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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 22, 2005

The Kline Record: More of Kline's Floor Speeches

After presenting his first piece of legislation on March 25, 2003, freshman congressman Kline took a little breather. His only floor speech in the month of April, 2003, was one in which he had 20 minutes to more or less guide debate on his HEROES bill, a bill which, as we have already noted, is a nice but fairly lightweight piece of legislation. Kline and Rep. Ryan of Ohio spent the better part of an hour on April 1, 2003 (no foolin'!) leading the 'debate' before the bill ultimately passed by a vote of 421-1.

As a bonus, John Kline also led the ceremonial pledge of allegiance on April 1. Apparently Kline had absolutely nothing else he wanted to say on the floor for the rest of April.

On May 8th, Kline offered an amendment to a bill (H.R. 1261 of the 108th Congress) to modify the 1998 Workforce Reinvestment Act. Kline's amendment was passed by voice vote, and gave state Governors the authority to determine proportional funding for one-stop centers among community partners. If you want a clue what this means, much less understand whether Kline's amendment was a good idea, look here. From what I can understand, Kline's amendment sounds like a reasonable idea which perhaps needed a few more specifics. Not that it matters; H.R. 1261 never came to a final vote.

The next day, Kline paid tribute to "Minnesota educator Verna Ziegenhagen", another banal speech, but one which contained the following interesting tidbit:

Following her 53-year teaching career, Verna transplanted to her rural Le Center property a 100-plus-year-old country schoolhouse, which she filled with the mementoes of her teaching career. What began as a personal journey to preserve the memories is now a museum of tribute to her former students and, by extension, a shrine to her own dedication and sacrifice.

Verna's dedication to teaching continues in spite of her retirement. For the past 16 years, this two-time Teacher of the Year has maintained and operated the museum, constantly changing the theme to reflect the seasons and capture the imagination of visitors. This is a wonderful teacher. We thank her.
Moving a 100-year-old schoolhouse to your property and turning it into a museum! Cool!

On May 19, Kline joined fellow Minnesota congressman Mark Kennedy in paying tribute to John Weaver. The next day, he spoke out in favor of a nonbinding resolution recognizing the University of Minnesota hockey team for winning its second national title in as many years. Finally, on May 22, Kline's HEROES act was attached as an amendment, en bloc with a great many other amendments, to the National Defense Authorization Act for 2004 (H.R. 1588 of the 108th Congress), and Kline trotted out his pro-America pep talk for the third time. The en bloc amendments were approved by voice vote and the bill eventually became law around Thanksgiving.

And that does it for the month of May. And I'm thinking to myself, this guy's been a Congressman for five months already, and he's introduced one piece of softball legislation and made a handful of speeches befitting the grand marshall of a July Fourth parade. When is he going to introduce, sponsor, or speak out in support of legislation which will make a real difference?

The answer: in June. More in the next post.

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