Home / Pressroom / Press Releases

Press Releases

Rep. Thornberry Selected House Armed Services Committee Chairman

Will be first Texan to lead the Committee

Washington, November 18, 2014
WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Mac Thornberry has been chosen to chair the House Armed Services Committee for the 114th Congress.  Thornberry is the first Texan – Republican or Democrat – ever selected to lead the Committee or its predecessors.

“I am grateful for the opportunity and also mindful of the responsibility it entails,” Thornberry said.  “The men and women who serve our nation in the military deserve the full support and backing of the Congress and of the country.  Providing that support will be my top priority.”

Thornberry was selected to serve as Chairman by the Steering Committee of the House Republican Conference.  His selection is expected to be approved by a vote of all House Republicans tomorrow.

The Armed Services Committee has a responsibility to oversee the Pentagon, all military services, and all Department of Defense agencies.  Each year it writes a defense authorization bill, which authorizes military spending and sets the policies for the Pentagon to follow.

The outgoing Chairman, Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA), said that the “Armed Services Committee will be in the most capable of hands with Chairman-select Thornberry, and so will our Armed Forces.”  He continued, “During my four years as Chairman, I’ve come to rely on Mac as a policy expert, a gifted communicator, a trusted confidant, and a friend. He has skillfully helped  our Committee as Vice-Chairman, and his national security smarts have earned the respect of both Congress and defense experts alike. But most importantly, Mac is a leader with a servant’s heart. His devotion and loyalty is, above all, to the men and women of our military.

Thornberry’s counterpart in the Senate is Senator John McCain of Arizona, who will chair the Senate Armed Services Committee.  

“This opportunity is only possible because of the help and support I have received over the years from my family, employers and mentors, co-workers, my official and campaign staffs, and especially from the people of the 13th congressional District of Texas.  I am extremely grateful for the confidence they have shown in me and will do my best to live up to the responsibilities of this position on their behalf.”

Thornberry has deep experience in national security issues, having worked as a congressional staff member on defense issues and as a Deputy Assistant Secretary in the State Department in the Reagan Administration.  He has served in Congress since 1995 and has been a member of the Armed Services Committee during his entire tenure.  He has also served on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence since 2004.

“Our country faces a wide array of serious national security challenges from the renewed aggression of major powers to terrorism and attacks in cyberspace.  Congress has an indispensable role to play in meeting those challenges, and the Committee will work to see that our country remains strong.”