Rep. John Kline said Thursday he will not seek re-election to his Minnesota 2nd District House seat in November 2016.
Kline, who turns 68 years old in few days, was first elected in 2002. A 25-year veteran of the Marine Corps, he served as a helicopter pilot and personal military aide to Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.
In Congress, he chairs the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and serves on the House Armed Services Committee.
Kline is expected to meet with reporters at 11 a.m. to discuss his decision.
Here’s the statement released by his office this morning. More reporting to come.
After much careful thought and deliberation I have decided not to seek re-election next year.
As many know, I had the privilege of serving as President Reagan’s military aide while a young Marine. His vision of America as a ‘shining city on the hill’ has guided my decisions throughout my tenure in Congress. I have fought to ensure a strong national defense. I have worked hard to reassure our nation’s troops, veterans, and their families the promises we make to them are promises kept. I have never wavered in my commitment to my conservative values. And I have demonstrated my ability to find solutions to the problems that matter most to Minnesota families.
I want to be clear – much more work lies ahead in the next 16 months. As Chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee I look forward to replacing No Child Left Behind and expanding access to higher education. I will continue to fight for our veterans by holding the VA accountable and ensuring we provide for our sons and daughters in uniform, the true defenders of freedom. And we must not lose focus on the critical work of reining in runaway federal spending, deficits, and debt that continue to delay our economic recovery.”
Public service is an honor I am proud to have embraced throughout my life. Despite the serious challenges facing America it remains the greatest country in the world and we are blessed to call it home. It has been and will continue to be a privilege serving the men and women of Minnesota’s 2nd District for the next 16 months.”
U.S. Sens. Al Franken of Minnesota and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin held a meeting Wednesday in Minneapolis to discuss the need for more safety measures aimed at protecting communities from oil train disasters.
The two Democrats met with local leaders from both states who shared their concerns about increased train traffic carrying volatile crude oil from North Dakota. They also shared ideas for federal legislation.
They met at the Firefighters Hall and Museum, which is located next to tracks used by oil trains.
Franken said he favors what he calls an “all of the above” approach to oil train safety. He said he wants the railroads to provide more information about things including train routes and the condition of bridges.
“They may be companies that are looking for the biggest return on their buck, their profits. But they should have a responsibility to the public, and I believe those bridge reports should be public,” Franken said.
Franken said it was disturbing to hear from a first responder that inter-agency communication has been a problem when conducting emergency exercises for spills.
“This is something that I ‘m going to be looking at when I get back,” he said.
Baldwin stressed the need to require railroads to notify communities about the movement of hazardous materials.
“It seems like a common sense measure, but that’s not the case today,” Baldwin said.
Baldwin said the Senate has already passed the requirement, but she’s working to make sure the language remains in a transportation funding measure. She also wants funding for the planning, training and equipment needed by local communities to respond to oil train spills.