Senate

In farewell, Dr. No stresses importance of one senator

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) bid an emotional farewell to the Senate on Thursday.

“We do not have one problem we cannot solve,” Coburn said with emotion in his voice. “There is nothing too big for us.”

{mosads}The former physician has battled cancer three times and is currently being treated again. Coburn decided to retire early as a result.

“Unfortunately, this won’t be the last time I speak, much to many of your chagrin,” joked Coburn, whose nickname is Dr. No.

“To those of you over the years who I have offended, I truly apologize,” Coburn said on a serious note. “None of that was intended because I actually see things different. I believe our founders were absolutely brilliant — far smarter than us. I believe the enumerated powers meant something.”

Coburn frequently insists on having votes on his amendments that aim to reduce duplication within government. He is currently delaying a vote on the National Defense Authorization Act because he says it contains unrelated land use earmarks.

He said the most important number in the Senate is one — one senator. He said it doesn’t matter if you have 60 votes or 51 votes, because the founding fathers established a body where just one member can stop legislation.

“He may have placed more holds than any equivalent Senator in history,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said. “He apparently held his own bill once.”

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) said there has been no better defender of taxpayer dollars than Coburn.

More than 10 senators on both sides of the aisle came to the floor to speak about Coburn’s achievements and friendship.

Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.) won the midterm election to replace Coburn at the start of next year. 

Tags Tom Coburn

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