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Kline Statement on President's Address to Congress

House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline (R-MN) issued the following remarks after President Barack Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress:

On education and school construction…

“At its core, education is a jobs issue, and we must encourage policies that help prepare today’s students to join tomorrow’s workforce. More stimulus spending is not the right solution to our nation’s jobs crisis. Common sense tells us that putting the federal government in the business of school construction will only lead to higher costs and more regulations. It also tells us that another teacher union bailout will not ensure a quality education for our children.

“My colleagues on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce have been working together on a new way forward for the nation’s education system. Our efforts center on reducing federal intervention in classrooms, supporting effective teachers, streamlining education spending, encouraging innovation, and putting decisions back in the hands of state and local officials. Rather than renew his support for the failed policies of the past, the president should join our efforts to chart a better course for our children’s future.”

On jobs and workforce training…

“The American people have made jobs their number one priority – and I’m pleased the president recognizes we need a better trained workforce if we want to boost our country’s standing in the global marketplace.

“Republicans remain committed to streamlining federal job training programs, improving support for workers, and promoting a better use of taxpayer money. Just last month, the committee held a hearing in Nevada, where we learned about the innovative ways state and local officials are helping job seekers obtain new skills and opportunities. The Georgia Works program is another state initiative we have long viewed as a model for reform, and I hope we can find common ground on positive solutions that offer similar support for workers while protecting taxpayers.

“We all know, however, that an effective job training system provides little comfort if there are no jobs available for America’s workers. To encourage entrepreneurs and small business owners to hire and invest, we must get the federal government out of the way. President Obama missed a critical opportunity tonight to address the actions of his own administration that are blocking the path to growth and prosperity. The National Labor Relations Board has recently unloaded a barrage of bureaucratic decisions that weaken workers’ rights and make our workforce less competitive. The president’s silence on the job-destroying policies of his labor board speaks volumes, and will only undermine our efforts to get this economy moving and put Americans back to work.”