Mac Thornberry

Mac Thornberry

TEXAS' 13th DISTRICT

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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Thornberry urges action on Panhandle wildfire assistance

2017/03/09

U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) is urging agriculture producers who have suffered livestock and property losses in the recent wildfires to file a Notice of Loss with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to begin the federal assistance process. A Notice of Loss must be filed within 30 days of the time of the loss by phone or in person at a local USDA county service center. County service center locations can be found on their website at https://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app.

“Sally and I continue to pray for those who have lost so much in recent days, especially the families and friends of Sloan Everett, Cody Crockett, Sydney Wallace, and Cade Koch. Nothing can ever replace the loss of their loved ones,” Thornberry said. “For those who have lost livestock and property, it is important to assess the losses as soon as it is safe and begin the assistance process with the USDA.”

To qualify, you must have legally owned the eligible livestock, poultry, or swine on the day they died, and they must:

  • Have died due to an eligible weather event on or after Oct. 1, 2011 and no later than 60 days from the end date of the event.
  • Have been for commercial use in a farming operation on the day they died.
  • Have died in the calendar year of requested benefits.

The program excludes wild, free-roaming animals, or pets or animals used for recreational purposes, like for hunting, roping, or show.

You must have had possession and control of the livestock and a written agreement with the livestock owner. The specific terms, conditions, and obligations of both parties must be set.

The following resources and information have been provided by the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC).

Agriculture Indemnity Program

Several programs authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill provide benefits to livestock producers for livestock deaths due to wildfires and other natural disasters.

Livestock Supply Points

The following livestock supply points are currently receiving and distributing donated feed resources to producers impacted by wildfires. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is not involved in the donation or distribution process. FSA is, however, raising awareness of the supply point locations where resources are available to producers located in counties affected by wildfires.

Supply Point 1

Serving ranchers in Gray, Wheeler and Roberts counties
301 Bull Barn Dr
Pampa, TX 
Contact: Mike Jeffcoat
Office: 806-669-8033
Cell: 580-467-0753

Supply Point 2

Serving ranchers in in Ochiltree, Lipscomb, Hemphill and Roberts counties
202 West Main St
Lipscomb, TX
Contact: J.R. Spragg
Office: 806-862-4601
Cell: 806-202-5288

Texas Department of Agriculture Hay Hotline

TDA's hay hotline helps agricultural producers locate forage and hay supplies for sale. If you need hay or would like to donate hay, visit www.gotexan.org/hayhotlinehome.aspx or call 877-429-1998.

Carcass Disposal

For questions about carcass disposal call the Texas Commission on Environment Quality (TCEQ) at 800-832-8224 or visit their website at www.tceq.texas.gov.

Lost or Found Livestock

  • If you find cattle or other livestock with official identification, document the number, location of the animal(s), and call the TAHC at 512-719-0733 or 806-354-9335 and TAHC will contact the owner. If you find stray cattle that have a brand, call Texas Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) at 817-332-7064 for brand identification.
  • If cattle have strayed onto your property, you must report them to the sheriff's office in the county you are located in within five days of discovery to be eligible for reasonable payment for maintenance of or damages caused by the estray livestock. For more information regarding Texas' estray laws visit: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/AG/htm/AG.142.htm.
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Thornberry statement on American Health Care Act

2017/03/08

U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) released the following statement about the Republican proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act:

“Obamacare is failing and is doing damage to the health care of all Americans. This is the first step in a process that will lead to patient-centered care that provides more choices and lowers prices instead of mandates.

“I am sure that the plan will be improved during the legislative process, but it is important to get started and get this job done.”

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Thornberry votes in support of defense appropriations bill

2017/03/08

U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, voted today in support of the “Fiscal Year 2017 Defense Appropriations,” H.R. 1301, which appropriates nearly $577.9 billion in funding for national defense. The bill passed by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 371 to 48.

“By passing this bill with a strong bipartisan vote, Congress sent an important message to the men and women of the military as well as to allies and potential adversaries around the world. It is an essential first step to repair and rebuild our military. But it is not enough. We must follow it up with a supplemental appropriations bill and a FY 2018 funding level that fulfills the first responsibility of the federal government, which is to defend the country,” Thornberry said.

When combined with the funding provided in the continuing resolution supplemental enacted in December, defense funding for the 2017 fiscal year totals $584 billion.

Locally, the bill appropriates funding for national security facilities and programs such as training missions at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls. In addition, about $2.9 billion total is authorized for Bell’s V-22 Osprey and helicopter programs, including the procurement of 19 new Ospreys and 24 new AH-1Z / UH-1Y helicopters. Much of the work for those aircraft will be performed in Amarillo. 

The bill also fully funds the 2.1 percent pay raise for service members authorized in Thornberry’s Defense Authorization Act that passed in December.

You can download video footage of Thornberry speaking on the floor of the House in support of the bill here.

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Thornberry commends EPA for rescinding oil and gas regulation

2017/03/06

U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) released the following statement to commend Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt for withdrawing the Information Collection Request (ICR) for the oil and natural gas industry to provide information to develop regulations for methane emissions from existing sources:
 
“EPA Administrator Pruitt’s decision to withdraw the methane emissions ICR for the oil and natural gas industry is a welcome move away from the previous Administration’s agenda to expand their authority and control over many parts of our society. We have a responsibility to be good stewards of our environment, but that does not mean that the federal government should be burdening our nation’s energy producers with needless and costly regulations like this one.
 
“There is no question that these burdensome regulations like the ICR drive up costs for businesses and consumers alike. By the EPA’s own estimate, the ICR would have cost producers $42 million to comply during a time when the industry is already dealing with financial hardships.”

 
You can view a letter that Thornberry sent to Administrator Pruitt about rescinding the ICR by clicking here.

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Thornberry introduces Waters of the U.S. bill

2017/03/01

U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) applauded the executive order signed by President Trump to rewrite the Obama-era regulation related to “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) and has introduced legislation to solve the problem permanently. Thornberry’s bill, the “Federal Regulatory Certainty for Water Act,” H.R. 1261, clarifies the definition of “navigable waters” in the Clean Water Act (CWA) as waters that are navigable-in-fact or are permanently flowing bodies of water that physically connect to navigable waters.

“This week, the President signed an executive order to begin reversing the WOTUS rule as it was finalized by the Obama administration. We should also clarify the definition of ‘navigable waters’ to prevent future administrations from using the CWA in ways that are far beyond its intended scope,” Thornberry said. 

For decades, the courts and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have grappled over the scope of the CWA, which simply defines “navigable waters” as “the waters of the United States, including the territorial seas.” In May 2015, the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finalized the WOTUS rule, which could allow the regulation of almost any wet area on private land that has some arbitrary connection to a navigable body of water. 

“Folks who live and work in our part of Texas, especially the farmers and ranchers, understand the importance of clean water and work hard to be good stewards of the land. This bill will help protect the personal property and water rights that are so fundamental to the American way of life, a family’s business, and many people’s livelihoods,” Thornberry said.

Since 2013, Thornberry has introduced and supported several bills that offered simple, commonsense ways to protect private landowners from regulatory overreach by the EPA and the Corps.

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Thornberry's Red River bill passes the House

2017/02/14

The “Red River Gradient Boundary Survey Act,” H.R. 428, introduced by U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon), today passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 250-171. The bill establishes a fair and balanced process to conduct an accurate survey of contested land along the Red River to find the proper boundary between public and private ownership.

“This bill essentially requires the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to do what they should have done all along. Its passage in the House is an important step toward providing these landowners with the legal certainty they deserve. 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.” 

For nearly a century, the BLM has failed to survey a small strip of federal land along the entire 116-mile stretch of the Red River between Oklahoma and Texas. The BLM has never actively managed the small strip of federal land, and its own estimates of how much they own have varied widely over the years.  

As a result, private landowners along the River are now unsure whether the land that they have held titles to and have paid taxes on, in some cases for generations, will remain in their families or be confiscated by the federal government. 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.

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 ownership boundary between public and private land.  

• Ordering that the survey be conducted by licensed and qualified surveyors chosen by Texas and Oklahoma.

• Providing states the authority to oversee the surveyors and approve the final survey to ensure the Supreme Court instructions are properly followed.

• Requiring that a notice of survey approval, a copy of the survey, and any related field notes be provided to each individual land owner after the survey is completed.

• Ensuring that nothing in the bill alters the Red River Boundary Compact, modifies the interests of the states, or harms the rights of the impacted federally recognized Indian Tribes.

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
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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