(Adds biographical details)
Jan 16 U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, a Republican
from Oklahoma, said on Thursday that he would leave Congress at
the end of this year.
Coburn, 65, said in a statement that although he is battling
cancer, that was not the reason he decided to resign. His
departure will leave two years left in his term.
"This decision isn't about my health, my prognosis or even
my hopes and desires," Coburn said in the statement, which was
posted on his website.
"As a citizen, I am now convinced that I can best serve my
own children and grandchildren by shifting my focus elsewhere,"
he said. "In the meantime, I look forward to finishing this year
Coburn's departure is not likely to alter the political
calculus of the Senate, since he comes from a solidly Republican
Staunchly pro-life, Coburn has also fought hard to eliminate
what he viewed as waste in government, according to his
The biography says Coburn has offered "more amendments than
any of his colleagues," including one opposing the so-called
Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska, and another against funding for a
museum commemorating the 1960s Woodstock music festival in New
Coburn was one of several Republicans who sharply criticized
efforts by the GOP's Tea Party wing to shutdown the government
last fall as a way to demand that the Affordable Care Act,
commonly known as Obamacare, be de-funded.
A physician who says he has delivered 4,000 babies, Coburn
was first elected to Congress in 1994, and served three terms,
according to a biography posted on his website.
He left after his third term, but then ran for Senate in
2004, the biography said. His website says he is a three-time
cancer survivor. He is a ranking member of the Homeland Security
and Governmental Affairs Committee.
(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and