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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.

Monday, January 02, 2006

The Kline Record: 2003 Year in Review

In the previous post, we discussed how Kline failed to stand up for his principles when the Republican leadership strongarmed the Medicare bill through the House. But Kline wasn't silent for the entire month of November: in addition to his praise for Bush's economic policies, he also took to the House floor to honor Rice University's baseball team and St. John's football coach John Gagliardi, the all-time winningest coach in collegiate football.

Kline was, however, silent for the entire month of December, 2003.

So, to recap, here's a complete log of freshman congressman John Kline's floor activity during his first full year in the House of Representatives:
  • January: None.
  • February: Gave speech honoring Ronald Reagan's birthday, and another honoring Texas congressman Sam Johnson.
  • March: Gave speech supportive of troops in Iraq on the day after the invasion, and introduced his HEROES act, which basically encourages the Secretary of Education, colleges and universities, and lending institutions to give our troops a break when they're trying to get an education. In true small-government fashion, it doesn't actually mandate anything.
  • April: Led the Pledge of Allegiance on April 1, and then led 'debate' on his HEROES bill.
  • May: Proposed an amendment to a bill modifying the 1998 Workforce Reinvestment Act. The amendment passed by a voice vote but the bill was ultimately shelved. Also gave speeches praising Verna Ziegenhagen, John Weaver, and the University of Minnesota Hockey team. And he talked about his HEROES act one more time, this time as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.
  • June: Praised the Women's Ice Hockey team at the University of Minnesota at Duluth, and stated his strong support for repeal of the estate tax.
  • July: Praised the U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement.
  • August: None. (The House did not convene in August.)
  • September: Removed his name from 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."
  • October: Praised our fighting men and women who had participated in Operation Restore Hope in Somalia.
  • November: Credited Bush's economic policies for some good economic news, praised the Rice University baseball team, honored John Gagliardi, and remained silent while the House Republican leadership ramrodded bad Medicare policy through Congress.
  • December: None.
Finally, there is a footnote I should add, just to make the record complete. On at least a half-dozen occasions, possibly more, John Kline served as Speaker Pro Tempore, which means that he ran the proceedings of the House of Representatives. At first it struck me as odd that a freshman congressman should be given control of the floor, and so frequently. But when I checked through the Congressional Record, I discovered that no fewer than 53 different members of the Republican caucus took their turn in the driver's seat for all or part of 125 out of the 135 days the House was in session in 2003. I'm guessing this is because actually running the House operations is a tedious business, so Dennis Hastert foists it off on someone else as often as he can.

So, Kline got his fair share of the grunt work.

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