U.S. Senator from Georgia Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga) had to defend himself lately from conservative pundits and Tea Party activists for his work with Democrats on “fiscal cliff” deal, but a fact-checking website PolitiFact still qualifies the Senator as a conservative Republican.
"I live in the state of Georgia and Saxby Chambliss is going to be primaried, our own senator. It's unacceptable to have somebody that votes with the Democrats more than they do with the conservatives," said Amy Kremer, chair of the Tea Party Express, on CNN last Thursday. "And he has proven time and time again, he's all about the spending, and we're a red state, we deserve a conservative senator."
Prior to the “fiscal cliff” deal, Chambliss said publicly that he’d disregard the anti-tax pledge he signed before he came into office, by voting for elimination of tax loopholes and credits. That’s when some conservatives first promised the Senator a primary challenge in 2014.
However, a non-partisan fact-checking website PolitiFact Georgia, partnering with the Atlanta Journal –Constitution, found that Chambliss has one of the most conservative voting records in U.S. Senate.
PolitiFact quotes a Washington Post analysis showing that Chambliss voted with Republicans 91 percent of the time, and a website called Open Congress, which shows Chambliss voting with the GOP 92 percent of the time.
According to both sources, only two Senate Republicans voted with their Party more frequently, Texan John Cornyn and Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, and they beat Chambliss only by one percent.
It is worth noting that another website that tracks voting records of all U.S. lawmakers, GovTrack.us, classifies Chambliss as a “far-right Republican” based on “bill sponsorship.”
PolitiFact received a clarification from Kremer that she was referring to “key votes” the Senator took in recent years that are not consistent with fiscal conservatism, such as the recent “fiscal cliff” deal, the 2008 Wall Street bailout and the 2008 stimulus package and Medicare Part D.
But Chambliss also voted against President Barack Obama and Democrats on some key issues such as the Health Care Act, extending the Bush tax cuts, audit of the Federal Reserve and he voted against Obama’s Supreme Court appointments.
PolitiFact found Kremer’s accusations to be false.