“There is no question that burdensome energy regulations and unnecessary bureaucratic delays drive up costs and waste time for businesses, which ultimately hurts consumers,” Thornberry said. “These three bills are a step in the right direction to pull back some of the misguided regulations and decisions we have seen over the past few years.”
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone, which can result in additional red tape and control costs for energy and other businesses operating in an area that does not meet EPA’s standard. The EPA set a standard in 2008 but did not release the rules for implementation until March 2015. In October 2015, the EPA released another lower ozone standard at a time when states were still implementing the 2008 standard. This bill provides states and localities more time to implement the 2015 standard and addresses other challenges under the NAAQS program.
There are currently no statutory time limits forcing the federal government to provide companies with necessary certificates to build interstate natural gas pipelines within a set amount of time. This bill will set deadlines in law and require concurrent reviews for involved federal agencies to increase the predictability and fairness of the pipeline permitting process.
This bill eliminates the current presidential permit requirements, like those imposed on the Keystone XL project, for pipelines and electricity transmission equipment that cross U.S. international borders. Instead, this bill establishes a “certificate of crossing” to be issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for pipeline projects or the Energy Department for electricity transmission projects. The certificate must be issued or denied within 120 days of the completion of an environmental study.
On Friday, the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018. The vote was 344 to 81. The bill covers the wide range of programs and activities carried out by the Department of Defense and portions of the Department of Energy. This year, the bill focuses on beginning to rebuild our military and reform the Pentagon.
Nothing is more important than ensuring that the men and women who serve are fully supported with the best equipment, in the best shape, with the best training that our nation can provide. Even on routine training missions and routine deployments, the men and women who serve are risking their lives for us.
The NDAA provides our troops with the full 2.4 percent pay raise, to which they are entitled to under the law – the biggest in eight years. It beefs up missile defense at a time when those threats continue to grow. It increases end strength to provide our services the personnel they need to complete the missions we assign them. It boosts Navy ship and aircraft depot maintenance and readiness while also including additional funds for the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force operations and maintenance. The bill also makes major reforms in acquisition and services contracting.
In addition, this bill works to support our military families by ensuring that they get appropriate inpatient care in Medical Treatment facilities located outside the United States, for example.
With all that we are able to achieve in this bill, there is still much to do to ensure our military is properly manned, trained, and equipped. I look forward to continuing our work to ensure this bill moves forward with the focus on the men and women in uniform.
I am grateful for those who serve and inspire us – the men and women who are counting on us.
To learn more about how the NDAA affects Sheppard Air Force Base, Bell Helicopter, and Pantex in our local area click here.
WASHINGTON - The U.S. House of Representatives passed the third National Defense Authorization Act under U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry's (R-Clarendon) chairmanship of the House Armed Services Committee by a vote of 344 to 81.
“For the 56th year in a row, the House has passed a bipartisan bill that prioritizes the men and women in uniform who selflessly volunteer to support and defend our nation,” Thornberry said. This bill takes the necessary steps to begin to rebuild and reform our military, including billions in additional funds to begin to close the dangerous readiness gaps our troops are facing.”
Sheppard Air Force Base: The NDAA authorizes funding for an increase in end strength of the Air Force and programs such as the training missions at Sheppard Air Force Base near Wichita Falls. It also includes language to tighten evaluation process of energy projects close to military installations to help ensure that bases and training ranges are not adversely impacted.
Pantex: The bill provides $10.4 billion in funding for nuclear weapons activities including the work done at Pantex, which is $184 million more than the Administration’s budget request. All life extension programs, including the W76-1 program currently underway at Pantex, are fully funded. The bill includes $5.2 million to begin design and construction of the Pantex Material Staging Facility, which will dramatically improve operations and security at the plant. To help with aging infrastructure, the bill establishes the Facilities and Infrastructure Recapitalization and Repair Program (FIRRP) with a goal of reducing the nuclear security enterprise’s backlog of deferred maintenance and repair needs by 50 percent within five years. An additional $150 million is included to help with this effort at Pantex and other facilities across the enterprise. Finally, the bill provides an increase of $33 million for defense nuclear security to ensure Pantex and other facilities maintain the highest level of security.
Bell: Close to $2.6 billion is authorized for Bell’s V-22 Osprey and helicopter programs, including the procurement of 10 new Ospreys and 27 new H-1 helicopters. Much of the work for those aircraft will be performed in Amarillo.
WASHINGTON - The House Armed Services Committee passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, which authorizes spending for military personnel, weapons systems, national security programs, and foreign military operations by a vote of 60 to 1.
“The threats our country faces today are more varied and widespread than ever before. While our enemies have been quickly advancing, our military has gotten smaller,” Thornberry said. “Our servicemembers work to protect us every day, and we owe them the best training, the best equipment, and other support our nation can provide.”
The bill authorizes $631.5 billion in spending for defense needs, including a $28.5 billion increase for essential readiness recovery above the President’s budget request.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) also combats global terrorism by fully resourcing and authorizing counterterrorism efforts and U.S. Special Operations Forces, programs, and activities around the world.
WASHINGTON - U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) released the following statement after Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Pruitt announced that they would be withdrawing from Obama’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule.
“I welcome the news that the EPA will not move forward with the Obama Administration’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule that is disastrous for rural communities and agricultural producers. Earlier this Congress, I introduced H.R. 1261, the “Federal Regulatory Certainty for Water Act,” to clarify what “navigable waters” means and especially what it does not. Placing a good definition in law will help ensure that the courts and future administrations will not revive attempts to regulate every bar ditch and buffalo wallow across the country.”Read More
WASHINGTON - U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) released the following statement after receiving a response from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) stating that they granted an extension of the emergency grazing on CRP lands for the Texas Panhandle fires.
“The decision by the USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue to extend emergency grazing on CRP lands will allow ranchers who were affected by the Panhandle wildfires much needed time to rebuild fencing, replant grass, and provide a safe home for their livestock. I appreciate the Secretary listening to our concerns and providing agriculture producers in the Panhandle with more time to get back on their feet.”
Last month, Thornberry sent a letter to the USDA along with Representatives Frank Lucas and Roger Marshall requesting a 90-day extension of the authorized emergency grazing on CRP lands located in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. You can read the letter by clicking here.
You can read the letter from the USDA by clicking here.
|WASHINGTON- U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) voted today in support of H.R. 10, the “Financial CHOICE Act,” that passed by a vote of 233-186.
“We are losing one community bank or credit union every day under the Dodd-Frank Act,” Thornberry said. “The ‘Financial CHOICE Act’ is about creating jobs and boosting the economy. Dodd-Frank has hurt everyone from small businesses to homebuyers. Replacing its overly burdensome regulations with commonsense solutions will make a real difference in the lives of most Americans.”
Thornberry also noted that this bill will create a more transparent regulatory financial system that will allow our community lenders to refocus on providing opportunities for folks in rural communities instead of meeting unnecessary Washington mandates.
H.R. 10 will also:
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the “Financial CHOICE Act” will reduce the federal deficit by $33.6 billion through 2027. You can read the entire CBO report here. If you would like to read more about the “Financial CHOICE Act”click here.
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.
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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