2014-01-17T224827Z_1_CBREA0G1RCT00_RTROPTP_2_USA-FISCAL

Senator Coburn leaving Congress as he battles cancer

U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) boards an elevator at the U.S. Capitol in WashingtonBy Thomas Ferraro WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who crossed the aisle in 2005 became friends with a newly elected colleague named Barack Obama, says he will leave office in December, two years before his term ends. In the meantime, I look forward to finishing this year strong.” Obama said in a statement on Friday: “Those of us who have had the privilege of serving with Tom Coburn will be sad to lose him as a colleague here in Washington.” “Tom and I entered the Senate at the same time, becoming friends after our wives struck up a conversation,” Obama said. “The people of Oklahoma have been well-served by this ‘country doctor from Muskogee.'” In nine years in the Senate, Coburn earned a reputation as a blunt-speaking conservative who waged war against federal waste and denounced what he called a “dysfunctional Washington.” Coburn promised to serve only two terms in the Senate when first elected to the chamber in 2004. “That’s how I saw it when I first ran for office in 1994, and that’s how I still see it today.” Coburn has been treated for prostate cancer.

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