BioCongressman John Kline has been proud to represent the men and women of Minnesota's 2nd District in the U.S. House of Representatives since first being elected to Congress in 2002. During this time, John has established himself as a champion for workers and small businesses, one of Congress’s foremost experts on defense and veterans issues, a leader in eliminating wasteful government spending, and an advocate for education.
In 2010, John Kline was chosen by his peers to serve as the Chairman of the Education and the Workforce Committee for the 112th Congress. “Job creation and American competitiveness are vital national priorities," Kline said. "As Chairman, I will ensure they are at the forefront of the Education and Labor agenda."
Since joining the Education and Labor Committee in 2003, John has been a strong advocate for greater flexibility and local control in education, and increased federal funding for special needs and low income students. “Rep. Kline has been a diligent, hard-working member of our committee,” said Chairman Miller. John has authored legislation to increase the availability of federal education funding at the local level, for which he was honored with the “Star of Education” Award by the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium.
“As someone who proudly served as chairman of the Education and the Workforce Committee, I know firsthand how much John’s work on that committee can affect Americans’ lives,” said Speaker John Boehner. “He’s a savvy legislator who knows how to lead and can bring together Members on both sides of the aisle to do what’s best for our country.”
Prior to becoming the ranking Republican on the Education and Labor Committee, John served as the ranking Republican member on the Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee (HELP), which is responsible for all matters associated with the relationships between employers and employees, including retirement security and pension, health, and other employee benefits.
Keeping Promises to our Veterans- A Personal Priority
As the father of an Army Blackhawk pilot, the husband of a retired Army nurse, and a 25-year veteran of the Marine Corps, John Kline considers it a personal priority to ensure government keeps its promises to our veterans. Since arriving to Washington in 2003, he has considered it one of his greatest duties in Congress to support our veterans of today and tomorrow.
As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, John Kline has been recognized by his colleagues as a leader and valuable resource on defense, veterans, and military personnel issues. During his first term in Congress, he led a bipartisan group of his colleagues in successfully defeating a proposal to radically change the length of service and independence of senior officers in the U.S. military leadership. Congressman Kline also authored legislation to protect members of the National Guard and Reserves who are students from student loan and administrative liabilities incurred when they are called to active duty service.
John also has made it a priority to ensure government keeps its promises to our veterans. Among his legislative successes in this area, Congressman Kline helped negotiate the agreement that partially ended the unfair of policy of prohibiting concurrent receipt, which penalizes veterans for injures they received in service to their country (previously, for every dollar a disabled veteran received in disability benefits, a dollar was removed from their pension). In the 111th Congress, John is a cosponsor of legislation that would provide full concurrent receipt for retired military servicemen and women with any service connected disability.
•In 2006, John led a congressional delegation to Iraq – his fourth trip to the region – to assess the progress of the unity government and the work being done by the Iraqi Security Forces, as well as visit members of the Minnesota National Guard.
•In 2007, in the wake of General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker’s assessments of Iraq, John traveled with a congressional delegation to Iraq and Afghanistan to see for himself the latest developments and current ground conditions.
•In February 2008, John traveled with a congressional delegation to Afghanistan where he met with high ranking military officials to discuss progress being made by Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) in rebuilding Afghanistan. “To improve the infrastructure and security there, we must empower local government officials and increase civilian participation,” Kline said after the trip. “Enhancing the security of Afghanistan also requires an increase in support from our NATO allies.
•In April 2009, John traveled with a congressional delegation to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, and Israel. The objective of this mission was to show foreign leaders that the United States is indeed united in support of President Obama’s new regional strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan that includes a pledge to deploy more troops to defeat al-Qaida militants, the Taliban, and their allies, but also includes a greater emphasis on regional diplomacy and economic development.
Prior to being elected to Congress, John Kline spent several years in Washington during his 25-year career in the U.S. Marine Corps. He distinguished himself as a helicopter pilot and earned the responsibility of flying Marine One, the President’s personal helicopter. John was also hand-picked to serve as a personal military aide to President Jimmy Carter, and subsequently to President Ronald Reagan. John’s responsibilities during this period included carrying the nuclear “football” – the briefcase containing the nuclear war plans and strike options in case of a national emergency.