Congressman John Kline was elected to represent the suburbs and rural counties south of Minnesota’s Twin Cities (the 2nd district) in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002, and was re-elected to a sixth term in 2012. During this time, John has established himself as a leading advocate for workers and employers; one of Congress’ foremost experts on defense and veterans issues; and a champion for students, parents, and teachers.
Defining the Debate: Education and the Workforce
John was selected by his colleagues to serve as Chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee in December 2010, positioning him as the leading conservative voice on critical issues facing our nation’s families, schools, workers, and retirees. He has served on the panel since coming to Congress in 2003 and as its Senior Republican Member from 2009-2010; in that time he has built a reputation as a strong advocate for greater flexibility and local control in education and increased federal funding for special needs and low income students. He 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.
Before he assumed his role as the panel’s top Republican, he led GOP efforts 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. Among his legislative successes in these areas, John co-sponsored sweeping pension reform legislation that protects the pensions of 44 million Americans.
Continuing a Lifelong Pursuit of Public Service
Although this marks his first elected office, 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.
During his successful career in the Marines, John served as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam, commanded all Marine aviation forces in Operation Restore Hope in Somalia, and served as the Program Development Officer at Headquarters Marine Corps. Among his many medals and awards are four Legion of Merit Medals, a Joint Service Commendation Medal, a Naval Commendation Medal, a Meritorious Service Medal, and the Defense Superior Service Award. He retired in 1994 from the Marine Corps with the rank of Colonel.
Born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in September 6, 1947, John earned his undergraduate degree in Biology from Rice University in 1969, and earned his Masters Degree in Public Administration from Shippensburg University in 1988.
John and his wife, Vicky, live in Burnsville, Minnesota. He is especially proud of his two children and four grandchildren. John’s son is a helicopter pilot in the Army and has served two tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. His daughter is a freelance author, mother of two, and creator of the popular PBandJAHM e-zone, which offers community and advice for stay at home mothers across the country.