Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) has stepped down two years before the end of his term due to prostrate cancer. The senator gained a reputation for standing for principles in legislative matters and was nicknamed “Dr. No”. In his closing remarks in his farewell speech, he warned that he will seek to block or slow debate on several pieces of legislation before the closing of this year's congress. He also implied that Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nevada) led the Senate like a tyrant. The following video is a segment of his emotional farewell speech where he read the oath of office that few in Congress have adhered to, he pleaded for the Senate to return to the principles set forth by the architects of the US Constitution …
The full speech was 27 minutes long which included tributes to his family, personal aides, ushers and staffers of the Senate and government offices. He also sought forgiveness:
Those of you through the years who I have offended, I truly apologize. And I think none of that was intended – because I actually see things different. You see, I believe our founders were absolutely brilliant. Far smarter than us.
His speech included a tribute to the Founding Fathers.
I know not everybody agreed with me -- but the one thing I do know is that our founders agreed with me. They had studied this process before, they knew what happens when you dominate from a central government. And it doesn't mean intentions are bad -- intentions are great, the motivations of the people in this body are wonderful. But the perspective on how we do it and what the long-term consequences of how we do it really do matter.
Despite huge ideological differences, he maintained a close relationship with Barack Obama when he was a senator.
Senator Coburn is opposed to a bill renewing a federally-funded terrorism insurance program because House Republicans included changes to Wall Street regulations that are unrelated to the bill's theme. He also opposes the annual Pentagon policy bill because negotiators included unrelated language authorizing an historic expansion of federally-protected lands, including six new national parks. Coburn's career was filled with criticism of excessive federal spending and is expected to vote against the $1.01 trillion spending bill slated for vote.
For a complete overview of his stand on issues, visit On The Issues.
Best regards to Senator Coburn and his family, I hope a constitutional senator takes his place.