Chip Pickering

From SourceWatch
Jump to: navigation, search
This is a profile of a former U.S. Representative. (See the Mississippi portal for all incumbents, candidates and blogs.)
Mississippi state flag.png

Things you can do:

Chip Pickering served the 3rd Congressional district of Mississippi from 1996-2008

Charles Willis "Chip" Pickering, Jr. represented Mississippi's third Congressional district as a Republican in the United States House of Representatives from 1996-2008. The district is based in Meridian and stretches from the Alabama border to the Louisiana border, including areas such as Starkville, Natchez and part of Jackson. (map)

Record and controversies

General information about important bills and votes for can be found in Congresspedia's articles on legislation. You can add information you find on how Chip Pickering voted by clicking the "[edit]" link to the right and typing it in. Remember to cite your sources!

Iraq War

For more information see the chart of U.S. House of Representatives votes on the Iraq War.

Pickering voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War.[1]

Environmental record

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal

Almost Lobbyist

Roll Call reported that Pickering considered leaving Congress in 2003 to take a million-dollar lobbying job with the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association. At the time of the offer, he was co-chairman of the Congressional Wireless Caucus and sat on the panels with jurisdiction over the industry, the Energy and Commerce Committee and its telecommunications subcommittee. [1] Pickering ultimately turned down the position, but irked some Mississippi Republicans who had helped raise $2.5 million for his re-election just seven months before. [2]

Improper lobbying for Bayer

In 2005, Pickering and 26 other members of Congress sent a letter, written with the assistance of Bayer Corporation lobbyist and long-time friend of Pickering, to Lester Crawford, acting commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. The letter asked Crawford to set aside an administrative judge's decision regarding the proposed ban on a Bayer-manufactured drug used to fight poultry infections at factory farms. The judge had cited "growing scientific evidence suggesting that the practice was reducing the effectiveness of antibiotics vital to human health." The letter argued that the poultry medicine was "absolutely necessary to protecting the health of birds."

The Washington Post reported, "In stepping in, the congressmen entered a murky area and overstepped legal limits on their involvement, FDA officials said. While members of Congress frequently write to agencies as part of regular oversight, they are not supposed to intervene in formal, trial-type proceedings."[3]

Will not run for reelection in 2008

On August 17, 2007, Pickering announced that he would not seek reelection in 2008, despite representing a heavily Republican district and having no significant challenger. In his announcement, he hinted at a continued future in politics, saying, "I continue to view public service as a noble calling. I am not saying a final farewell, but hopefully, simply taking a leave of absence."[2]

Until this announcement Pickering was widely expected to run for the Senate seat left vacent when Trent Lott (R-Miss.) retires at the end of 2007[3]



Pickering was born August 10, 1963 in Laurel, Mississippi. His father is Charles Pickering, Sr., a notable judge and early leader in the Mississippi Republican Party. He graduated from Baylor University in 1989, serving as a Southern Baptist missionary to Hungary. Soon after his graduation, President George H.W. Bush appointed him as a Department of Agriculture liason to the former European Communist countries. After returning to the United States, he served as a staffer for Senator Trent Lott from 1992 to 1996.

Congressional Career

After a year as a staffer for the Senate Commerce Committee, he returned to Mississippi to run as the Republican candidate for the 3rd District. Congressman Sonny Montgomery, a 30-year Democratic incumbent, was not running for reelection. He was unopposed for reelection in 1998 and defeated token Democratic opposition in 2000.

In 2002, Pickering was pitted against fellow Congressman Ronnie Shows, a Democrat from the neighboring 4th District, after Mississippi's sluggish population growth cost it a House seat. Shows' Jackson-based district was merged with Pickering's district, though more of the residents of the new district had been represented by Pickering than Shows. Shows ran a vigorous campaign which attempted to tie Pickering to the recent WorldCom scandals, but Pickering won with over 60% of the vote in the new 3rd District, carrying even the portion of Shows's district in the 3rd. In 2004 with no Democrat in the race, Pickering faced Independent candidate Jim Giles who received 39,394 votes.

Pickering is arguably one of the most conservative members of the House with a lifetime rating of 96% from the American Conservative Union.[4] He has sometimes been mentioned as a candidate for the Senate seat of his former boss, Senator Trent Lott, should Lott retire in 2006. [5]

2006 elections

No major candidates announced their intentions to contest Pickering’s seat in the November 2006 election. (See U.S. congressional elections in 2006) [6]

Money in politics

Committees and Affiliations

Committee assignments in the 110th Congress (2007-2008)

Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

  • House Committee on Energy and Commerce
    • Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality
    • Subcommittee on Health
    • Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
    • Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet
  • House Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina

Coalitions and Caucuses

  • Co-Chair, Congressional Wireless Caucus
  • National Republican Congressional Committee
  • Republican Policy Committee

Boards and other Affiliations

  • National Guard and Reserve Components Organization

More Background Data

Wikipedia also has an article on Chip Pickering. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.


DC Office:
229 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-2403
Phone: 202-225-5031
Fax: 202-225-5797
Web Email

District Office - Brookhaven:
230 Whitworth Street
Brookhaven, MS 39601
Phone: 601-823-3400
Fax: 601-823-5512

District Office - Meridian:
823 22nd Avenue
Meridian, MS 39301
Phone: 601-693-6681
Fax: 601-693-1801

District Office - Natchez:
308 Franklin Street
Natchez, MS 39120
Phone: 601-442-2515
Fax: 601-442-2311

District Office - Rankin:
110-D Airport Road
Pearl, MS 39208
Phone: 601-932-2410
Fax: 601-965-4598

District Office - Starkville
One Research Boulevard, Suite 206
Starkville, MS 39759
Phone: 662-324-0007
Fax: 662-324-0033

Articles and Resources



Local blogs and discussion sites

Corresponding article on Wikipedia and Cause Caller. (If Cause Caller link does not work, pick from its list of senators and representatives.)

Current Office: U.S. House of Representatives
111th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

110th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

Co-Chair, Congressional Wireless Caucus
Committees: House Committee on Energy and Commerce, House Committee on Energy and Commerce/Subcommittee on Commerce Trade and Consumer Protection, House Committee on Energy and Commerce/Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality, House Committee on Energy and Commerce/Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet
Congressional Career
First Elected to Current Office:
November 5, 1996
First Took Current Office:
January 3, 1997
Next Election:
Term Ends:
January 3, 2009
Freshman Member?
Previous Political Work?
None or Not Available,
Other Party Membership:
District Offices:
1. 230 Whitworth Street, Brookhaven, MS 39601
Phone: 601-823-3400 / Fax: 601-823-5512
2. 823 22nd Avenue, Meridian, MS 39301
Phone: 601-693-6681 / Fax: 601-693-1801
3. 308 Franklin Street, Natchez, MS 39120
Phone: 601-442-2515 / Fax: 601-442-2311
4. 110-D Airport Road, Pearl, MS 39208
Phone: 601-932-2410 / Fax: 601-965-4598
5. One Research Boulevard, Suite 206, Starkville, MS 39759
Phone: 662-324-0007 / Fax: 662-324-0033

Campaign Contact:

Webform Email: / Email:

Campaign Offices:

Phone: / Fax:

Zip Code Affiliations:

Date of Birth: August 10, 1963

Cite error: <ref> tags exist, but no <references/> tag was found