On November 5, 2002, Saxby Chambliss was elected Georgia's 63rd United States Senator in what was one of the most stunning and historical victories of the 2002 elections. Georgia Trend Magazine has named him one of Georgia's Most Influential Georgians and says "he is a highly visible and well-respected presence in Washington," and "has a reputation as an affable but straight-talking lawmaker."
Chambliss is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Rules Committee and he is the Ranking Republican Member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.
During the 109th Congress, Chambliss served as Chairman of that committee and, according to the Congressional Research Service, is the only senator since 1947 to have chaired a full standing Senate Committee after serving in the Senate for just two years.
In Georgia, agriculture supports one in every six jobs, an ever-present reminder in Chambliss' long time championing of national and home state farming concerns. Long before his election to Congress, Chambliss specialized in representing farmers' legal interests in South Georgia. During his four terms in the House, Chambliss was instrumental in drafting two farm bills and reforming the federal crop insurance program through his chairmanship of the Agriculture Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management.
Additionally, Chambliss' leadership and experience on the issues of terrorism, homeland security, and intelligence matters earned him an appointment to the prestigious Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, where he steadfastly advocates that our U.S. intelligence community must dramatically improve its information sharing and human intelligence gathering abilities. To ensure our troops on the ground and the new Director of National Intelligence have access to the most timely and accurate intelligence, Chambliss has authored legislation calling for the creation of a Four Star military command for intelligence within the Department of Defense. Chambliss' previous role as the chairman of the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security made him one of the leading congressional experts on these issues.
The Savannah Morning News said Senator Chambliss "knows how to do his homework and how to stand up to pressure, as demonstrated by his performance as chairman of the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security, which investigated intelligence lapses prior to the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington in 2001."
Immediately following the tragic attacks, Chambliss' House subcommittee conducted a thorough investigation and released the first comprehensive report detailing critical shortfalls within the United States intelligence community's performance and technological capabilities. In May of 2006, Chambliss was honored with the CIA Director's Award by the Director of Central Intelligence. Recognized for his "extraordinary fidelity and essential service" to the CIA, Chambliss received the agency's highest award.
As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Chambliss continues Georgia's longstanding tradition of leadership and advocacy for the state's military installations. Following in the footsteps of former Senators Richard B. Russell, Jr., and Sam Nunn, Chambliss is a strong voice for Georgia's defense industry and the military community. Throughout the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure round, Chambliss has remained steadfast in defense of Georgia's bases targeted for closure and has also been a tireless advocate to improve the quality of life for our troops and their families.
In 1994, Chambliss was first elected to Congress to represent Georgia's 8th congressional district. Throughout his legislative career, Chambliss has been honored with numerous awards from both the private and public sector for his work in the fields of agriculture, defense, budget, and national security. He is a past recipient of the Air Force Association's W. Stuart Symington Award, the top civilian award given annually for outstanding contributions in the field of national security and was awarded the Reserve Officers Association's Minuteman of the Year Award in 2005.
Chambliss is a member of the Senate Caucus on Military Depots, Arsenals and Ammunition Plants, the Congressional Sportsmen Foundation, the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, the Rural Health Caucus, the Juvenile Diabetes Caucus and he is the co-chair of the Senate Reserve Caucus.
Chambliss earned a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Georgia in 1966 and earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1968. Chambliss and his wife, Julianne, have been married since 1966, and reside in Moultrie, Georgia. They have two children and two grandchildren.