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Revision as of 14:59, 20 March 2014

Saxby Chambliss
Saxby Chambliss.jpg
U.S. Senate, Georgia
In office
January 3, 2003-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 12
PredecessorJ. Maxwell Cleland (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last election2008
First elected2002
Next general November 4,2014
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)
Date of birthNovember 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, North Carolina) 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, North Carolina, 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 United States House of Representatives 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]


Legislative actions

113th Congress


The second session of the 113th Congress enacted into law 224 out of the 3215 introduced bills (7 percent). Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 4.2 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the second session.[5] The Senate confirmed 13,949 out of 18,323 executive nominations received (76.1 percent). For more information pertaining to Chambliss's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[6]

National security

American response in Syria
See also: United States involvement in Syria

President Barack Obama has shown “weakness” as commander-in-chief on the conflict in Syria, Chambliss charged on September 1, 2013.[7]

Asked by CBS correspondent Major Garrett on "Face the Nation" if it has been a "credible" week for the president as commander-in-chief, Chambliss replied, "I'm afraid that what is shown is there is weakness there. And, you know, the world is watching."[7]

“I think the weakness is that he said again yesterday, ‘I'm going to take military action,’” Chambliss said. “Well, the world is saying, you know, your predecessors, whether Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan - we could go back even further - when something like this has happened and the national security of the United States has been put at risk, then presidents lead. In a time of crisis, presidents make tough, hard decisions and they lead. And there's weakness here on the part of the president.”[7]

“So, I think it's not been a good week for him,” Chambliss added. “But he's made this decision to come to Congress, and it's going to be a very, very tough debate and going back to your question of whether or not it can pass? I would say if the president cannot make his case to Congress, then it's not going to pass. He's got to come out and really be in-depth with respect to the intelligence that we know is out there. He's got to be in-depth with respect to what type of military action is going to be taken and what is our current strategy and how is this military strike impact that particular strategy.”

“I was supportive of the president taking early action, but he hasn't done that,” Chambliss said. “And now that it's been delayed this much, I think that Congress does have a role to play here.”[7]

Teleprompter comments

During an appearance on Fox & Friends on September 5, 2013, Chambliss commented that President Obama may have drawn a so-called red line last year on the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons because he did not have the assistance of a teleprompter.[8][9]

“Well, what it says to me is that the president gets lost when he doesn’t have a teleprompter in front of him, which he obviously didn’t last year,” Chambliss said.[8]

John Brennan CIA nomination

Voted "No" 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.[10]

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.[11][12][13]

Chambliss was one of the 13 Republican senators who joined Paul in his filibuster.[14][15]

According to the website Breitbart, 30 Republican senators did not support the filibuster.[16][17]

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."[18]


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.[19] 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.[20] 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.[21][22] The Senate voted 72-26 for the 1,582 page bill, with 17 Republicans and 55 Democrats voting in favor of the bill.[22] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[23] 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.[21][22]

Government shutdown
See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Voted "Yes" 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 funds 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.[24] 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.[25]

No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Voted "No" 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.[10]

2013 Senate Budget Proposal

Voted "No" Chambliss voted against the 2013 Senate Budget Proposal.[10] 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.[10]

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

Voted "Yes" 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.[10]

Social Issues

Violence Against Women (2013)

Voted "Yes" 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.[10]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" 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 a 89 - 8 vote on January 1, 2013.[26]



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.[29]

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.[30]


Ideology and leadership

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

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Chambliss is a "far-right Republican," as of June 20, 2013.[31]

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.[32]

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%, which is worse than the median of 1.7% among currently serving senators as of March 2013.[33]

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 ranks 23rd on the list of the lowest paid Republican senatorial staff salaries and ranks 32nd overall of the lowest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Georgia ranks 44th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[34]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, 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.[35]

Saxby Chambliss Yearly Net Worth
YearAvg. Net Worth% Difference from previous year

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 11th in the conservative rankings in 2012.[36]


Chambliss ranked 26th in the conservative rankings in 2011.[37]

Voting with party


Chambliss voted with the Republican Party 87.8% of the time, which ranked 24th among the 46 Senate Republican members as of June 2013.[38]


Chambliss and his wife, Julianne, have been married since 1966, and reside in Moultrie, Georgia. 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," 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 Politico, "Chambliss: Obama's 'weakness'," accessed September 2, 2013
  8. 8.0 8.1 Talking Points Memo, "GOP Senator: Obama Drew ‘Red Line’ Because He Didn’t Have Teleprompter (VIDEO)," accessed September 6, 2013
  9. Daily Kos, "Sen. Saxby Chambliss says Obama drew Syria 'red line' because he didn't have a teleprompter," accessed September 6, 2013
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 Project Votesmart, "Saxby Chambliss Key Votes," accessed October 16, 2013
  11. CNN, "Rand Paul says he's heard from White House after filibuster," March 7, 2013
  12. USA Today, "Rand Paul filibuster ranks among Senate's longest," March 7, 2013
  13. ABC News, "Rand Paul Wins Applause From GOP and Liberals," March 7, 2013
  14. 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
  15. Los Angeles Times, "Sen. Rand Paul ends marathon filibuster of John Brennan," March 7, 2013
  16. Breitbart, "AWOL: Meet The GOP Senators Who Refused to Stand With Rand," March 7, 2013
  17. Politico, "Rand Paul filibuster blasted by Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham," March 7, 2013
  18. Washington Post, "Eric Holder responds to Rand Paul with ‘no’," March 7, 2013
  19. Senate.gov, "H.R. 2642 (Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013)," accessed February 12, 2014
  20. New York Times, "Senate Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill, With Clear Winners and Losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  21. 21.0 21.1 Politico, "Senate approves $1.1 trillion spending bill," accessed January 20, 2014
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 U.S. Senate, "January 16 Vote," accessed January 20, 2014
  23. Roll Call, "House Passes $1.1 Trillion Omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  24. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  25. Senate.gov, "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
  26. U.S. Senate "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  27. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  28. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002," accessed March 28, 2013
  29. Open Secrets "Saxby Chambliss" Accessed April 3, 2013
  30. Open Secrets "Saxby Chambliss 2008 Election Cycle," Accessed October 25, 2011
  31. Gov Track "Saxby Chambliss," Accessed June 20, 2013
  32. OpenCongress, "Rep. Jo Chambliss," Accessed August 2, 2013
  33. GovTrack, "Saxby Chambliss," Accessed March 29, 2013
  34. LegiStorm "Saxby Chambliss"
  35. OpenSecrets.org, "Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), 2012"
  36. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 28, 2013
  37. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: Senate," February 23, 2012
  38. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014