Tom A. Coburn

Hon. Tom A. Coburn

Former United States Senator, Oklahoma

Tom A. Coburn, M.D. was elected to the U.S. Senate on November 2, 2004.  Dr. Coburn's priorities in the Senate included reducing wasteful spending, protecting your liberty, balancing the budget, improving health care access and affordability, protecting the sanctity of all human life - including the unborn - and representing traditional, Oklahoma values. As a citizen legislator, Dr. Coburn pledged to serve no more than two terms in the Senate and to continue to care for patients. He was a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and the Committee on Finance. 


As a Senator, Dr. Coburn offered more amendments than any of his colleagues. He offered amendments to eliminate funding for the "Bridge to Nowhere," the "Woodstock Museum" in New York and countless other special interests earmarks sponsored by members of both parties. Dr. Coburn also worked to make government more accountable and transparent. In 2006, he teamed up with then-Senator Barack Obama to create http://www.usaspending.gov/, an online database of all federal spending. 

Prior to his election to the Senate, Dr. Coburn represented Oklahoma's Second Congressional District in the House of Representatives from 1995 through 2001. He was first elected in 1994, then re-elected in 1996 and 1998, becoming the first Republican to hold the seat for consecutive terms. Dr. Coburn retired from Congress in 2001, fulfilling his pledge to serve no more than three terms in the House. 

In 1970, Dr. Coburn graduated with an accounting degree from Oklahoma State University.  From 1970 to 1978, Dr. Coburn served as manufacturing manager at the Ophthalmic Division of Coburn Optical Industries in Colonial Heights, Virginia. Under his leadership, the Virginia division of Coburn Optical grew from 13 employees to more than 350 and captured 35 percent of the U.S. market. 

After the family business was sold, Dr. Coburn changed the course of his life by returning to school to become a physician at the University of Oklahoma Medical School where he graduated in 1983. He then did his internship in general surgery at St. Anthony's Hospital in Oklahoma City and family practice residency at the University of Arkansas, Fort Smith. 

Dr. Coburn returned to Muskogee where he specialized in family medicine, obstetrics and the treatment of allergies. Dr. Coburn personally delivered more than 4,000 babies. 



Click to play: Administrative Law: Agency Rule: How Congress Can Reclaim its Legislative Authority

Administrative Law: Agency Rule: How Congress Can Reclaim its Legislative Authority

2015 National Lawyers Convention

Lawmakers are quick to complain about government agencies exceeding their authority. While some complaint is...

Administrative Law: Agency Rule: How Congress Can Reclaim its Legislative Authority

2015 National Lawyers Convention

Lawmakers are quick to complain about government agencies exceeding their authority. While some complaint is...