Former Republican Senator Tom Coburn, The ‘Dr. No’ Of Congress, Dies At 72

Greg Price Contributor
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Former Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn passed away at his home Saturday, his family said in a statement. He was 72 years old.

Coburn was first elected to the House of Representatives in the 1994 Republican Revolution, representing Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District. He served three terms before declining to run for re-election in 2000, citing his belief in term limits.

He returned to politics in 2004, serving two consecutive terms as the United States senator from Oklahoma before resigning two-years prior to the end of his second term in 2014 due to his ongoing battles with prostate cancer.

A doctor who specialized in obstetrics and family practice, Coburn was known as a staunch fiscal and social conservative, who championed pro-life legislation and constantly battled with lawmakers over deficit spending throughout his career. (RELATED: Here Are The Pro-Life Protections In The $2 Trillion Coronavirus Emergency Relief Package)

In 2011, he was part of the “Gang of Six,” a bipartisan group of U.S. senators who worked on a proposal to cut the national debt by $3.7 trillion over 10 years. Coburn also published an annual “Wastebook” of government spending.

Because of his staunch opposition to increases in spending, he was dubbed “Dr. No” by his Democratic colleagues in Congress.

“Tom A Coburn, MD, beloved husband, father and grandfather, passed away peacefully at home this morning surrounded by his family. Because of his strong faith, he rested in the hope found in John 11:25, where Jesus said, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me, will live, even though they die.’ Today he lives in heaven,” Coburn’s family said in a statement.

A memorial service for Coburn will be held at a later date, the family also said.