Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) cast his final vote as a senator Tuesday night. In his 10-year career, Coburn was known for his hard stance against government waste and his conviction that lawmakers should carefully consider each bill they pass, no matter how minor.
Coburn displayed that conviction in his final actions as a Senator, as the New York Daily News reports:
On Monday, Coburn defied senators in both parties, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, and conventional Washington wisdom that says opposing minor bills with appealing goals for hard-to-explain reasons is always a political mistake.
Coburn objected to a motion to allow a vote on the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention Act, which requires annual outside reviews of suicide prevention efforts run by the Defense and Veterans Affairs Departments.
Coburn says the bill, estimated to cost $22 million over five years, creates a duplicative program by giving the VA authority it already has to offer financial incentives to help hire mental health specialists.
“It throws money and it doesn’t solve the real problem,” Coburn said Monday night in an emotional speech annoucning his objection, during which recounted his experience as a doctor “failing” patients who later committed suicide.
“I object to this bill not because I don’t want to help save suicide, but because I don’t think it will do the first thing to change what has happened,” Coburn said.
He urged senators to instead devote attention to more aggressively overseeing the VA.
Coburn's adamant refusal to waste taxpayer money is, unfortunately, remarkably rare on Capitol Hill. And after ten years of fighting from inside the beltway, Coburn understands better than anyone the simple truth that Washington will never fix itself.
This is why he now plans to take the fight outside the beltway and join the growing movement to call a Convention of States. He endorsed the Convention of States Project last year, saying,
“The problem in Washington is not that politicians agree too little but that they agree too much. Both parties have worked together to grow government far beyond what we can afford, and what the Founders intended. Sadly, there is not enough political will in Washington to fix the real problems facing the country. It’s time for the people to take back their country. The plan put forth by Convention of States is a great way to do just that by using the process the founders gave us for reigning in the federal government.”
Sen. Coburn understands the impossibility of going through Congress to solve the impending financial crisis -- "there is not enough political will in Washington to fix the real problems facing the country."
Fortunately, there is hope! Article V allows us to bypass Washington and enact the reforms this country desperately needs. We hope you'll join Sen. Coburn and support the last, best chance to preserve liberty in this country.