WASHINGTON — Saying that America's identity "is under attack from within,'' Sen. Tom Coburn announced today that he will run for reelection next year. The Muskogee Republican said the decision to seek another six-year term was difficult for him and his family. But he said it came down to "a sober realization that our country's future is at stake." "We can either do what we've been doing — borrow without limit and spend without restraint — and pass on crushing debt, a lower standard of living and less freedom to the next generation. "Or, we can restore the common sense principles that made our country — limited government, individual liberty and personal responsibility." Coburn, who served six years in the House, easily won his first term in 2004, dispatching well-known Republican challengers in the primary and former Congressman Brad Carson in the general election. No potential challengers have emerged as yet for Coburn, and it seems unlikely at this point that a top tier Democrat will take him on. Should he win, it would be his last term; he pledged when he ran in 2004 that he would serve no more than two terms. A second Coburn term would mean six more years of headaches for many of his colleagues. Senators from both parties have chafed at Coburn's use of Senate rules to block dozens of bills that he considered wasteful or duplicative. Coburn has garnered national attention for many of his efforts, including, most recently, attaching gun legislation to the bill tightening regulation of the credit card industry. He has also become known for taking on pork barrel spending in a personal way — directly challenging the projects of colleagues and trying to remove them from spending bills. Coburn, 61, had cancer twice before running for the Senate in 2004, and he has had some health problems in his first term. In 2007, he had a tumor removed from his pituitary gland that forced him to miss a few days. Then, last year, he was treated for an irregular heartbeat, but he went back to work the same day. A physician, Coburn fought unsuccessfully against Senate rules that limit what he can do at his Muskogee practice. However, he does still see some patients, a situation that may lead to another battle with Senate Democratic leaders. In his announcement today, made at a news conference in Tulsa, Coburn said he first made the decision to run for public office — back in 1994, when he won a House seat — because he was "alarmed by Washington's desire to impose collectivism and socialism on the public, particularly in the area of health care. "Today, we face the same challenge. Many in Washington are claiming that all problems can be solved with more spending and less individual freedom. Those ideas have never worked and they never will. While I’m confident the wisdom of the American people will prevail, we won’t win without a fight.” Ironically, Coburn's quixotic quest to rein in government will be even more challenging because of one of the few people that Coburn has established a close friendship with — President Barack Obama.