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 third term in 2006 During this time, Congressman Kline has established himself as one of Congress’s foremost experts on defense and veterans issues, a conservative voice on tax and budget policy, and an advocate for education
As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, and the only active-duty career Marine Corps veteran serving in Congress, John Kline has been recognized by his colleagues as a leader and valuable resource on defense issues Congressman Kline traveled to Iraq in 2003 and Kosovo in 2004 to visit U.S. troops and meet with military and civilian leadership stationed there Just days before the Iraqi elections in January of 2005, Congressman Kline led a Congressional delegation to Afghanistan and Iraq During this trip he was able to assess the progress of U.S. operations in support of the emerging democracies in those nations, evaluate the tremendous success of elections in Afghanistan, and survey conditions on the eve of elections in Iraq Based on his personal observations on the ground, Congressman Kline correctly predicted the success of the Iraqi elections which occurred just days after his visit In 2006, Congressman Kline 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, Congressman Kline traveled with a Congressional delegation to Iraq and Afghanistan where he could see for himself the latest conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan In February, 2008, Congressman Kline 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.”
As the father of an Army Blackhawk pilot, the husband of a retired Army nurse, and a 25-year veteran of the Marine Corps, Congressman 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 our veterans of tomorrow Most recently, Kline championed “Beyond the Yellow Ribbon” legislation in 2008 that makes Minnesota’s “Beyond the Yellow Ribbon” reintegration program available to Guard and Reserve units nationwide.
Mr. Kline is also a member of the Education and Labor Committee, where he has been a strong advocate for greater flexibility and local control in education, and increased federal funding for special needs and low income students Congressman Kline also serves as the ranking Republican Member on the Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee (HELP) Congressman Kline 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.
In his second term, Congressman Kline authored legislation to remove the Peace Corps as a military recruitment option and re-establish the distinction between the Peace Corps volunteers and our military service members “Many Peace Corps members – past and present – expressed concern that perceived links between military service and the Peace Corps could jeopardize the safety of Peace Corps volunteers who provide essential humanitarian service in remote locations,” Kline said Kline’s legislation was signed into law in 2006 as part of the Defense Authorization Act While serving as the most junior member of Congress and only Minnesotan to be named to the select group of House-Senate conferees, Congressman Kline co-sponsored sweeping pension reform legislation that protects the pensions of 44 million Americans, including 441,000 Teamsters, and protects the interests of workers, retirees and taxpayers “People have worked their entire lives for these pensions,” Kline said “Nothing is more important than making sure these obligations are met.” When an agreement could not be reached on the final legislation, Congressman Kline helped write a provision that secures pension plans for 9,100 Northwest Airlines (NWA) pension plan participants in Minnesota’s 2nd District “Our district’s hard-working airline employees had serious concerns about the future of their pension plans, which is why I fought for airline relief,” Kline said The pension reform legislation was signed into law in August, 2006.
Congressman Kline started his third term by accepting the request of leaders in Congress to serve on the House Ethics Committee where he pledged to, “bring a healthy dose of common-sense Minnesota values along with a touch of no-nonsense Marine Corps toughness to the Ethics Committee.” The Ethics Committee is the only committee in the House of Representatives with equal representation of Republicans and Democrats “He’s solid, serious and tough enough to do the right thing,” Republican Leader John Boehner said of Kline.
Congressman Kline’s committed pursuit of economic growth, job creation, and tax relief for Minnesotans have earned him the “Hero of the Taxpayer,” “Small Business Advocate,” and “Spirit of Enterprise” Awards Congressman Kline has also been honored with the “True Blue Award” from the Family Research Council for his pro-family voting record.
Although this marks his first elected office, Congressman 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 Congressman Kline was also hand-picked to serve as a personal military aide to President Jimmy Carter, and subsequently to President Ronald Reagan Mr. Kline’s responsibilities during this period included advising the President and our country’s senior civilian and military leadership He was also responsible for 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, Mr. Kline 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, where he was responsible for the Program Objective Memorandum – the document used by the U.S. Armed Services to submit budgetary and planning proposals 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 from the Marine Corps with the rank of Colonel.
Born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in September 6, 1947, Congressman Kline 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 Kline and his wife Vicky live in Lakeville, Minnesota Mr. Kline is especially proud of his two children and four grandchildren His son is a helicopter pilot in the Army, served in Iraq in 2005, and recently departed for a tour in Afghanistan.