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Sen. Thomas Coburn

Former Senator for Oklahoma

Coburn, a Republican, was a senator from Oklahoma from 2005 to 2014.

He was previously the representative for Oklahoma’s 2nd congressional district (1995-2000).

Congressional misconduct:

In 2012 Coburn received a qualified admonishment for meeting with a lobbyist before the one year embargo on former Congressional staffers' lobbying expired. The Senate Select Committee on Ethics issued a qualified admonishment because the senator acknowledged his error and it was only a single meeting. The lobbyist in question was the husband of a Sen. John Ensign staffer with whom Ensign had had an affair. Ensign attempted to placate the husband with a lobbying job and Senator Coburn met with the husband before the lobbying embargo had ended. Coburn retired from the Senate in 2015.

Photo of Sen. Thomas Coburn [R-OK, 2005-2014]


Legislative Metrics

Read our 2014 Report Card for Coburn.

Ideology–Leadership Chart

Coburn is shown as a purple triangle in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot was a member of the Senate in 2014 positioned according to our liberal–conservative ideology score (left to right) and our leadership score (leaders are toward the top).

The chart is based on the bills Coburn sponsored and cosponsored. See full analysis methodology.

Enacted Legislation

Coburn was the primary sponsor of 6 bills that were enacted:

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We consider a bill enacted if one of the following is true: a) it is enacted itself, b) it has a companion bill in the other chamber (as identified by Congress) which was enacted, or c) if about one third or more of its provisions were incorporated into bills that were enacted (as determined by an automated text analysis, applicable beginning with bills in the 110th Congress).

Bills Sponsored

Issue Areas

Coburn sponsored bills primarily in these issue areas:

Government Operations and Politics (27%) Health (22%) Taxation (16%) Economics and Public Finance (14%) Armed Forces and National Security (8%) Education (6%) Finance and Financial Sector (4%) Social Welfare (4%)

Recent Bills

Some of Coburn’s most recently sponsored bills include...

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Voting Record

Key Votes

Coburn’s Vote Vote Description
Nay H.R. 5771 (113th): Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014
Dec 16, 2014. Bill Passed 76/16.
Nay H.J.Res. 124 (113th): Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2015
Sep 18, 2014. Joint Resolution Passed 78/22.
Nay H.R. 3304 (113th): National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014
Dec 19, 2013. Motion Agreed to 84/15.
Nay H.R. 1540 (112th): National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012
Dec 15, 2011. Conference Report Agreed to 86/13.
Yea H.J.Res. 48 (112th): Additional Continuing Appropriations Amendments, 2011
Mar 17, 2011. Joint Resolution Passed 87/13.
Nay H.R. 4853 (111th): Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010
Dec 15, 2010. Motion Agreed to 81/19.
The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (Pub.L. 111–312, H.R. 4853, 124 Stat. 3296, enacted December 17, 2010), also known as the 2010 Tax Relief Act, was passed by the United States Congress on December 16, 2010, and signed into ...
Nay On the Nomination PN64-6: Timothy F. Geithner, of New York, to be Secretary of the Treasury
Jan 26, 2009. Nomination Confirmed 60/34.
Yea S.J.Res. 5 (111th): A joint resolution relating to the disapproval of obligations under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.
Jan 15, 2009. Joint Resolution Defeated 42/52.
Nay H.R. 6124 (110th): Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008
Jun 18, 2008. Veto Overridden 80/14.
Nay On the Nomination PN177: Gen. George W. Casey, Jr., in the Army, to be General
Feb 8, 2007. Nomination Confirmed 83/14.

Missed Votes

From Jan 2005 to Dec 2014, Coburn missed 238 of 3,141 roll call votes, which is 7.6%. This is much worse than the median of 2.1% among the lifetime records of senators serving in Dec 2014. The chart below reports missed votes over time.

Show the numbers...

Primary Sources

The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including: