Chairman Thornberry's Biography

Mac Thornberry (R-TX) serves as Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee – the first Texan of either party to hold this position. Chairman Thornberry is a fifth-generation Texan and lifelong resident of the 13th District of Texas. 

Chairman Thornberry believes that protecting our country is the first function of the federal government.  In a time of unprecedented security challenges, he is committed to ensuring that the United States has the military capability and agility to protect the nation and our interests around the world.  His priority as Chairman is to support and provide for the men and women who serve our country.

Widely respected as an innovator and strategic thinker, Chairman Thornberry was one of the first in Congress to recognize the need to confront terrorism.  In March of 2001, six months prior to the attacks on 9/11, he introduced a bill, the “National Homeland Security Agency Act,” that would later become the basis for the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.  In addition to his leadership in the war on terrorism, he has consistently been on the leading edge of shaping policy on a range of critical national security matters, including cybersecurity, transformation of the military and strategic nuclear issues.   

As Chairman, he is committed to long-term reform of the Department of Defense, including a hard look at acquisition, Pentagon overhead, and personnel compensation reform.  He is working actively to promote commonsense reform that will help ensure the American taxpayer gets good value for the money being spent and that the country gets the security it needs to keep people safe. 

Chairman Thornberry has written widely on defense matters, and appeared regularly on all major cable and network television channels providing congressional insight on national security issues.    He now serves as an Ex Oficio member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.   The Chairman is also a former member of the Budget Committee, Resources Committee, and the Select Committee on Homeland Security. 

Prior to serving the people of the 13th District, Chairman Thornberry served in the Reagan Administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs at the State Department.  He also served on Capitol Hill as a Chief of Staff, practiced law in Amarillo, TX, and is actively involved in his family’s ranching business.