Saxby Chambliss

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Saxby Chambliss
Saxby Chambliss.jpg
U.S. Senate, Georgia
In office
January 3, 2003-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 11
PredecessorJ. Maxwell Cleland (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last election2008
First elected2002
Campaign $$27,949,280
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
U.S. House of Representatives
High schoolC.E. Byrd High School (1961)
Bachelor'sLouisiana Tech University, University of Georgia (1966)
J.D.University of Tennessee College of Law (1968)
BirthdayNovember 10, 1943
Place of birthWarrenton, North Carolina
Net worth$243,504.50
Office website
Campaign website
Clarence Saxby Chambliss, Jr. (b. November 10, 1943, in Warrenton, NC) is a Republican member of the U.S. Senate from the state of Georgia. Chambliss was first elected to the Senate in 2002.

On January 25, 2013, Chambliss announced that he was retiring at the end of his current term and would not seek re-election in 2014. He cited gridlock in Congress and a lack of leadership from the White House as being the main reasons for his retirement. He denied rumors that his retirement was based on any potential primary challenges.[1]

He previously was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1994 to 2002.[2]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Chambliss is one of the most reliable Republican votes, meaning he can be considered a safe vote for the Republican Party in Congress.


Born in Warrenton, NC, Chambliss attended Louisiana Tech University and the University of Georgia. He received his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1968. He was elected to the U.S. House in 1994. When redistricting threatened his House seat in 2002, he announced a run for the U.S. Senate.[2]


Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Chambliss serves on the following Senate committees[3]:


  • U.S. Senate Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe[4]

Key votes

113th Congress


The 113th Congress has had 55 out of 5,401 introduced bills enacted into law (1 percent) as of November 30, 2013. Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 1.14 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the first session.[5] The Senate has confirmed 16,878 out of 19,009 executive nominations received thus far (88.8 percent). For more information pertaining to Chambliss's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[6]

National security

John Brennan CIA nomination

Nay3.png Chambliss voted against the confirmation of John Brennan as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The nomination was confirmed by the Senate on March 7, 2013, with a vote of 63 - 34. Most Democrats supported the nomination, while Republicans were somewhat divided with roughly one-third supporting the nomination.[7]


Farm bill

Yea3.png On February 4, 2014, the Democratic controlled Senate approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, also known as the Farm Bill.[8] It passed the Senate with a vote of 68-32. 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 will 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.[9] Chambliss joined with 19 other Republican senators in favor of the bill.

2014 Budget

Neutral/Abstain On January 16, 2014, the Democratic-controlled Senate approved H.R. 3547, a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30, 2014.[10][11] The Senate voted 72-26 for the 1,582 page bill, with 17 Republicans and 55 Democrats voting in favor of the bill.[11] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[12] 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. Chambliss did not vote on the bill.[10][11]

Government shutdown

See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Yea3.png During the shutdown in October 2013, the Senate rejected, down party lines, every House-originated bill that stripped the budget of funding for the Affordable Care Act. A deal was reached late on October 16, 2013, just hours before the debt ceiling deadline. The bill to reopen the government, H.R. 2775, 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.[13] The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Chambliss voted with the Democratic Party for the bill.[14]

No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Nay3.png Chambliss voted against H.R.325 -- No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013. The bill passed the Senate on January 31, 2013, with a vote of 64 - 34. The purpose of the bill was to temporarily suspend the debt ceiling and withhold the pay of members of Congress until a budget could be passed. The vote largely followed party lines with Democrats overwhelmingly supporting it and many Republicans in opposition to the bill.[7]

2013 Senate Budget Proposal

Nay3.png Chambliss voted against the 2013 Senate Budget Proposal.[7] On March 23, after an all-night debate that ended just before 5 a.m., by a 50 to 49 vote the Democratically controlled Senate approved its first budget in four years. No Republicans voted for the Senate plan, and four Democrats opposed it. All four are from red states and are up for re-election in 2014. Chambliss was one of the four Democrats who voted against the budget proposal.[7]

The approved plan is a $3.7 trillion budget for 2014 and would provide a fast track for passage of tax increases, trim spending modestly and leave the government still deeply in the red for the next decade.

The approval of a budget in the Senate began the process of setting up contentious, and potentially fruitless, negotiations with the Republican-controlled House starting in April to reconcile two vastly different plans for dealing with the nation’s economic and budgetary problems.

The House plan would have brought the government’s taxes and spending into balance by 2023 with cuts to domestic spending even below the levels of automatic across-the-board cuts for federal programs now, and it orders up dramatic and controversial changes to Medicare and the tax code.

The Senate plan differed greatly, and included $100 billion in upfront infrastructure spending to bolster the economy and calls for special fast-track rules to overhaul the tax code and raise $975 billion over 10 years in legislation that could not be filibustered. Even with that tax increase and prescribed spending cuts, the plan approved by the Senate would leave the government with a $566 billion annual deficit in 10 years, and $5.2 trillion in additional debt over that window.


Mexico-U.S. border

Yea3.png Chambliss voted forf Senate Amendment 1197 -- Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border. The amendment was rejected by the Senate on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 39 - 54. The purpose of the amendment was to require the completion of 350 miles of fence described in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 before registered provisional immigrant status may be granted. It would also require 700 miles of fence be completed before the status of registered provisional immigrants may be changed to permanent resident status. The vote followed party lines.[7]

Social issues

Violence Against Women (2013)

Yea3.png Chambliss voted for S.47 -- Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. The bill was passed by the Senate on February 12, 2013, with a vote of 78 - 22. The purpose of the bill was to combat violence against women, from domestic violence to international trafficking in persons. All 22 dissenting votes were cast by Republicans.[7]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Yea3.png Chambliss 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. The bill was passed in the Senate by an 89 - 8 vote on January 1, 2013.[15]


National security

Drones filibuster

See also: Rand Paul filibuster of John Brennan's CIA Nomination in March 2013

On March 6, 2013, Senator Rand Paul (R) led a 13-hour filibuster of President Obama's CIA Director nominee, John Brennan. Paul started the filibuster in order to highlight his concerns about the administration's drone policies. In particular, Paul said he was concerned about whether a drone could be used to kill an American citizen within the United States border without any due process involved. Paul and other civil liberties activists were critical of President Obama for not offering a clear response to the question. A total of 14 senators joined Paul in the filibuster -- 13 Republicans and one Democrat.[16][17][18]

Chambliss was 1 of the 13 Republican senators who joined Paul in his filibuster.[19][20]

According to the website Breitbart, 30 Republican senators did not support the filibuster.[21][22]

The day after the filibuster, Attorney General Eric Holder sent a letter to Paul, responding to the filibuster. Holder wrote, "Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on U.S. soil? The answer to that is no."[23]



See also: United States Senate elections in Georgia, 2014

On January 25, 2013, Chambliss announced that he was retiring at the end of his current term and would not seek re-election in 2014. He cited gridlock in Congress and a lack of leadership from the White House as being the main reasons for his retirement. He denied rumors that his retirement was based on any potential primary challenges.[1]

Full history

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Chambliss is available dating back to 2000. Based on available campaign finance records, Chambliss raised a total of $27,949,280 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 3, 2013.[26]

Saxby Chambliss's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2008 U.S. Senate (Georgia) Won $18,346,273
2002 U.S. Senate (Georgia) Won $7,797,139
2000 U.S. House (Georgia, District 8) Won $1,805,868
Grand Total Raised $27,949,280


Breakdown of the source of Chambliss' campaign funds before the 2008 election.

Chambliss won re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2008. During that re-election cycle, Chambliss' campaign committee raised a total of $18,346,273 and spent $18,045,811.[27]

Personal Gain Index

Congressional Personal Gain Index graphic.png
See also: Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)

The Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress) is a four-part measurement that illustrates the extent to which members of the U.S. Congress have prospered during their tenure as public servants.
It consists of four different metrics:

PGI: Change in net worth

See also: Changes in Net Worth of U.S. Senators and Representatives (Personal Gain Index) and Net worth of United States Senators and Representatives
Net Worth Metric graphic.png

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Chambliss' net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $107,009 and $380,000. That averages to $243,504.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican senators in 2012 of $6,956,438.47. Chambliss ranked as the 92nd most wealthy senator in 2012.[28] Between 2004 and 2012, Chambliss' calculated net worth[29] increased by an average of 144 percent per year. Between 2004 and 2014, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.[30]

Saxby Chambliss Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
Growth from 2004 to 2012:1,152%
Average annual growth:144%[31]
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[32]
The data used to calculate changes in net worth may include changes resulting from assets gained through marriage, inheritance, changes in family estates and/or trusts, changes in family business ownership and many other variables unrelated to a member's behavior in Congress.


Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Chambliss is a "lonely far-right Republican follower," as of July 22, 2014. Chambliss was rated as a "far-right Republican follower" in June 2013.[33]

Like-minded colleagues

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.[34]

Chambliss most often votes with:

Chambliss least often votes with:

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Chambliss missed 100 of 3,251 roll call votes from January 2003 to March 2013. This amounts to 3.1 percent, which is worse than the median of 1.7% among currently serving senators as of March 2013.[35]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Chambliss paid his congressional staff a total of $2,434,315 in 2011. He ranked 23rd on the list of the lowest paid Republican senatorial staff salaries and ranked 32nd overall of the lowest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Georgia ranked 44th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[36]

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.


Chambliss ranked 31st in the conservative rankings in 2013.[37]


Chambliss ranked 11th in the conservative rankings in 2012.[38]


Chambliss ranked 26th in the conservative rankings in 2011.[39]

Voting with party

The website OpenCongress tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of the chamber caucus.


Chambliss voted with the Republican Party 88.5 percent of the time, which ranked 18th among the 45 Senate Republican members as of July 2014.[40]


Chambliss voted with the Republican Party 87.8 percent of the time, which ranked 24th among the 46 Senate Republican members as of June 2013.[41]


Chambliss and his wife, Julianne, have been married since 1966, and reside in Moultrie, GA. They have two children and five grandchildren.[2]

Recent news

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Saxby Chambliss News Feed

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See also

External links



  1. 1.0 1.1 Washington Post, "Saxby Chambliss retiring in 2014," accessed January 25, 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Saxby Chambliss, U.S. Senator for Georgia, "Biography," accessed October 13, 2011
  3. Congressional Quarterly, "Senate Committee List," accessed January 22, 2013
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Saxby Chambliss, U.S. Senator for Georgia, "Committee Assignments" accessed October 13, 2011
  5. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  6. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Project Vote Smart, "Saxby Chambliss Key Votes," accessed October 16, 2013
  8., "H.R. 2642 (Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013)," accessed February 12, 2014
  9. New York Times, "Senate Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill, With Clear Winners and Losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  10. 10.0 10.1 Politico, "Senate approves $1.1 trillion spending bill," accessed January 20, 2014
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 U.S. Senate, "January 16 Vote," accessed January 20, 2014
  12. Roll Call, "House Passes $1.1 Trillion Omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  13. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  14., "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
  15. U.S. Senate, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  16. CNN, "Rand Paul says he's heard from White House after filibuster," March 7, 2013
  17. USA Today, "Rand Paul filibuster ranks among Senate's longest," March 7, 2013
  18. ABC News, "Rand Paul Wins Applause From GOP and Liberals," March 7, 2013
  19. The Blaze, "Here Are All the GOP Senators That Participated in Rand Paul’s 12+ Hour Filibuster… and the Ones Who Didn’t," March 7, 2013
  20. Los Angeles Times, "Sen. Rand Paul ends marathon filibuster of John Brennan," March 7, 2013
  21. Breitbart, "AWOL: Meet The GOP Senators Who Refused to Stand With Rand," March 7, 2013
  22. Politico, "Rand Paul filibuster blasted by Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham," March 7, 2013
  23. Washington Post, "Eric Holder responds to Rand Paul with ‘no’," March 7, 2013
  24. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  25. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002," accessed March 28, 2013
  26. Open Secrets, "Saxby Chambliss," accessed April 3, 2013
  27. Open Secrets, "Saxby Chambliss 2008 Election Cycle," accessed October 25, 2011
  28. OpenSecrets, "Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), 2012," accessed February 18, 2014
  29. This figure represents the average annual percentage growth from either 2004 (if the member entered office in 2004 or earlier) or their first year in office (as noted in the chart below) to 2012, divided by the number of years calculated.
  30. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  31. This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
  32. This figure was calculated using median asset data from the Census Bureau. Please see the Congressional Net Worth data for Ballotpedia spreadsheet for more information on this calculation.
  33. GovTrack, "Saxby Chambliss," accessed July 22, 2014
  34. OpenCongress, "Rep. Jo Chambliss," accessed July 22, 2014
  35. GovTrack, "Saxby Chambliss," accessed March 29, 2013
  36. LegiStorm, "Saxby Chambliss," accessed 2011
  37. National Journal, "2013 Senate Vote Ratings," accessed July 21, 2014
  38. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," accessed February 28, 2013
  39. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: Senate," accessed February 23, 2012
  40. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  41. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014