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continue to work to pass legislation that further repeals and replaces the disastrous law since Obamacare cannot be repealed and replaced in a single bill,” Thornberry said.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.
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.
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.
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.”
2329 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
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’s wife, Sally, is also a native Texan. They have two children.
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Congress passed the BCA, was supposed to move us to cut mandatory spending - it has not, defense has seen the greatest cuts @MacTXPress
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Chairman @MacTXPress - it is at best a stalemate in AFG - under Obama, troop caps have hindered the completion of the mission...
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Unfortunately we've cut defense spending about 20% in the Obama years... @MacTXPress
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