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Staunch spending critic Tom Coburn to retire from U.S. Senate at end of session

Tom Coburn is an arch enemy of government spending, even for veterans benefits and other programs that benefit military services and personnel.
Tom Coburn is an arch enemy of government spending, even for veterans benefits and other programs that benefit military services and personnel. Getty Images

Senator Tom Coburn (R,Ok) has announced that he will step down from the United States Senate at the end of the current session this month, two years prior to the ending of his regular Senate term, according to ABC News, Jan. 16, 2014. The two term Senator is suffering from prostate cancer and already had announced his intentions not to seek a third term. Coburn claims that his decision to step down has nothing to do with his illness, but states that events now necessitate that he spend time with his children and grandchildren and "finishing this year strong."

Coburn was a three term Congressman before being elected to the Senate and was a fierce opponent of government spending and "earmarked" projects, even to the extent of vigorously opposing veterans benefit programs.

Under the Constitution of the State of Oklahoma, the Governor of Oklahoma appoints a senator to replace the outgoing senator until a special election can be held.