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Disclaimer: The author of this site maintained the campaign weblog of John Kline's opponent in the 2006 election, which made Congressman Kline a bit testy.

As with all blogs, review the facts carefully and draw your own conclusions.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Kline Record: Kline's Summer Vacation, 2003

So, after giving a brief speech arguing for the repeal of the estate tax in June, 2003, freshman congressman Kline decided to kick back and take it easy for a while. His only floor speech in the month of July was a 173-word speech praising the U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Amendment.

The House of Representatives did not convene in August.

Kline's only floor activity in September was to formally request that his name be removed from the list of co-sponsors for H.R. 1078, a bill "To establish academies for teachers and students of American history and civics and a national alliance of teachers of American history and civics, and for other purposes." There's no record of his reasons for wanting his name removed from the bill.

Finally, on October 28th, Kline traded in his bathing suit, sunglasses and flip-flops for a three-piece suit, and took to the floor to give another of his speeches rich in rhetoric and short on substance:

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to join my colleagues in commending the valor and commitment of the brave men and women who served in Operation Restore Hope in Somalia, and I thank the gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. Hayes) for authoring this important bill.

Mr. Speaker, this resolution is a great honor to these men and women, and we have an opportunity to offer a more meaningful tribute. The best way to honor the troops of Operation Restore Hope is to support the legacy of freedom they fought to preserve.

I am grateful for the opportunity to have served alongside some of the finest troops in the world when I was a commander of Marine Aviation Forces in Operation Restore Hope. The commitment of these men and women to our Nation and to the people of Somalia was exemplary.

Unfortunately, as we learned shortly after the battle of Mogadishu, civilian leadership of Operation Restore Hope did not share the commitment of our troops when the situation became difficult. Today, a decade later, the men and women of the United States Armed Forces again face a difficult challenge, this time in Operation Iraqi Freedom. As in Somalia, American forces have entered Iraq with the best of intentions, and this time, this time we must stay the course.

We commend the troops of Operation Restore Hope for their service as we pray for the safety of those who carry forth the proud tradition of committed service in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Yes, it's appropriate to acknowledge and honor the commitment and sacrifice of our troops who fought in Somalia, and it's especially appropriate for Kline to comment on it, since he was one of the commanders there. But didn't he have anything to say about major issues facing the country during the summer of 2003? If nothing else, there was a war going on, and it was starting to become clear that things weren't going our way. Didn't Kline have anything to say about that? He's a fiscal conservative; didn't he have anything to say about the ballooning budget deficit? Or education? Or affordable housing? Or abortion, or stem cell research, or something?

Apparently not. Kline's next floor speech of any substance didn't happen until November.

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