The Stated Goal : The Education and the Workforce Committee oversees programs that affect hundreds of millions of Americans—from school teachers and small business owners to students and retirees. To serve our constituents and all Americans, the committee will work during the 112th Congress to build on vital reforms we set in motion during the past decade — pressing for parental empowerment and local control in education; modernization of outdated federal rules that stifle liberty and innovation; and dependable access to health care, retirement security, and training for American workers.
The Chairman : John Kline (R-MN-02)
Taxpayer Cost : The House Education and Workforce Committee has a budget of $16,158,348 (and that’s just relates to Committee staff … not the amount that each Member of Congress is allocated to operate their own Congressional Office.)
The Results : According to the Committee’s own report updated October 1, 2012, NO Action was taken by the Committee that resulted in legislation being enacted into law. Yes, there were two pieces of legislation that fell under the jurisdiction of the Committee but they did not get involved … for example, a technical amendment to the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002 and another Senate bill that increases in the minimum wage in American Samoa … otherwise — zip, zilch, nada.
So what has the Education and Workforce Committee worked on ?
Reforming No Child Left Behind … the major piece that was approved by the Committee is the H.R. 3989, The Student Success Act which the US Chamber of Commerce has asserted is “bad for students and bad for taxpayers” … such that it never got a full vote in the House.
Reforming worker training programs as promoted by President Obama … for that the Committee approved H.R. 4297 The Workforce Improvement Act on June 7, 2012 … where it currently sits waiting for a vote by the full House.
The last “successful” activity that the Committee shows is some rush legislation – H. J. Res. 118 which expresses “Express Congress’s disapproval of the Obama administration’s regulatory effort to weaken welfare reform” which the Committee held a mark-up session on September 13 and the House approved on September 20 … although the Committee Chairman Kline’s press release touts this as a success … since the legislation did not reach the 2/3rds required to override a veto, it is highly unlikely to ever become law … plus numerous Fact Checkers have denounced the assertions made as the basis for the legislation.
Second District Congressman John Kline is a failure as Chairman – wasting taxpayer dollars and producing zero efforts to reform government. Chairman Kline has wasted legislative time promoting divisive issues when both parties should be working together to provide solutions for the real unemployment problems confronting American families.
Chairman Kline’s Committee should have spent the past two years focused on job creation and reforming No Child Left Behind. But instead, Chairman Kline has obstructed, ignored and engaged in election year political stunts.
Chairman Kline not only has a Committee budget but Representative John Kline lead the Minnesota delegation in spending on his congressional staff operations (Mr. Kline’s Members’ Representational Allowances (MRA) in 2011 was $1,319,468.42.
It’s time for a referendum on Chairman Kline and his wasteful spending … John Kline will campaign on reducing government waste … but he can only show that he has wasted our tax dollars while ignoring opportunities to improve the Nation.
Chairman Kline’s opponent, Mike Obermueller has indicated a desire to be on the Education and Workforce Committee … Mike Obermueller recognizes that a strong public education system means a strong long-term economy. In order to achieve this, Mike Obermueller wants to replace or drastically change NCLB encouraging high standards for schools that reward creativity, advocates increases in technology and more suitable means of evaluating both teachers and students. Mike Obermueller has stated that we need to be looking at the leadership of principals in helping a school’s faculty become better and more productive. Further, Mike Obermueller wants higher education that is affordable and accessible to all qualified students.
Conversely, Chairman Kline has voted to approve HR 1 which proposed cutting funding for education programs by $11.55 billion or 16.1%, the largest education cut in history, as well as cut Head Start by $1.1 billion (15%).
The bill reduces funding for over 70 education programs and the Pell grant maximum award is cut by 15.2% which will make college less affordable and accessible for nine million low-and moderate-income students. For many, such a cut would disrupt or derail their postsecondary education. In addition, other areas could be impacted … including after school, literacy, math and science partnerships, career and technical education, supplemental education opportunity grants, LEAP, regional educational labs, and many other programs.
It’s time to elect a Representative who is committed to education reform and will spend our tax dollars wisely … but Chairman Kline has refused to participate in debates … so no one will ask him about his “accomplishments” or what he has done with our monies.