physical infrastructure across the National Nuclear Security Administration, the bill provides $106 million for recapitalization projects and preventative maintenance. The bill also includes $730 million for defense nuclear security, an increase of $60 million to the budget request, to recapitalize aging physical security equipment located at Pantex and Y-12.

The NDAA improves access to quality care for service members, retirees, and their families, while enhancing medical readiness. Reforms ensure that the generous benefit our troops deserve and have earned is sustainable for generations to come. These reforms make no changes for the current force or retirees.

Other highlights include:

  • Military Personnel and Pay: The bill supports a 2.1 percent pay raise for service members.
  • BRAC: Prohibits another round of base closings.
  • Commissaries: Reforms the commissary system to preserve the benefit, while also making improvements to ensure continued saving for shoppers.
  • Strengthens Military: Reverses cuts to troop strength; increases investments in training and maintenance programs; and rebuilds crumbling facilities like barracks, hangars, and airfields.
  • Deterring Russia: Provides funds for more troops and equipment in Europe to deter Russia, as well as additional funds to assist Ukraine.
  • Fighting ISIS: Provides funds to train and equip Syrian fighters and assist Iraqis in re-taking Mosul, and adds funds to make sure that Kurdish and Sunni allies are able to stay in the fight.

A more detailed summary of the bill can be found here.

You can download video interview footage for news purposes by clicking here

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Thornberry votes for sweeping health reform and research bill


U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) voted in support of the “21stCentury Cures Act,” H.R. 34, which will speed up the approval of life-saving medical drugs, increase funding for disease and cancer research, for the advancement of medical devices and drugs, for opioid prevention and treatment programs, and for mental health research and treatment. The bill passed the House Wednesday evening by a bipartisan vote of 392-26.

“This bill is going to do a great deal to help millions of Americans and their families who are living with the devastating effects of cancer, diseases like Alzheimer’s and diabetes, drug addiction, and mental health issues,” said Thornberry. “This is a patient-focused, fiscally responsible bill that will help advance our medical research, increase the availability of effective medical treatment, and accelerate the development of life-saving medical technologies and drugs.”

The legislation will dedicate $5.3 billion for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and National Institutes of Health (NIH). It will also reduce the deficit by $5.81 billion through 2026. Among other provisions the funding will be used to:

  • Advance the Precision Medicine Initiative to drive research into the genetic, lifestyle and environmental variations of disease;
  • Bolster the "Cancer Moonshot” to speed up cancer research;
  • Invest in the BRAIN initiative to improve our understanding of diseases like Alzheimer's;
  • Spur the development of health software and mobile medical apps, vaccines, and regenerative medicine therapies;
  • Modernize clinical trials to expedite the review of critical drugs; and
  • Help the FDA recruit and retain the best and brightest scientists, doctors, and engineers.

“This bill also represents the most significant reform to our mental health system in more than a decade, and it provides $1 billion in grants to the states to fight the opioid epidemic. These are two areas that we have a great deal of work to do as a nation,” Thornberry said.

The legislation is supported by Association of American Cancer Institutes, American Association for Cancer Research, American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons, Association of American Medical Colleges, American Heart Association, American Psychiatric Association, Epilepsy Foundation, Infectious Diseases Society of America, National Organization for Rare Disorders, and many other organizations.

You can access a fact sheet with more information about the Cures Act here.

You can download video interview footage for news purposes by clicking here.

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Thornberry statement commemorating 75th anniversary of Sheppard Air Force Base


U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) issued the following statement to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Sheppard Air Force Base:

“For 75 years, Sheppard Air Force Base has played an important role in our national defense. In one key area, technical training, it has produced more graduates than any other institution in the Air Force. 
“Key to Sheppard’s success over the last three-quarters of a century has been the unquantified support of the people and communities in the North Texas region. While impossible to quantify, the patriotism, pride, and willingness to pitch in to do whatever the base needed has been invaluable. And the men and women of Sheppard have returned the favor by being good neighbors and contributing to worthy causes throughout the area.

“Today, it remains at the forefront of American national security – providing essential skills to Air Force and other military personnel and helping build the trust and familiarity necessary for international coalitions to fight effectively together. 

“The future for Sheppard is brighter than ever. As long as freedom must be defended, it will have a role to play, and it will fulfill its missions with the patriotism, excellence, and commitment it has shown in its proud past.”

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Thornberry welcomes North Texas veterans to Washington


More than 140 North Texas veterans, family members, and volunteers traveled to Washington this week to tour Congress and the memorials that commemorate their service and sacrifice. U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) hosted the group today for a special tour of the Capitol where he had the opportunity to speak to them on the Floor of the House.

"Sally, the staff, and I are privileged to welcome the Honor Flight to the U.S. Capitol again this year. Each veteran has a special story to tell, and we enjoy hearing all of them," said Thornberry. "It is a wonderful reminder of the unique contribution our part of Texas had made — and continues to make — to defending our freedom and keeping our country safe."

Texas Panhandle Honor Flight is a non-profit organization headquartered in Amarillo. The Honor Flights are part of the organization’s efforts to promote awareness and support for our U.S. military service members and veterans, as well as their families. The group also organizes care boxes for active duty personnel, sponsors an annual Armed Forces Day banquet, and organizes welcome home and return to duty rallies.

"Thank you to Texas Panhandle Honor Flight, which organizes these trips, all the family members, and the volunteers that make it happen. And thank you to all of our veterans past and present who have served our nation," Thornberry said.

Honor Flight is a national program that began a decade ago as a project to offer World War II veterans all-expenses-paid overnight trips to Washington, D.C., to see the National World War II Memorial. Today, these flights honor America’s veterans by paying for and transporting groups of veterans from all over the country to see the memorials designed and erected to honor their service. 

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Thornberry votes for VA accountability


U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) voted in support of a bill that would improve accountability measures and whistleblower protections at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The “VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act of 2016,” H.R. 5620, passed the House by a vote of 310-116.
“When our veterans turn to the VA for health care, they deserve to know they will receive the best service possible, and the majority of VA employees work hard to provide that type of care,” Thornberry said. “If the Secretary does not have all of the tools necessary to hold people accountable and actually use them, it is a disservice to the good employees, the American taxpayers, and most importantly, our veterans.”
H.R. 5620 gives the Secretary of the VA more authority to remove employees for poor performance or misconduct, recoup bonuses or performance awards from employees when appropriate, increase whistleblower protections, and reform the appeals process for veteran benefit claims.
“Over the past several years, Congress has passed a number of reform bills to address many of the serious problems throughout the VA system, and I will continue to do everything I can to ensure we are upholding our sacred commitment to these men and women who have sacrificed so much for us,” said Thornberry.

You can download video interview footage for news purposes by clicking here.

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Thornberry warns residents about criminals posing as IRS agents


Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) is warning 13th District residents against new waves of scams trying to take people’s money. 

Criminals are using several different schemes to extort money from innocent people. The scams include:

• Emails that demand immediate payment of tax debts;
• Letters that threaten to turn the recipient over to a collection company or report them to a credit agency unless they immediately pay for some item they have purchased, often medical equipment; and
• Calls or emails that use personal information taken from social media, such as the names of family members, to invent stories of medical emergencies or arrests that require immediate payment.

“People from our area have come to me with all of these types of scams just within the last week. While many of them seek to take advantage of older citizens, everyone should be alert for these and other creative attempts by criminals to obtain money,” Thornberry said.

In one of the most common IRS scams, criminals call or send emails to the victims and identify themselves as Department of the Treasury or IRS officials. They claim that the victim owes money to the IRS and that they must pay the balance immediately using a credit card, pre-paid debit card, or wire transfer. They threaten punishment, including arrest or suspension of a business or driver’s license if the debt is not paid immediately. The scammers may also use fake badge numbers and use phone numbers with a 202 Washington area code.

“People should be are aware of this scheme before they become victims themselves. We also want them to know how important it is to report instances like this so these criminals can be found and prosecuted,” Thornberry added.

The IRS generally first contacts people by mail – not by phone – about unpaid taxes and will not ask for payment using a pre-paid debit card, a money order, or a wire transfer. The IRS also will not ask for a credit card number or your bank information over the phone. If you get a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS asking for a payment or your credit card or bank account information, report it by going to There is an online form you can fill out or you can call their scam hotline at 800-366-4484.

“If someone unexpectedly calls claiming to be from the IRS or in a new twist, the Treasury Department, and uses the threat of legal action if you do not pay immediately, that is a sign that it is not the IRS calling, and your cue to hang up,” Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George said. “Again, do not engage with these callers. If they call you, hang up the telephone.”

The IRS will also never request personal or financial information by e-mail, text, or any social media. You should forward scam e-mails to Do not open any attachments or click on any links in those e-mails.

Reporting these incidents helps in the following ways according to the Department of the Treasury: 

• Providing the call-back number can lead to arrests.
• It builds an evidentiary trail.
• Telephone numbers are shut down.
• Scam attempts are cataloged.

More information can be found at the Department of the Treasury’s website here: Read More

Thornberry Statement on Khizr Khan Speech and Military Service


U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, made the following statement: 

"I am dismayed at the attacks Khizr and Ghazala Khan have endured after they spoke about their son's service and sacrifice. There is never enough honor we can show to the families of those whose loved ones have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Service to our country is above politics. I believe that each of us are called every day to show our deepest respect and gratitude to all of those who protect our freedom and their families." Read More

Thornberry on the shooting in Dallas


U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) released the following statement after Thursday's shooting in Dallas that killed four Dallas police officers and one Dallas Area Rapid Transit officer:

"Our hearts go out to the families of the police officers and the other victims of the ambush shooting in Dallas. After the deadliest day for law enforcement since 9/11, it is especially important for all of us to express our support and gratitude for all of the law enforcement officers who help keep us safe."

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Thornberry on President's New Afghanistan Troop Cap


Today, U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement in response to the President's announcement that new troop levels in Afghanistan will be set at 8,448.  

“The precision of the President’s new Afghanistan troop cap would be comical were its consequences not so tragic for our mission and military readiness.  It is time that the President level with the American people about what it will really take to achieve our goals in Afghanistan, and how much it will cost. The truth is that many thousands more Americans are performing military functions in Afghanistan - than even the current troop cap authorizes.  The President refuses to pay for them, and his budget does not have room for the troops he is committing.  For all of the bluster about funding troops in harm's way, it is the President who proposes to extend the vital mission without any resources behind it.  The White House must submit a supplemental funding request to accommodate troop levels in Afghanistan immediately.”

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Thornberry statement on Supreme Court's immigration ruling


U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) released the following statement after the Supreme Court announced its decision on President Obama's executive action on immigration in the case of United States v. Texas:

"Today's Supreme Court decision stops the President's attempt to rewrite immigration laws on his own. That is not the way our Constitution works, as the courts have again made clear. I hope the President is listening." 

You can download video interview footage for news purposes by clicking here.

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Contact Information

2329 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-3706
Fax 202-225-3486

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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