Thornberry Becomes Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee

WASHINGTON, DC - Area Congressman Mac Thornberry officially became the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.  He is the first Texan--Republican or Democrat--to serve in this position.

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.

"I am only able to do this job because of the support from my family, people at home, and others who have encouraged me and prayed for me. For these things, I am grateful," said Thornberry.  "Serving as the Chairman of this committee is a great privilege and a tremendous responsibility.  And now I am ready to get to work."

The 13th Congressional District of Texas has a strong national security tradition.  In addition to thousands of active duty and retired military personnel, the area is home to Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, as well as the Pantex Plant in Amarillo which is the nation's only weapons assembly and disassembly facility.  Amarillo is also home to Bell Helicopter, which assembles the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft and makes upgrades to the Cobra and Huey helicopters used by the Armed Forces.