This 2007 image shows two U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor aircraft during a training mission. The wreckage from a missing F-22 Raptor has been found in Alaska near Denali National Park.
[House Hearing, 114 Congress] [From the U.S. Government Publishing. ``Mac,' a Representative from Texas, Chairman, Committee on. This corrosive damage to our national security is not a result of objective factors, logic, reason. And I know that Chairman Thornberry, Ranking Member Smith, and others.
Air Force) The primary job of the federal government is to provide for the common defense, yet today only 15 percent of the budget is devoted to that task. While our military personnel will always try to do whatever is asked of them, years of inadequate and unpredictable funding have taken a real toll. Much of their equipment is old and worn out, and too often they have not been getting the training they need to do what the nation asks.
In 2017 about four times as many service members lost their lives in routine training and operations than in hostile actions. The budget agreement recently passed by Congress and signed into law begins to reverse this decline. At the same time, sufficient resourcing comes with additional responsibility, for both the Congress and the Department of Defense. While the added funding will allow us to begin to repair our planes, ships, and equipment, we must also continue to drive significant reforms needed within the Department and other agencies to stay ahead of rapidly changing technologies and a wide range of current and anticipated future threats. In addition, the first full audit of the Department will occur this year, which will help uncover areas for financial improvement.
Over the past three years, Congress has enacted significant reforms with strong bipartisan support. We have modernized military benefits, reorganized much of the Defense bureaucracy, and reformed the way the Pentagon buys goods and services. All of this was done with a goal of making the Pentagon, and especially the acquisition system, more agile. As a result, anyone entering military service today will witness these reforms, over the course of their career, save the taxpayer billions. We have more work to do, and top officials in the Department seem willing to work with Congress towards this important goal. A military starved of resources, training, and equipment will not long be able to protect the country physically or economically. Still, some have opposed restoring military budgets by trying to revive the old “guns versus butter” debate.
In fact, American economic prosperity and our national security are more like the chicken and the egg – we cannot have one without the other. We need a strong, vibrant economy to produce the tax revenue to fund our military. We also need economic growth and innovation to ensure that our military technology stays ahead of authoritarian, directed economies like China’s that can force a whole-of-nation effort against us.
But a strong military is also an essential prerequisite to a healthy economy and to our quality of life. Since World War II, the rules-based international order created and maintained by the United States has benefited peoples around the globe and none more so than Americans here at home. We are living longer with a higher material standard of living than ever before. When we talk about the necessity of a strong military, it is not only to protect our people and allies from North Korean missile and terrorist attacks. It is also to guarantee freedom of navigation in the sea and in the air and to ensure that there are fair, enforceable international rules that give American companies and American workers a fair chance to compete.
Allowing our military strength to continue to wane adds fuel to China’s narrative that America is a nation in decline so that Asian nations would do better to enlist in China’s alternative economic and military order. If China sets the rules for much of the world’s economy, America will feel the consequences in our pocketbooks as well as in our security. A military starved of resources, training, and equipment will not long be able to protect the country physically or economically. That is why Congress came together this month and ended the era of asking our troops to do too much with too little.
To make the most of that investment, we must now apply equal effort to agility driven reforms. The brave men and women in the military serve the nation unconditionally, and our support for them should be unconditional as well.
They deserve the best training, equipment, and support that our nation can provide. By providing that kind of support for them, we are also helping ensure that future Americans will inherit a country of growth and opportunity.
Assumed office January 3, 1995 Preceded by Personal details Born William McClellan Thornberry ( 1958-07-15) July 15, 1958, Political party Spouse(s) Sally Thornberry Residence Occupation Rancher, lawyer Religion William McClellan Thornberry, known as Mac Thornberry (born July 15, 1958), is the from the. He has served since 1995, when the House seated its first majority in forty years and signed the 'Contract with America' that was authored by former House of Representatives Speaker. A Republican, Thornberry represents, a stronghold which stretches between the and borders.
It winds across the Panhandle into the, then runs east across the Valley. Covering over 40,000 square miles (100,000 km 2 ), it is the second-largest district geographically in Texas and one of the largest (excluding at-large districts in, and ) in the country.
It is even larger in area than thirteen states. The principal cities in the district are.
Early life, education and career His great-great-grandfather, Amos Thornberry, a veteran and staunch Republican, moved in the 1880s to, just east of Wichita Falls. Thornberry is a lifelong resident of, some 60 miles (97 km) east of Amarillo, in the heart of the 13th. His family has operated a in the area since 1881. He received his in from in. He then obtained his from the in. He served previously as a staffer to two other Texas Republican congressmen, and, and as deputy Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs under before he joined his brothers on the family ranch.
Thornberry has called President Reagan '.a great man and a great president, ranking in the top tier of all of our chief executives.' He also practiced law in Amarillo. Thornberry is a member of the.
House of Representatives Committee Assignments (Chairman) Thornberry serves as Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee – the first Texan of either party to hold this position. The Armed Services Committee has the responsibility to oversee the Pentagon, all military services, and all Department of Defense agencies, including agency budgets and policies. In his role on the committee, Thornberry has been an outspoken critic of many of President Obama's national security policies, including the fight against ISIS, the Iran nuclear deal, and more. He has warned about a growing competition between al-Qaida and ISIS about which organization is the most prominent terrorist group in the world. Concerning the Obama administration's nuclear deal with Iran, Thornberry has identified three major concerns he has: how the provisions will be verified and enforced, if Iran will actually live up to its promises, and the billions of dollars Iran will receive because of sanctions relief. He has also stressed serious concerns about Iran's ability to produce a nuclear weapon in nine months because of the deal.
Thornberry also blasted the Obama administration's approach to the Middle East, as well as its attempt to 'pivot' to East Asia. Since taking the committee gavel at the beginning of the 114th Congress, Thornberry has spearheaded a major acquisition reform effort. That effort has received bipartisan and bicameral support from House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). Past Committee Assignments Thornberry previously served on the.
Legislative work Legislative biography From the: 'In the House, Thornberry has compiled a solidly conservative voting record, though he has a pragmatic streak and is hardly the most ideological Republican in the Texas delegation. In keeping with his scholarly nature, his official website includes an essay explaining his philosophy and explaining his interest 'in continuing to push government to work smarter and more efficiently.' Thornberry has often been at the forefront of security issues. Six months before the tragic events of, Mac introduced a bill to create a new, 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. He took over in January 2011 as chairman of the Armed Services Committee’s terrorism panel. Earlier, as a member of the Intelligence Committee, Thornberry criticized delays in integrating computer networks and intelligence analyses at the Homeland Security Department. He also has championed missile defense and called for better coordination of military space programs. Thornberry was critical of President Barack Obama’s arms control deal with Russia in 2010 for precluding the use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear nations. But he can be more pragmatic than other defense hawks.
He served on a bipartisan commission in 2007 that drew up recommendations for winning the war in Iraq with both lethal and non-lethal approaches, such as diplomacy and foreign aid. Despite his expertise on security matters, he lost his bid in 2009 to chair the full Armed Services Committee to Buck McKeon, R-Calif., who had more seniority. He served as vice chair of the full committee during McKeon's time as the chairman. On domestic issues, Thornberry has pressed for repeal of the estate tax and also tax credits to encourage production of oil in marginal wells. In 2010, he got a bill into law expanding access to state veterans’ homes to parents whose children died while serving in the military. He introduced a bill in January 2011 to help states set up special health care courts staffed by judges with expertise in the subject. The judges would serve as an alternative to juries that Republicans say are inclined to award unnecessarily large damage amounts in malpractice cases.'
Term limits Thornberry has consistently voted for term limits that would apply to U.S. He has never said that he would limit the amount of terms he would serve until a Constitutional Amendment is passed limiting senators and representatives across the board. He is quoted as saying, 'The key is who are we working for? It doesn't matter if you've been in Washington two years or 25 years. We saw a huge number of incumbents lose in the last election because they forgot that.
I don't work for the new speaker. I don't work for the party. I work for the 650,000 folks in my district. That's certainly the focus of mine.' Agriculture and farm bill With a long personal and family background in ranching, Thornberry has been a leading voice in the House of Representatives about the importance of passing a Farm Bill every five years to give farmers and ranchers more stability. In 2013, he voted for the five year Farm Bill that failed in the House.
The 2013 Farm Bill offered taxpayers close to $40 billion in savings, including reductions in farm policy spending and the repeal or consolidation of over 100 programs. Those savings included annual cuts of $2 billion from food stamps, which would have been the most extensive reforms to food policy since 1996. Energy Thornberry supports an 'all of the above' energy plan and opposes a global warming tax. In 2013, he introduced, H.R. 2081, the 'No More Excuses Energy Act of 2013' that would encourage the production of all forms of domestic energy including oil and gas, nuclear, and alternative energy and fuels.
He has voted in support of opening the Outer Continental Shelf to oil drilling, barring the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases, and against tax credits for renewable electricity. In July 2015, the President signed a highway funding extension legislation into law.
It included a provision based on a liquefied natural gas (LNG) excise tax bill, H.R. 905, that Thornberry introduced with Rep. John Larson (D-CT). The federal excise tax on LNG and diesel has been set at 24.3 cents per gallon. Because it takes 1.7 gallons of LNG to produce the same amount of energy as a gallon of diesel fuel, LNG is being taxed 70 percent higher than diesel. The new law 'levels the playing field' by applying the excise tax to LNG and diesel based on the amount of energy each produces, which is how it is applied to Compressed Natural Gas and gasoline. Cybersecurity In 2011, U.S.
House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner tapped Thornberry to lead an initiative on cybersecurity to focus the efforts of Congress to combat the growing national security and economic threat. The task force was composed of representatives of nine committees with jurisdiction over cyber issues. The panel recommended reforming a range of current laws, including the 2002 Federal Information Security Management Act, which governs government security programs.
Thornberry is on record saying, “Cybersecurity attacks are a direct threat to our economy and job creation, as well as our national security.' In a 2012 column he wrote for Federal News Radio, Thornberry said, 'If we can get an information sharing bill to the President, however, Congress should not consider their work done. We still have larger issues to grapple with, such as the role of the Department of Homeland Security and whether some industries will require a regulatory nudge to improve their network standards.'
That year, the House passed comprehensive cybersecurity legislation that year, but the Senate failed to act on any of it. Synthetic Drugs In 2015, Thornberry introduced legislation, H.R. 1186, called the Synthetic Abuse and Labeling Toxic Substances, or SALTS Act — that would make it easier for law enforcement officials to take action against synthetic drug manufacturers, distributors, and sellers by closing a loophole that makes it difficult to prosecute them because they label packages as “not intended for human consumption.” Voting record From Jan 1995 to Jul 2015, Thornberry missed 128 of 14,001 roll call votes, which is 0.9%.
This is better than the median of 2.2% among the lifetime records of representatives currently serving. Voting scorecard by issue. In 2012, the American Conservative Union Ratings of Congress gave Thornberry a 96% rating for the year. He has a lifetime score of 95%. The National Right to Life Committee has consistently scored Thornberry at 100%. The American Family Association, Christian Coalition of America, and Family Research Council have all consistently given Thornberry a 100% rating on family and marriage issues. The National Rifle Association gave Thornberry a lifetime rating of 92% on 2nd Amendment and gun rights issues.
Gun Owners of America gave Thornberry a score of 90% on 2nd Amendment and gun rights issues. The Disabled American Veterans and Vietnam Veterans of America have both given Thornberry a 100% score on veteran issues. Both the Fleet Reserve Association and Non Commissioned Officers Association have given Thornberry a 100% score military issues.
The American Farm Bureau gave Thornberry a 94% score in 2011 on agricultural issues. Political campaigns Thornberry defeated Congressman in the 1994, a heavily Republican year nationwide. He polled 79,416 votes (55 percent) to Sarpalius' 63,923 votes (44 percent). Two years earlier in a much higher turnout election, Sarpalius had polled nearly double the votes that he received in 1994. The 13th has always been a somewhat conservative district, but on paper had been made somewhat less Republican in the 1990s redistricting. For this reason, Thornberry's victory is still regarded as an upset. Thornberry has never faced another contest nearly as close as his initial one, and has been reelected 10 times, never dropping below 67 percent of the vote.
He has consolidated his hold on a district that was historically Democratic. While voters in this region began splitting their tickets as early as the 1940s, Democrats continued to hold most local offices well into the 1990s. However, Thornberry's win began a wave of Republican victories in this region, and it is now reckoned as one of the most Republican districts in the nation. Indeed, the rated it is the most Republican district in the country (R+32). Thornberry is only the third Republican to represent the district for a full term since. The previous Republican representatives were of (1967–1975) and of Amarillo (1985–1989).
In the 2006 and 2008 elections, Thornberry handily defeated former and Professor Roger Waun. In the Republican primary held on May 29, 2012, Thornberry overwhelmed his lone opponent, Pamela Lee Barlow, 47,251 votes (78 percent) to 13,643 (22 percent). In the general election, Thornberry bested (91 percent) Libertarian John Robert Deek of Denton and Green Party candidate Keith F. Houston of (there was no Democratic candidate).
In the Republican primary held on March 4, 2014, Thornberry easily won re-nomination. He polled 45,097 votes (68 percent) to challengers Elaine Hays and, again, Pamela Barlow, who received 12,438 votes (19 percent) and 8,860 votes (13 percent), respectively. CFR Membership List as of May 23, 2012. Available at. The Cook Political Report. October 9, 2013.
Retrieved May 30, 2012. Retrieved February 26, 2013. External link in publisher= (help). External links. official U.S.
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House site. at. on. at the. at. at the. at Preceded by Member of the from 1995–present Incumbent Preceded by Chairman of the 2015–present (ceremonial) Preceded by 63rd Succeeded.
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