John Kline (politician)
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Minnesota's 2nd district
January 3, 2003
|Preceded by||Mark Kennedy|
|Chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce|
January 3, 2011
|Preceded by||George Miller|
September 6, 1947 |
|Alma mater||Rice University, Shippensburg University|
|Service/branch||United States Marine Corps|
|Years of service||1969–1994|
Operation Restore Hope
|Awards||Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal (3)
Vietnam Campaign Medal
Presidential Service Badge
Navy Commendation Medal
John Paul Kline (born September 6, 1947) is an American politician who has served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from Minnesota's 2nd congressional district since 2003. The district includes most of the southern suburbs of the Twin Cities, including Apple Valley, Inver Grove Heights, Burnsville and Eagan. A member of the Republican Party, Kline serves as the Chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
Early life, education and career
Kline was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of W. B. Ray High School in Corpus Christi, Texas (1965) and was educated at Rice University (1969) and Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania (1988).
Before his election to Congress, Kline was a 25-year veteran of the United States Marine Corps, where he was a senior military aide to Presidents Carter and Reagan and was responsible for carrying the President's "football". During his military career, Kline served as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam, commanded all Marine aviation forces in Operation Restore Hope in Somalia, flew "Marine One," the Presidential helicopter, and served as Program Development Officer at Headquarters Marine Corps. He received numerous medals and commendations, including Four Legions of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal (awarded 3 times), the Vietnam Campaign Medal, a Presidential Service Badge, and the Navy Commendation Medal. Kline retired from the Marine Corps as a colonel.
Kline and his wife, Vicky, live in Lakeville. They have two children and four grandchildren.
U.S. House of Representatives
- Committee on Armed Services
- Committee on Education and the Workforce (Chairman)
- As Chairman of the full committee, Rep. Kline may serve as an ex officio member of all subcommittees of which he is not already a voting member.
- Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education
- Subcommittee on Workforce Protections
- Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training
Kline has largely opposed restrictions on gun ownership. He voted to repeal parts of the firearms ban for Washington, D.C. He has described himself as "a collector of antique guns and a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment".
Kline has stated, "Job creation is our nation's no. 1 challenge and Congress must make it our no. 1 priority." Kline has spoken in support of education reform designed to encourage parent involvement and teacher accountability. He is opposed to any tax increases and has stated that such strategies must be taken "off the table." In remarks made to fellow representatives, Kline said, "we are watching a massive growth of government power, size, and spending, and I deem that unacceptable."
Kline has generally supported raising interest rates on student loans as a way of reducing the budget deficit. In 2013 Kline proposed a bill that, among other adjustments, changed the rate on subsidized Stafford loans from 3.4% to 5.9%. The bill linked the rate of interest to the rate of US borrowing.
Kline made his first run for office in 1998, when he challenged 6th District Democratic incumbent Bill Luther and lost, taking 46% of the vote. He sought a rematch in 2000 and lost by only 5,400 votes, while George W. Bush narrowly carried the district.
After the 2000 census, Minnesota's congressional map was radically altered, though the number of districts was unchanged. The old 28-county 2nd District was dismantled, and a new 2nd District was created in the Twin Cities' southern suburbs. At the same time, the 6th District was pushed slightly north and made significantly more Republican than its predecessor. The remapping left the home of the 2nd District's freshman incumbent, Republican Mark Kennedy, just inside the reconfigured 6th District. Realizing this, Kline immediately filed for the Republican nomination in the new 2nd District; his home had been drawn into this district. After some consideration, Luther opted to run in the 2nd as well, even though it was thought to lean slightly Republican.
During the campaign, Luther came under fire when one of his supporters, Sam Garst, filed for the race under the banner of the "No New Taxes Party." This was done in retaliation for an ad the National Republican Congressional Committee ran in support of Kline that accused Luther of being soft on crime. Luther subsequently admitted that his campaign knew about Garst's false flag campaign. Kline gained considerable momentum from this, and ultimately won handily, taking 53% of the vote to Luther's 42%.
Kline then defeated Democratic Burnsville City Councilwoman Teresa Daly to win a second term in 2004 and former FBI Special agent and whistleblower Coleen Rowley, one of Time magazine's "Persons of the Year", with 56% of the vote in 2006. In 2008 Kline defeated former Watertown mayor Steve Sarvi and increased his margin of victory to over 57% of the vote. In both 2006 and 2008, Kline was one of the few bright spots in disastrous years for Republicans.
Kline's reelection in 2012 made him the 40th U.S. Representative from Minnesota to win six House terms.
|2008 Second Congressional District of Minnesota Elections|
|2006 Second Congressional District of Minnesota Elections|
|2004 Second Congressional District of Minnesota Elections|
|2002 Second Congressional District of Minnesota Elections|
|No New Taxes Party||Sam Garst||12,408||5%|
|2000 Sixth Congressional District of Minnesota Elections|
|1998 Sixth Congressional District of Minnesota Elections|
- "Congressman John Kline – Representative of Minnesota". John Kline's Biography. United States House of Representatives. Retrieved December 22, 2006.[dead link]
- Diaz, Kevin (January 8, 2007). "Minnesota delegation offers cool response". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on October 21, 2007. Retrieved January 9, 2007.
- Schmickle, Sharon. John Kline, Steve Sarvi clash over policies and tone of campaigns. Minn Post. October 20, 2008.
- Henry, Devin. "House to take up Kline bill on student-loan interest rates". MINNPOST. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
- Scheck, Tom. Luther, Kline get heated in TV debate. Minnesota Public Radio, August 22, 2002.
- Some Republicans are dumping donations given by Cunningham Accessed August 12, 2006
- Ostermeier, Eric (July 18, 2013). "John Kline: Six Going on Seven?". Smart Politics.
- Anand, Priya. "With Michele Bachmann out, Democrats targetting John Kline". Politico. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
- Congressman John Kline official U.S. House site
- John Kline for Congress
- John Kline on the Open Directory Project
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Biography, voting record, and interest group ratings at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at The Library of Congress
- Profile at SourceWatch
- Campaign 2006: John Kline profile from Minnesota Public Radio
|United States House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Minnesota's 2nd congressional district
|Chairman of House Education and the Workforce Committee
|United States order of precedence (ceremonial)|
|United States Representatives by seniority