Senator-elect Dr Tom Coburn wants to deliver more babies after he takes office

Saturday, December 11th 2004, 4:19 pm
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Republican Sen.-elect Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, a politician and an obstetrician, wants to deliver more babies after he takes office Jan. 4, a request apparently at odds with Senate conflict-of-interest rules.

Coburn ``merely wants to break even with his costs to maintain his medical practice,'' and he has had private discussions with GOP leaders as well as members of the Senate ethics committee, spokesman John Hart said Friday night.

Senate rules generally prohibit senators from earning outside income as part of an attempt to avoid a conflict between lawmakers' personal financial interests and their public responsibilities.

As a result, newly elected senators customarily are required to wrap up their business relationships quickly after winning their seats.

Hart said Coburn has not yet made a formal request to the panel for permission to maintain his medical practice. But several congressional officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the panel already has sent the senator-elect a letter telling him the rules will not permit it.

``We've received some unfavorable comment from staff, but we look forward to a formal ruling from the elected members of the Senate,'' said Hart.