Last month, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) announced that he will retire at the end of 2014, cutting short his second Senate term by two years. His decision was in part the result of his health struggles related the recent recurrence of prostate cancer. But Sen. Coburn also cited the dysfunction in Washington D.C., and particularly in the U.S. Senate, in stating: “As a citizen, I am now convinced that I can best serve my own children and grandchildren by shifting my focus elsewhere.”
John Ward’s HuffPost interview with Sen. Coburn last week sheds some light on exactly how Sen. Coburn intends to shift his focus:
“It’s time for me to go do something else,” Coburn said. “I know me. I’ve made lots of shifts in my life, and I know when it’s time. My faith comes into that. I pay a lot of attention to what I think I’m supposed to be doing. … And it’s just time for me to do something else. So I’m getting ready to walk through whatever door opens.”
“I don’t have any set plans whatsoever,” he said.
There are two exceptions to that statement. He has plans to play golf, a game he loves and has rarely been able to enjoy during his time in Washington. And he is going to lend his support to a growing effort in state legislatures across the country to call a convention to amend the Constitution with the aim of limiting the size and reach of the federal government.
During a recent appearance on a Nevada-based public television program, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said that ObamaCare is a step down the path to a single-payer healthcare system for the United States:
Reid said he thinks the country has to “work our way past” insurance-based health care during a Friday night appearance on Vegas PBS’ program “Nevada Week in Review.”
“What we’ve done with Obamacare is have a step in the right direction, but we’re far from having something that’s going to work forever,” Reid said.
When then asked by panelist Steve Sebelius whether he meant ultimately the country would have to have a health care system that abandoned insurance as the means of accessing it, Reid said: “Yes, yes. Absolutely, yes.”
“We had a real good run at the public option … don’t think we didn’t have a tremendous number of people who wanted a single-payer system,” Reid said on the PBS program, recalling how then-Sen. Joe Lieberman’s opposition to the idea of a public option made them abandon the notion and start from scratch.
Eventually, Reid decided the public option was unworkable.
This isn’t really surprising. The idea that ObamaCare is a step down the path to a single-payer system is one that has been promulgated by both Democrats and Republicans alike.
It appears that the 2012 race for President is all but set. Mitt Romney will very likely win the Republican nomination and he will face Barack Obama in November. For those of us concerned about restoring liberty, the rule of law and the Constitution, and getting a grips on our debt and economic crisis; this is not a joyous prospect. Neither man has a record of leadership on those issues and in fact, both men have proven time and time again to be advocates of more government, more spending, and more debt. No matter who is elected President, I’m not optimistic that our serious issues, especially concerning the debt and the economy will be addressed. We need to look elsewhere to at least hold the tide against more spending and more debt. We need to really pour our energies into the Congressional elections and electing more Constitutional conservatives and libertarians.
Every even numbered year, we have the chance to change the entire makeup of the House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate. Imagine what kind of difference we can make if we elected Constituional conservative majority in the House and give Jim DeMint, Tom Coburn, Rand Paul, and Mike Lee some more company in the Senate this go around. The only way to do that is get involved. Find a Constitutional conservative candidate in the primaries and back them and volunteer for them. If there isn’t one in your district, consider running yourself. Granted, it maybe too late in many states to do this for 2012, but consider it for 2014.
Stephen Slivinski is senior economist at the Goldwater Institute. Previously he was director of budget studies at the Cato Institute, senior economist at the Tax Foundation, and a senior editor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Mr. Slivinski is the author of the book, Buck Wild: How Republicans Broke the Bank and Became the Party of Big Government, published in 2006.
One thing that makes Newt Gingrich an attractive presidential candidate to many conservatives is his term as Speaker of the House and his role as the captain of the Republican Revolution of 1994. But a closer look at the history of the years between 1995 and when he stepped down as speaker in 1998 show that Gingrich was usually at odds with those pushing the Reaganite vision of a truly limited federal government. In fact, when the Republican Revolution succeeded at all it was often in spite of Newt Gingrich, not because of him. Unfortunately, too many conservatives have forgotten this or perhaps may not have known it at all.
Gingrich does indeed come across as an eloquent defender of limited government principles. In 1995, he envisioned the new GOP congressional majority presaging a cultural revolution in Washington, D.C. “The real breaking point is when you find yourself having a whole new debate, with new terms. That’s more important than legislative achievements,” Gingrich told a reporter on the first day of the 104th Congress. “We’ll know in six months whether we have accomplished that.”
Guess what? The race for the Republican nomination has been shaken up again. Many of us saw Herman Cain’s downfall coming, it was only a matter of time. But still the fact that he lasted this far into the race is concerning given his lack of experience and complete lack of knowledge on some of the most basic issues, including foreign policy.
It looks as though Newt Gingrich has been able to capitalize on Cain’s misfortune and, as noted earlier, seems like to receive an endorsement. Gingrich leads in six of the last nine national polls, hold a single-digit lead in Iowa, and double-digit leads in Florida and South Carolina. Mitt Romney still leads in New Hampshire, but Gingrich and Ron Paul are gaining steam.
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) is experiencing first hand one of President Barack Obama’s broken promises. The specialist that the cancer-stricken Oklahoma Republican has used isn’t part of the skimpy provider network under his government-approved, Obamacare health plan:
Cancer-stricken Sen. Tom Coburn revealed Tuesday that his health insurance under Obamacare doesn’t cover his oncologist, but said he still is receiving excellent care.
“I’m doing well from a health standpoint, got great docs,” Coburn said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday when asked about his health. “Fortunately — even though my new coverage won’t cover my specialist — I’m going to have great care, and I have a great prognosis.”
The Oklahoma Republican’s spokesman confirmed to POLITICO that since the senator enrolled in his health insurance plan under Obamacare, his coverage has been reduced and he lost coverage for his cancer specialist. Coburn will continue to pay out of pocket and see his oncologist, his office said.
Here’s the video:
An influential grassroots conservative group is courting Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) to run in the special election to replace Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), who announced that he will resign at the end of the year.
The Senate Conservatives Fund sent out an email blast to its supporters of Saturday in which the group praised Coburn, who is battling a recurrence of cancer, as a “tireless fighter against wasteful Washington spending,” noting that his resignation “is a big loss for Oklahoma and the country.”
“No senator has done more to research and expose our government’s gross abuse of American taxpayers,” wrote Matt Hoskins, executive director of the Senate Conservatives Fund. “[Coburn] is a true citizen legislator and we need more like him in Washington.”
After praise Coburn, who has been one of the most consistent fiscal conservatives in the Senate, Hoskins made it clear who the Senate Conservatives Fund would back in the race to replace him.
“It’s not clear yet which candidates will run for the seat,” he noted, “but we hope U.S. Representative Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) will consider it.”
“SCF endorsed Bridenstine last year as a candidate for the U.S. House because of his outstanding record,” wrote Hoskins. “We wanted to protect him from the Republican establishment, which was upset with him for voting against John Boehner (R-OH) for Speaker, and to elevate his profile so he could run for the Senate someday.”
“How great would it be if he ran now?” he added.
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), who was recently diagnosed with a recurrence of prostate cancer, announced on Thursday that he will retire at the end of 2014, cutting short his second and final term in office.
“Serving as Oklahoma’s senator has been, and continues to be, one of the great privileges and blessings of my life,” said Coburn in a press statement. “But, after much prayer and consideration, I have decided that I will leave my Senate seat at the end of this Congress.”
“Carolyn and I 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,” he said. “My commitment to the people of Oklahoma has always been that I would serve no more than two terms. Our founders saw public service and politics as a calling rather than a career. That’s how I saw it when I first ran for office in 1994, and that’s how I still see it today. I believe it’s important to live under the laws I helped write, and even those I fought hard to block.”
Part of the 1994 Republican Revolution, Coburn, who made his living as an obstetrician, served for three terms in the House of Representatives (1995-2001), earning a reputation has a hardcore fiscal conservative who wasn’t always willing to go along with Republican leadership.
The federal government has doled out nearly $1 million since 2010 to study the origins and influence of popular romance in books and films, $3 million spent by NASA to study how Congress works, and $150,000 to develop an educational game based on the zombie apocalypse.
These are just a few examples of how Washington is spending taxpayer dollars, according to a new report, Wastebook 2013, released yesterday by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK). The report, which highlights nearly $30 billion in wasteful, low-priority spending, comes as Congress debates a budget that will rollback modest, bipartisan spending cuts.
“While politicians in Washington spent much of 2013 complaining about sequestration’s impact on domestic programs and our national defense, we still managed to provide benefits to the Fort Hood shooter, study romance novels, help the State Department buy Facebook fans and even help NASA study Congress,” said Corburn in a statement on the report.
The report, Wastebook 2013, highlights nearly $30 billion in. The 100 examples provided in the report just scratches the surface of the large problem, according to Coburn.
“Had Congress, in particular, been focused on doing its job of setting priorities and cutting the kind of wasteful spending outlined in this report, we could have avoided both a government shutdown and a flawed budget deal that was designed to avert a shutdown,” said Coburn. He noted that the wasteful spending highlighted in the report is “a small fraction of the more than $200 billion we throw away every year through fraud, waste, duplication and mismanagement.”
The National Park Service came under intense scrutiny during the government shutdown after park rangers closed off open air monuments and forced people from their homes and businesses in an effort to make sure that average Americans felt the pain of the political stalemate in Washington.