Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) announced that he will retire at the end of the current session. He has struggled with cancer, but says his decision to retire isn’t due to health concerns. Coburn has spent years exposing waste in the federal budget.
Coburn has been suffering from a recurrence of prostate cancer and has hinted privately to reporters and in a published interview last week that his health troubles might force him to leave office before his current term expires in early 2017. He had already announced that he would not run for reelection, meaning his decision will have him exit two years sooner than previously planned.
In a statement Thursday evening, he said that he and his family have been “touched by the encouragement we’ve received from people across the state regarding my latest battle against cancer. But this decision isn’t about my health, my prognosis or even my hopes and desires.”
“As a citizen, I am now convinced that I can best serve my own children and grandchildren by shifting my focus elsewhere,” he added. “In the meantime, I look forward to finishing this year strong.”
The report above is from the Washington Post, and the article went on to blame Coburn’s retirement on the tea party. They say his distaste for new conservatives in the Senate not following parliamentary procedure is probably why he made the decision to leave early. Nothing about Harry Reid changing Senate rules or anything else the Democrats have done.