|U.S. House, Texas, District 13|
|January 3, 1995-present|
|January 3, 2015|
|Years in position||19|
|Predecessor||Bill Sarpalius (D)|
|Legislative counsel to U.S. Rep. Thomas G. Loeffler|
|Chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Larry Combest|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 6, 2012|
|Cost per vote||$4.64 in 2012|
|First elected||November 8, 1994|
|Next primary||March 4, 2014|
|Next general||November 4, 2014|
|Deputy assistant secretary for legislative affairs, Department of State|
|High school||Clarendon High School, TX|
|Bachelor's||Texas Tech University, Lubbock|
|J.D.||University of Texas School of Law|
|Birthday||July 15, 1958|
|Place of birth||Clarendon, TX|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Career
- 3 Committee assignments
- 4 Issues
- 4.1 Legislative actions
- 4.1.1 113th Congress
- 4.1.2 National security
- 4.1.3 Economy
- 4.1.4 Immigration
- 4.1.5 Healthcare
- 4.1.6 Social issues
- 4.1.7 Previous congressional sessions
- 4.2 Political positions
- 4.3 Presidential preference
- 4.4 Campaign themes
- 4.1 Legislative actions
- 5 Elections
- 6 Campaign donors
- 7 Analysis
- 8 Personal
- 9 Recent news
- 10 See also
- 11 External links
- 12 References
Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Thornberry is an average Republican member of Congress, meaning he will vote with the Republican Party on the majority of bills.
Thornberry earned his B.A. from Texas Tech and his J.D. from the University of Texas. After earning his law degree he spent six years in politics, as an aide to two Texas representatives and then in the State Department during the Reagan Administration. He left Washington, D.C., for several years, going into the family ranching business and practicing law.
- 1983-1985: Legislative counsel to U.S. Rep. Thomas G. Loeffler (TX)
- 1985-1988: Chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Larry Combest (TX)
- 1988-1989: Deputy Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs, Department of State
- 1989-1994: Rancher and lawyer (private practice)
- 1995-present: U.S. House of Representatives
Thornberry serves on the following committees:
- Committee on Armed Services
- Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities Chair
- Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces
- United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
- Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence
Thornberry served on the following House committees:
- House Armed Services Committee Vice Chair
- Subcommittee on Emerging Threats
- Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
The 113th Congress has had 55 out of 5,401 introduced bills enacted into law (1%) as of November 30, 2013. Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 1.14% of introduced bills enacted into law in the first session. For more information pertaining to Thornberry's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.
Thornberry voted for HR 1960 - the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014. The bill passed the House on June 14, 2013, with a vote of 315 - 108. Both parties were somewhat divided on the vote.
Thornberry voted for HR 2217 - the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2014. The bill passed the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 245 - 182 that was largely along party lines.
Thornberry voted for HR 624 - the CISPA (2013). The bill passed the House on April 18, 2013, with a vote of 288 - 127. The bill would allow federal intelligence agencies to share cybersecurity intelligence and information with private entities and utilities. The bill was largely supported by Republicans, but divided the Democratic Party.
On January 29, 2014, the U.S. House approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, also known as the Farm Bill. The bill passed by a vote of 251-166. The nearly 1,000-page bill reformed and continued various programs of the Department of Agriculture through 2018. The $1 trillion bill expanded crop insurance for farmers by $7 billion over the next decade and created new subsidies for rice and peanut growers that would kick in when prices drop. However, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states. Thornberry voted with 161 other Republican representatives in favor of the bill.
On January 15, 2014, the Republican-run House approved H.R. 3547, a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30, 2014. The House voted 359-67 for the 1,582 page bill, with 64 Republicans and 3 Democrats voting against the bill. The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations. It included a 1% increase in the paychecks of federal workers and military personnel, a $1 billion increase in Head Start funding for early childhood education, reduced funding to the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency and left the Affordable Care Act without any drastic cuts. Thornberry voted with the majority of the Republican party in favor of the bill.
- See also: United States budget debate, 2013
On September 30, 2013, the House passed a final stopgap spending bill before the shutdown went into effect. The bill included a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate and would have also stripped the bill of federal subsidies for congressional members and staff. It passed through the House with a vote of 228-201. At 1 a.m. on October 1, 2013, one hour after the shutdown officially began, the House voted to move forward with going to a conference. In short order, Sen. Harry Reid rejected the call to conference. Thornberry voted in favor of the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.
The shutdown finally ended on October 16, 2013, when the House took a vote on HR 2775 after it was approved by the Senate. The bill to reopen the government lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies. The House passed the legislation shortly after the Senate, by a vote of 285-144, with all 144 votes against the legislation coming from Republican members. Thornberry voted against HR 2775.
Federal Pay Adjustment Act
Thornberry voted for HR 273 - Eliminates the 2013 Statutory Pay Adjustment for Federal Employees. The bill passed the House on February 15, 2013, with a vote of 261 - 154. The bill would prevent a 0.5% pay increase for all federal workers from taking effect, saving the federal government $11 billion over 10 years.
Morton Memos Prohibition
Thornberry voted for House Amendment 136 - Prohibits the Enforcement of the Immigration Executive Order. The amendment was adopted by the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 224 - 201. The purpose of the amendment as stated on the official text is to "prohibit the use of funds to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce the Morton Memos." These memos would have granted administrative amnesty to certain illegal aliens residing in the United States. The vote largely followed party lines.
Healthcare Reform Rules
Thornberry voted for House Amendment 450 - Requires Congressional Approval for Any Rules Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The amendment was adopted by the House on August 2, 2013, with a vote of 227-185. The amendment requires that all changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act be approved by Congress before taking effect. The vote was largely along party lines.
Thornberry voted for HR 1797 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The resolution passed the House on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 228 - 196 that largely followed party lines. The purpose of the bill is to ban abortions that would take place 20 or more weeks after fertilization.
Previous congressional sessions
Thornberry voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. He was 1 of 85 Republicans that voted in favor of the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257 - 167 vote on January 1, 2013.
In May 2012, Rep. Thornberry, along with Rep. Adam Smith, sponsored an amendment to a defense authorization bill that would negate two previous acts in order to legalize the use of propaganda on Americans. Thornberry stated that the current restriction “ties the hands of America’s diplomatic officials, military, and others by inhibiting our ability to effectively communicate in a credible way.” Critics said the move was done under the radar and that there are ways to modernize without getting rid of these safeguards.
Thornberry's campaign website lists the following issues:
- Excerpt: "Today there are more federal regulations on the books than any other time in our nation’s history. This blizzard of regulations, in many cases, is the Administration’s way of bypassing Congress and imposing its will through the back door. Mac is a strong advocate for simplifying, streamlining, and opening up the regulatory process to prevent or reduce overreach by the federal government."
- National Security
- Excerpt: "Mac believes that the first job of the federal government is to defend the country. He has been a strong advocate for making sure that the military and national security professionals have the tools they need to do the job the country asks of them. He also believes it is wrong to play partisan politics with those who risk their lives to protect America."
- Fiscal Responsibility
- Excerpt: "Mac believes that the federal government should be required to balance its budget, just as millions of American families have to do. He supports a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution and has voted for it repeatedly."
- Excerpt: "Although the Supreme Court has ruled the individual mandate is constitutional, Mac believes that upending the entire health care system when 84 percent of Americans are already covered by health insurance was an enormous mistake."
- A Fairer, Flatter Tax Code
- Excerpt: "Mac always remembers that every dollar spent by the federal government is first earned by a taxpayer. He also knows that the more money the government confiscates in taxes, the less money there is for the family to spend on its needs. Therefore, Mac is a strong advocate for lower taxes."
- Governments Role
- Excerpt: "One of the most encouraging developments in American politics is the increased interest and participation by many people across our country. In a way, it is unfortunate that it took the combination of bail-outs, excessive spending, global warming taxes and regulations, and government-mandated health care for so many Americans to rise up and take action. But they have, and it is a good thing."
Thornberry is running for re-election to the U.S. House in 2014. He defeated Elaine Hays and Pamela Lee Barlow to win the Republican nomination in the primary election on March 4, 2014. He will face Mike Minter (D) in the general election on November 4, 2014.
|U.S. House, Texas District 13 Republican Primary, 2014|
|Mac Thornberry Incumbent||67.9%||45,097|
|Source: Texas Secretary of State, Vote totals above are unofficial and will be updated once official totals are made available.|
Thornberry won re-election in the 2012 election for the U.S. House, representing Texas' 13th District. He defeated Pam Barlow in the Republican primary on May 29, 2012. He then defeated John Robert Deek (L) and Keith Houston (G) in the general election on November 6, 2012.
|U.S. House, Texas District 13 General Election, 2012|
|Republican||Mac Thornberry Incumbent||91%||187,775|
|Libertarian||John Robert Deek||6.2%||12,701|
|Green||Keith F. Houston||2.9%||5,912|
|Source: Texas Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"|
|U.S. House, Texas District 13 Republican Primary, 2012|
|Mac Thornberry Incumbent||77.5%||47,051|
|Pamela Lee Barlow||22.5%||13,637|
Comprehensive donor information for Thornberry is available dating back to 2000. Based on available campaign finance records, Thornberry raised a total of $4,257,257 during that time period. This information was last updated on March 25, 2013.
|Mac Thornberry's Campaign Contribution History|
|2012||US House (Texas, District 13)||$1,092,128|
|2010||US House (Texas, District 13)||$689,960|
|2008||US House (Texas, District 13)||$778,206|
|2006||US House (Texas, District 13)||$631,023|
|2004||US House (Texas, District 13)||$351,862|
|2000||US House (Texas, District 13)||$714,078|
|Grand Total Raised||$4,257,257|
|Mac Thornberry (2014) Campaign Finance Reports|
|Report||Date Filed||Beginning Balance||Total Contributions|
for Reporting Period
|Expenditures||Cash on Hand|
|April Quarterly||April 15, 2013||$461,600.31||$198,894.17||$(103,904.05)||$556,590.43|
|July Quarterly||July 15, 2013||$556,590.43||$195,926.18||$(155,399.85)||$597,116.76|
|October Quarterly||October 15, 2013||$597,116.76||$177,661.77||$(152,040.31)||$622,738.22|
|Year-End||January 31, 2014||$622,738||$130,250||$(207,835)||$545,153|
|Pre-Primary||February 20, 2014||$545,153||$130,214||$(306,625)||$368,742|
|April Quarterly||April 15, 2014||$368,742||$195,645||$(279,085)||$285,302|
According to a July 2013 Politico report, Thornberry made the top 10 list of Hill members receiving defense industry contributions. As of July 2013, Thornberry had received more than $52,000 from top defense firms.
Thornberry won election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that election cycle, Thornberry's campaign committee raised a total of $1,092,129 and spent $870,521. This is less than the average $1.5 million spent by House winners in 2012.
Cost per vote
Thornberry spent $4.64 per vote received in 2012.
|U.S. House, Texas District 13, 2012 - Mac Thornberry Campaign Contributions|
|Total Raised by Election Runner-up||No reports on record for candidate|
|Total Spent by Election Runner-up||No reports on record for candidate|
|Top contributors to Mac Thornberry's campaign committee|
|Amarillo National Bank||$10,375|
|American Crystal Sugar||$10,000|
|Top 5 industries that contributed to campaign committee|
|Oil & Gas||$66,425|
Thornberry won re-election to the U.S. House in 2010. During that re-election cycle, Thornberry's campaign committee raised a total of $689,960 and spent $792,833.
|U.S. House, Texas District 13, 2010 - Mac Thornberry Campaign Contributions|
|Total Raised by General Election Opponent||$0|
|Total Spent by General Election Opponent||$0|
|Top contributors to Mac Thornberry's campaign committee|
|National Beer Wholesalers Assn||$7,500|
|Top 5 industries that contributed to campaign committee|
|Oil & Gas||$57,625|
Ideology and leadership
The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.
Thornberry most often votes with:
Thornberry least often votes with:
Lifetime voting record
According to the website GovTrack, Thornberry missed 121 of 12,398 roll call votes from January 1995 to March 2013. This amounts to 1.0%, which is better than the median of 2.2% among current congressional representatives as of March 2013.
Congressional staff salaries
The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Thornberry paid his congressional staff a total of $1,093,647 in 2011. Overall, Texas ranks 27th in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.
According to an analysis by CNN, Thornberry is one of nearly 25% of House members who gave their staff bonuses in 2012. Thornberry's staff was given an apparent $48,045.00 in bonus money.
Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Thornberry's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $270,007 and $625,000. That averages to $447,503, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican representatives in 2012 of $7,614,097.96. Thornberry ranked as the 282nd most wealthy representative in 2012.
|Mac Thornberry Yearly Net Worth|
|Year||Avg. Net Worth||Avg. Citizen Net Worth|
National Journal vote ratings
- See also: National Journal vote ratings
Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Thornberry ranked 93rd in the conservative rankings among members of the U.S. House.
Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Thornberry was tied with four other members of the U.S. House of Representatives, ranking 101st in the conservative rankings among members of the U.S. House.
Voting with party
The website OpenCongress tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of the chamber caucus. According to the website, Thornberry has voted with the Republican Party 97.0% of the time, which ranked 113th among the 233 House Republican members as of June 2013.
Mac and his wife, Sally, have two children.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Mac + Thornberry + Texas + House
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- United States House of Representatives
- United States congressional delegations from Texas
- Texas' 13th Congressional District elections, 2014
- Texas' 13th Congressional District
- Social media:
- Political profiles:
- Financial (federal level):
- Interest group ratings:
- Issue positions:
- Public statements:
- Voting record:
- Works by or about:
- Media appearances:
- Media coverage:
- Politico, "2012 Election Map, Texas," November 6, 2012
- Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "Mac Thornberry," accessed October 27, 2011
- Official House website, "Biography," accessed October 27, 2011
- CQ.com, "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress," accessed March 3, 2013
- Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
- Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
- Project Vote Smart, "HR 1960 - National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "HR 2217 - Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2014 - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "HR 624 - CISPA (2013) - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
- Clerk of U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 31: H.R. 2642," accessed February 12, 2014
- Politico, "House clears farm bill," accessed February 12, 2014
- New York Times, "Senate passes long-stalled farm bill, with clear winners and losers," accessed February 12, 2014
- CNN.com, "House passes compromise $1.1 trillion budget for 2014," accessed January 20, 2014
- U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 21," accessed January 20, 2014
- Roll Call, "House passes $1.1 trillion omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
- Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
- Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
- Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
- The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
- U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "HR 273 - Eliminates the 2013 Statutory Pay Adjustment for Federal Employees - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
- The Library of Congress, "H.AMDT.136," accessed September 16, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "H Amdt 136 - Prohibits the Enforcement of the Immigration Executive Order - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "H Amdt 450 - Requires Congressional Approval for Any Rules Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "HR 1797 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
- U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
- Buzzfeed, “Congressmen Seek to Lift Propaganda Ban,” May 18, 2012
- Texas Tribune, “Texas Congressman Will Back Romney,” April 5, 2012
- Campaign website, "Issues," accessed January 21, 2014
- Texas GOP, "Republican candidate list," accessed May 10, 2012
- Texas Secretary of State, "Unofficial Republican primary results," May 29, 2012
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2006," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2004," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2000," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1998," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 1996," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 8, 1994," accessed March 28, 2013
- Open Secrets, "Career Fundraising for Mac Thornberry," accessed March 25, 2013
- Federal Election Commission, "Mac Thornberry Summary Report," accessed July 24, 2013
- Federal Election Commission, "Mac Thornberry April Quarterly," accessed July 24, 2013
- Federal Election Commission, "Mac Thornberry July Quarterly," accessed July 24, 2013
- Federal Election Commission, "Mac Thornberry October Quarterly," accessed October 22, 2013
- Federal Election Commission, "Mac Thornberry Year-End," accessed February 6, 2014
- Federal Election Commission, "Mac Thornberry Pre-Primary," accessed April 20, 2014
- Federal Election Commission, "Mac Thornberry April Quarterly," accessed April 20, 2014
- Politico, "Top 10 Hill recipients of defense contributions," accessed July 11, 2013
- Open Secrets, "Mac Thornberry 2012 Election Cycle," accessed March 5, 2013
- Open Secrets, "Election 2012: The Big Picture Shows Record Cost of Winning a Seat in Congress," accessed June 19, 2013
- Open Secrets, "Mac Thornberry 2010 Election Cycle," accessed October 27, 2011
- GovTrack, "Mac Thornberry," accessed June 7 2013
- OpenCongress, "Mac Thornberry," accessed August 2, 2013
- GovTrack, "Mac Thornberry," accessed April 2, 2013
- LegiStorm, "Mac Thornberry," accessed September 17, 2012
- CNN Politics, "Congressional bonuses in a time of cuts," accessed March 8, 2013
- OpenSecrets, "Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), 2012," accessed February 18, 2014
- National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," March 7, 2013
- National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," accessed February 23, 2012
- OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed June 6, 2013
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