Clarence Saxby Chambliss
(born November 10, 1943) is the senior United States Senator from Georgia.
He is a member of the Republican Party
. In the 110th
Congress, Chambliss serves as the ranking Republican member of the
United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and
, chairing the committee during the 109th Congress
Early life, education, and family
was born in Warrenton, North Carolina. He graduated from C.E. Byrd High School in Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1961. He attended Louisiana Tech University from
1961-1962 and earning a bachelor's
degree in Business Administration from the University of
Georgia in 1966 and his Juris
Doctor from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1968.
He is a member of
the Sigma Chi
In the 1960s, during the Vietnam War
Chambliss received five student deferments while attending the
University of Georgia and the University of Tennessee College of
Law and was also given a medical deferment (1-Y) for bad knees due
to a football
is a member of St. John's
Episcopal Church in Moultrie, Georgia.
He married Julianne in 1966 and they have
two children and two grandchildren.
Chambliss's son Bo is a registered lobbyist for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange
lobbies on commodity futures trading issues that fall under
legislative jurisdiction of the
Senate Agriculture Committee
, of which the Senator is a member.
The Senator's office enacted a policy that prevents Bo from
lobbying the Senator or his staff.
House of Representatives, 1995-2003
Chambliss was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives
1994 as one of the new conservative
Republican congressmen whose elections caused the party to gain a
majority in both houses of Congress. A long-time Congressman and
fellow Georgian, Newt Gingrich
the leader of the movement, and Chambliss and the other Republicans
elected that year are known as the Class of '94
was elected from the Macon-based 8th
District, after six-term incumbent J. Roy
retired. He was elected with 63% of the vote—an
unexpectedly large margin since the 8th had never elected a
Republican. He faced a tough re-election fight in 1996 against
Macon attorney Jim Wiggins, but breezed to reelection in 1998 and
During his four terms in the House, Chambliss served on the
United States House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee
and chaired the House Intelligence Subcommittee
on Terrorism and Homeland Security.
Less than a month after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks
the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland
Security, which Chambliss chaired, investigated intelligence issues
related to the attacks. The committee's investigation resulted in
the first comprehensive report detailing critical shortfalls within
the United States intelligence community's performance and
was criticized for remarks he made during a November 19, 2001
meeting with first responders in Valdosta, Georgia, where he said that homeland security would be
improved by turning the sheriff loose to "arrest every Muslim that crosses the state line."
apologized for the remarks.
In 2006, Chambliss was among several congressional Republicans and
Democrats who returned campaign donations from Jack Abramoff
Sen. Chambliss is the only senator since 1947 to have chaired a
full standing Senate Committee (Agriculture
after serving in the Senate for just two years.
In 2008, he was named one of 10 worst congressmen by Esquire
Magazine, which described the competition as "staggering."
- Congressional Fire Services Caucus
- Congressional Sportsmen Foundation
- Juvenile Diabetes Caucus
- National Guard Caucus
- Rural Health Caucus
- Senate Caucus on Military Depots, Arsenals and Ammunition
- Co-Chair, Senate Reserve Caucus
- Steering Committee
Chambliss ran for the Senate in 2002, facing freshman Democratic
incumbent Max Cleland
. Chambliss's political career would
have likely ended if he hadn't run for the Senate; the state
legislature had shifted his home in Moultrie (along with most of
the southern portion of his district) to the nearby 1st district
represented by fellow Republican Jack
Chambliss focused on the issue of national defense
and homeland security
during his campaign, and
released an ad that included Osama bin
and Saddam Hussein
highlighting Cleland's record on the issues of war and
Chambliss received criticism from Democrats and Republicans for
this ad, pointing out that he, who hadn't served in the Vietnam War
due to receiving military deferments, had attacked a Vietnam War
veteran who lost three limbs during his service for not being tough
enough on issues of war and homeland security. Republican Senator
John McCain of Arizona said of one
ad, "[I]t's worse than disgraceful, it's reprehensible;" Senator
Chuck Hagel of Nebraska said the ads were "beyond offensive to me."
On the other hand, Chambliss supporters say the ad did not question
Cleland's patriotism, but rather his judgment.
Chambliss won the election, receiving 53 percent of the votes to
Cleland's 46 percent.
On November 4, 2008, Chambliss received 49.8% of the vote, while
46.8% and Libertarian Allen Buckley
received 3.4% of the vote.
Since no candidate exceeded 50% of the vote, a runoff election
between Chambliss and Martin was held on December 2, 2008.
Chambliss defeated Martin 57.5% to 42.5% in the runoff
the run-off period, Chambliss received a subpoena regarding the
investigation of a lawsuit against Imperial Sugar that claims that Imperial
"wrongfully" failed to remove hazards that caused the disaster of a
Savannah-based sugar refinery that exploded on Feb.
7, 2008. Chambliss was accused of "harassing" a former sugar
company executive. In a statement, Chambliss said he has referred
the matter to Senate lawyers. Chambliss has stated: "I continue to
sympathize with the families who were devastated by this tragedy
and I will continue to work to protect the interests of those
families." Savannah attorney Mark Tate, "an active backer of
Democratic candidates," insisted that "there is nothing political"
about the timing of the subpoena. When Tate subpoenaed Chambliss to
testify in the case, Chambliss claimed "legislative
Chambliss's voting record is typically that of voting in line with
conservative issues. He is the primary sponsor in the United States Senate
of the tax-reform
proposal The Fair Tax Act
1025), attracting more cosponsors than any other fundamental tax
reform bill introduced.
Although Chambliss has a conservative voting record, he has
participated in bi-partisan legislation—such as the 2007 Farm Bill
the bi-partisan immigration reform (led by John McCain
) in 2007 and the Emergency Economic
Stabilization Act of 2008
,. He is also the Republican leader of
the Gang of 10
, a bipartisan group which
has worked to create a compromise surrounding the energy policy of
the United States.
Interest groups ratings
On abortion issues, the ratings given Chambliss as of 2007 by
National Right to Life Committee
and NARAL Pro-Choice America
identify him as having a
anti-abortion voting record. The National Right to Life Committee
gave him a 100% rating, while NARAL Pro-Choice America gave him a
Amendment issues, in 2008, the NRA gave Chambliss an "A+" rating and the NRA also
On agricultural issues, the American Farm Bureau
gave Chambliss its
"Friend of the Farm Bureau" award throughout his service in the
On economic issues including voting on the national budget,
national spending, and taxes, in 2007, the National Tax Limitation
Committee gave Chambliss a 90% rating, and the group Americans for Tax Reform
gave him a
On civil liberties and civil rights issues, in 2007, the American Civil Liberties
gave him a 17% rating, and the NAACP
gave him a 27% rating.
On education issues, in 2008, the Center for Education Reform, gave
Chambliss a score of 9 out of 9, and called him a "real reformer",
while the National
gave him an "F" in 2007.
On organized labor issues, in 2007 the AFL-CIO
gave Chambliss a 11% rating, and the
Foodservice Distributors Association
gave him an 85%
On environmental issues, in 2003 the LCV
Chambliss a 0% rating.
: Results 1994–2000
||Ronald L. Cain
Georgia Senator (Class II)]]: 2002 results
||Claude "Sandy" Thomas
- Tom Robbins, "The Sunshine Patriots", Village Voice,
August 17, 2004
- Democrats target Georgia's Chambliss over son's
lobbying — USNews.com 3/7/06
- Rep. Saxby Chambliss: Anti-terrorism measures in the
U.S., CNN.com, October 2, 2001
- Melanie Eversley, "Chambliss apologizes for remark on Muslims",
Journal-Constitution, November 21, 2001.
- Bush, lawmakers returning Abramoff donations,
MSNBC, January 5,
- , Esquire Magainze, October 13,
- Chambliss Ad (Cleland), You Tube, August 02,
- Carlson attempted to downplay Republican attacks on
Cleland — Media Matters, July 30, 2004