Coburn was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994 as part of the Republican Revolution. He upheld his campaign pledge to serve no more than three consecutive terms and did not run for re-election in 2000. In 2004, he returned to political office with a successful run for the U.S. Senate.
Coburn is a fiscal and social conservative, known for his opposition to deficit spending and pork barrel projects, and for his leadership in the pro-life movement. He supports term limits, gun rights, and the death penalty and opposes gay marriage.
While Coburn announced on February 12, 2010 that he was running for a second term in the Senate, he also announced that he would not run for re-election to a third term in the Senate in 2016.