Kline Wins Top GOP Spot on Education Panel

Posted June 17, 2009 at 1:16pm

The House Republican Steering Committee has selected Rep. John Kline (Minn.) as the ranking member of the Education and Labor Committee, his office confirmed Wednesday.Kline was chosen Wednesday over Rep. Joe Wilson (S.C.), who out-ranked him on the committee, and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers (Wash.).Like Rep. Howard McKeon (R-Calif.), whom he will replace, Kline has a close relationship with Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio), who has five votes on the 28-member Steering panel. McKeon left the committee last week to replace Rep. John McHugh (N.Y.) as the top Republican on the Armed Services Committee after McHugh stepped aside to accept President Barack Obama’s nomination to become secretary of the Army. Kline served as the ranking member of the Education and Labor Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions. He said in an interview last week that he planned to emphasize his work on the subcommittee as a key selling point to members of the Steering Committee. He has served on what is now the Education and Labor Committee since he was elected in 2002. During the closed-door meeting on Wednesday, each candidate made a presentation to the Steering Committee after a week of campaigning on and off the House floor for the position. On Tuesday, Kline expressed cautious confidence about his chances. Asked whether he had been keeping count of the votes in his favor, Kline smiled and said before walking back into the House chamber, “Indeed I have.—