About Tom: 1994-2000 Legislative Accomplishments (House of Representatives)

Dr. Coburn's Proven Record of Effective Leadership

Prior to being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994, Dr. Tom Coburn had never held an elected position before. He was a successful businessman and a physician. Yet, he would quickly emerge as an influential and effective leader who stood out among the 435 members of the House. Within his first year in office, the National Republican Congressional Committee singled out Dr. Coburn's office as one of the "most efficient" of the 73 new Republicans elected in 1994. The assessment was based on how well the office staffs handled a number of duties including legislation and constituent services.

National Journal, a highly regarded magazine that reports on the inner workings of Congress, singled out Dr. Coburn as "a key leader among social conservatives." "Coburn was particularly influential," the magazine noted on the abortion issue. "He and other conservatives have attached a host of anti-abortion riders to appropriations bills," the magazine noted.

Indeed, Dr. Coburn has played a pivotal role in drafting the partial birth abortion ban that would finally become law with the signature of President George W. Bush.

During his three terms in the House, Dr. Coburn also played an influential role in reforming welfare and other federal entitlement programs. He led efforts to balance the budget, offering countless amendments to trim the bloated federal budget. In 1999, USA Today reported, "Coburn brought the House to a virtual standstill by threatening to attach 130 amendments to an agriculture appropriations bill that he thought cost too much. Since then, he's almost single-handedly forced nearly $1 billion in cuts from the first seven spending bills the House has passed for the next fiscal year."

Dr. Coburn was also the primary sponsor of over ten laws, an impressive number, especially for a junior member of Congress who, as a Republican, had to secure the signature of a Democrat President.

The following is a brief summary of the laws Dr. Coburn authored while in the House of Representatives:

Protecting Children from Indecent Programming

A law to encourage the television and video industry to establish industry-wide technology standards and rating procedures which would empower parents to block programming they deem inappropriate for their children. (Provision contained within Public Law 104-104, signed 2/8/1996)

Protecting Babies from AIDS

A law to require all pregnant women to be counseled about and offered testing for HIV to prevent the transmission of the virus to unborn and newborn babies. (Provision contained with Public Law 104-146, signed 5/20/1996)

Guaranteeing Patient's Rights

A law to guarantee patients' rights for those enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid, including timely access to primary and specialty health care providers, a timely grievance process with appeals, an explanation of the enrollee's rights and plan information, and prohibitions on restrictions on communications between patients and doctors and financial incentives to encourage health care providers to deny medically necessary care. (Provision contained within Public Law 105-33, signed 8/5/1997)

Streamlining the Approval of Disease Diagnostics

A law to improve the review and approval process of radiopharmaceuticals (articles used in the diagnosis or monitoring of a disease). (Provision contained within Public Law 105-115, signed 11/21/1997)

Protecting U.S. Sovereignty

Laws to defund the United Nation's Man and Biosphere Program that threatened to place millions of acres of U.S. land under the control of United Nations. (Provision contained within Public Law 105-56, signed 10/8/1997; Provision contained within Public Law 105-83, 11/14/1997; Provision contained within Public Law 105-207, signed 7/29/1998)

Increasing Veterans' Health Care

Law increasing funding for veterans' health care coverage. (Provision contained within Public Law 105-276, signed 10/21/1998)

Protecting the Private Property Rights of Oklahomans

A law to authorize the sale of property acquired by the federal government for the Candy Lake project in Osage County, Oklahoma, to the previous owners of the property. (Provision contained within Public Law 106-53, signed 8/17/1999)

Ensuring Access to Home Health Care for Seniors

A law to guarantee access to home health care for Medicare beneficiaries in rural areas by ensuring adequate payment to providers. (Provision contained within Public Law 106-113, signed on 11/29/1999)

Treating and Preventing HIV/AIDS

A law to provide access to AIDS treatment for underinsured Americans living with HIV, including counseling for those with HIV that it is their continuing duty not to infect others with the disease. (Public Law 106-345, signed on 10/20/2000)

Providing Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs

A law to allow Americans to import prescription drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). (Provision contained with Public Law 106-387, signed on 10/28/2000)

Preventing Cervical Cancer

A law to educate the public about human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes nearly all cervical cancer, including how to prevent HPV infection. The law also requires condoms to be relabeled to notify users that condom use does not protect against HPV infection. (Provision contained within Public Law 106-554, signed 12/21/2000)
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