The Kline for Congress campaign has paid $18,500 on April 22 and $28,000 on June 23rd to Public Opinion Strategies … a firm Minnesotans may know since Tom Emmer’s campaign also used their services in April.
What the results of the surveys are secret … but Chairman Kline did request citizens to complete an online survey on February 16 … which is still active … which means that the intent was more to gain email addresses and customize “issues and voters” to target them.
Well, it’s been five months, so let’s determine “What We Know” … no not from his questions … but from the 13 questions posed on the Roundtable in response to his question 13 :
13. Please share with me any additional thoughts you have on issues important to you.
Finally, the only question that really matters … what issues do you care about ?
How about these 13.
#1. Allow a vote on Peter King’s (R-NY) H.R. 1565: Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2013 to address background checks on firearm purchases.
#2. Allow a vote on H.R. 377 : Paycheck Fairness Act for which Discharge Petition #1 has 197 Members requesting that Chairman Kline move the bill out of Committee.
#3. Allow a vote on H.R. 15 : Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act … even Republican Members have sponsored this legislation as well as garnering the support of the US Chamber of Commerce.
#4. Allow a vote on James Sensenbrenner’s (R-WI-5) H.R.3899 : Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014 to address the complaints of the US Supreme Court.
#5. Allow a vote on H.R. 1755 : Employment Non-Discrimination Act which has Republican and Democrat support (over 200 sponsors) but is hung up in Chairman Kline’s committee. The Senate approved ENDA in November.
#6. Define for your constituents the future of Afghanistan. With your approval of $1.12 billion to Afghanistan for fiscal 2014 for overall civilian assistance, how long will our tax dollars be needed ?
#7. CBO “Options for Reducing the Deficit: 2014 to 2023” identifies options which would affect specific DoD programs. Do you favor any or all of these :
Cancel the F-35 (Joint Strike Fighter) program and buy the most advanced current versions of F-16 (Air Force) and F/A-18 (Navy and Marine Corps), saving $37 billion from 2015 to 2023.
Cancel the Army’s Ground Combat Vehicle Program and acquire upgrades for the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle (-$15 billion);
Stop building Ford Class Aircraft Carriers after the U.S.S. John F. Kennedy (-$18 billion); Cut the ballistic missile submarine force to eight in 2010 by retiring one submarine per year from 2015-2020 (-$16 billion);
Limit the buy of the Littoral Combat Ship to 24 already built or under contract and then cancel the program (-$18 billion);
and defer development of a new long-range bomber until after 2023 (-$32 billion).
#8. Allow a hearing on Richard Hanna’s (R-NY-24) H.R. 3461 : Strong Start for America’s Children Act and demand a vote by the full House.
#9. Allow a hearing on Phil Roe’s (R-TN-01) H.R. 3121 : the American Healthcare Reform Act. This should be easy since Chairman Kline is a co-sponsor and the legislation is the replacement for ObamaCare … and voters need to hear what is in the bill and who supports it.
#10. Renew the Higher Education Opportunity Act before it expires so that students and parents know the future of Pell Grants, TRIO funding. Chairman Kline has encouraged cuts to Pell Grants and voters need the future of the program.
#11. Sponsor James Sensenbrenner’s (R-WI-5) H.R. 3361 : Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet-collection, and Online Monitoring Act ( aka FREEDOM Act) to address privacy protection and NSA surveillance. The legislation has 134 co-sponsors including Keith Ellison and Betty McCollum.
#12. Sponsor H.R.872 : Free Trade With Cuba Act which has the support of Minnesotans Collin Peterson, Keith Ellison and Betty McCollum as well as other Members … this would help a number of Minnesota industries ranging from agriculture to medical device manufacturers.
#13. Lastly, please explain why the House is only schedule to work 113 days this term with this list of pending legislation.
OK … here’s the update :
Chairman Kline has not allowed a vote or sponsored legislation for :
— H.R. 1565: Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2013
— H.R. 377 : Paycheck Fairness Act
— H.R. 15 : Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act
— H.R.3899 : Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014
— H.R. 1755 : Employment Non-Discrimination Act
— H.R. 3461 : Strong Start for America’s Children Act
— H.R. 872 : Free Trade With Cuba Act
Chairman Kline has co-sponsored H.R. 3121 : the American Healthcare Reform Act … so voters now know that he supports putting insurance companies back in charge of rejecting patients for pre-existing conditions, et al.
Chairman Kline did vote in support of H.R. 3361 : Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet-collection, and Online Monitoring Act ( aka FREEDOM Act) … but that was after the bill was alter to such an extent that many Republicans who had sponsored the bill voted against it (The commentary “John Kline Redefines Freedom” contains some angry quotes from disappointed Republicans.)
Regarding the Defense spending … Chairman Kline voted to increase the Pentagon budget by more than 4 Billion over the previous year while rejected Pentagon proposals to save money, including the retirement of the A-10 attack plane fleet and military base closures.
Chairman Kline is still developing his Higher Education Act … but has indicated that the States must do more (in other words, he wants to cut federal spending.)
Gosh, in summary, it looks like Chairman Kline has done NOTHING … and today, he is getting confronted with angry constituents over rising student debt as his “crowning” achievement was to raise student loan interest rates on July 1st.
Oh, and concerning the light schedule … yes, the House is still planning to take August off.
Sure would like to see how Public Opinion Strategies phrased their questions … because The Selling of Chairman John Kline is going to be a lot tougher this November.