Congressman Thornberry discusses the threat automatic budget cuts pose to our national security on Fox News
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 currently serves as the Vice Chairman of the Armed Services Committee where he also leads the Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities. He is also a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
At the beginning of the 112th Congress, the Speaker of the House and Majority Leader tapped Mac to spearhead a Cybersecurity Task Force to guide House legislative action on this growing national security and economic threat. On October 5, 2011, the Task Force released its recommendations, receiving 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. In April 2012, the House of Representatives passed four cyber bills that reflected a number of the Task Force’s recommendations.
Mac is 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 9/11, he introduced a bill to establish a National Homeland Security Agency to better protect our country from terrorist attacks. Drawing on the recommendations of the Hart-Rudman Commission, Mac’s bill served as the foundation for the legislation that established the Department of Homeland Security.
Mac has consistently been on the leading edge of critical national security issues, from homeland security and nonproliferation to transformation of the military, nuclear deterrence, and cybersecurity. Mac also advocates for strategic communication, as well as greater interagency cooperation in the fight against violent extremists. He believes it is essential for the United States to develop a deep understanding of terrorism in order to take appropriate action to prevent its spread.
National security watchers consistently praise Mac’s efforts. Defense News called Thornberry “a smart hawk who’s not afraid to buck the party line” while DoD Buzz said he is “one of the most consistently thoughtful and effective legislators on the House Armed Services Committee.” Those covering Capitol Hill agree, with Congressional Quarterly recognizing him as a “serious student of government management.” National Journal has noted Mac is “well-regarded in both parties for his thoughtfulness on security issues,” and identified him as a “Republican to watch,” calling him an E.F. Hutton of Congress (because when he talks about defense and homeland security issues, people— and his colleagues on Capitol Hill— listen). Esquire says he’s “a distinguished thinker on defense issues and foreign affairs” and “an informed, dispassionate expert on national security and intelligence.”
Thornberry has written widely on defense matters and has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, PBS, CBS, ABC, and C-SPAN to provide congressional insight on homeland and national security issues.
- Vice Chairman, House Armed Services Committee, 112th Congress and 113th Congress.
- Top Republican (Ranking Republican), House Permanent Select Committee’s Tactical and Technical Intelligence Subcommittee, 111th Congress
- Senior Member of the House Armed Services Committee’s Strategic Forces Subcommittee, 111th Congress
- First Chairman, Intelligence Subcommittee on Oversight, where he focused primarily on overseeing the implementation of the reforms contained in the “9/11 Bill,” and on improving the management of the intelligence community, and issues related to the intelligence community’s response to terrorism, 109th Congress
- Chairman, Armed Services Committee panel with oversight of the reorganization of the nations’ nuclear weapons complex, 1999-2002
- Member of the Select Committee on Homeland Security, servings as the chairman of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Science, and Research and Development.
- Member, U.S. Joint Forces Command, Transformation Advisory Group (TAG) which provides the military with advice on defense and transformation policies and future issues.
- Member of the CSIS Smart Power Commission which issued its report in November 2007 arguing that the nation needs to have the full range of instruments of natural power and influence in order to accomplish our national policy goals.
- Member, Executive Steering Committee of the Strategic Policy Forum, a group organized by the Office of the Secretary of Defense to conduct war games and exercises in which Members of Congress and officials from the Executive Branch can participate together to shed light on current and future national security challenges.