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Tags: tom coburn | last | day | speech | pork | senate

Sen. Tom Coburn's Tearful Farewell Speech Scolds Pork Spenders

By    |   Thursday, 11 December 2014 08:50 PM EST

Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn closed out 20 years of service on Capitol Hill Thursday with a tearful speech that didn't shy away from one of the issues closest to his heart: fighting pork-barrel spending.

"Every member of the Senate takes the same oath. And here's where I differ with a lot of my colleagues, Coburn said.

He then read the entire oath in which Senators agree to support and defend the Constitution. He paused at times as he was overcome with emotion.

Story continues below video.


"Your state isn't mentioned one time in that oath," Coburn said. "Your whole goal is to protect the United States of America, its Constitution and its liberties. It's not to provide benefits for your state."

Coburn for years has produced an annual report on what he deems wasteful spending. He said earlier this year he hopes someone else takes up the mantle.

He also decried the recent actions of outgoing Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid, who broke with tradition and didn't allow amendments to bills.

"Every senator has the power to introduce legislation and until recently offer amendments," Coburn said. "No single senator should be able to decide what the rights of another senator should be. That's tyranny."

Coburn was elected to the House of Representatives as part of the Republican Revolution in 1994. Ten years later, he successfully ran for Senate. He announced earlier this year he was leaving office after he had a recurrence of prostate cancer.

"Unfortunately, this won't be the last time I speak, much to many of your chagrin, as I have some adamant opposition to some of the things that we're doing," Coburn said.

Despite his admission he was often at odds with members of even his own party, Coburn received a warm applause after his remarks. UPI reported that more than 40 senators were in the chamber, a considerable number since much action was taking place on the final day of the session.

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Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn closed out 20 years of service on Capitol Hill Thursday with a tearful speech that didn't shy away from one of the issues closest to his heart: fighting pork-barrel spending.
tom coburn, last, day, speech, pork, senate
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2014-50-11
Thursday, 11 December 2014 08:50 PM
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