House Ed. Labor Panel Gets New GOP Chief

June 22, 2009 ( - The U.S. House Education and Labor Committee, that often handles bills dealing with retirement plans, benefits and other HR issues, now has a new second-in-command.

The House Republican Steering Committee tapped U.S. Representative John Kline (R-Minnesota) as the committee’s new ranking member. Klein replaces U.S. Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-California), who recently left the panel to become ranking Republican for the House Armed Services Committee.

“Rep. Kline has been a diligent, hard-working member of our committee and I want to congratulate him on his new post. Our committee has a proud tradition of working together in a bipartisan way to improve the lives of America’s children, students, workers and families,” said Chairman George Miller (D-California), in a news release.

In a blog posted on his House Web site, Klein asserted he was ready for the committee tasks. “This week, I was honored to be chosen by my peers on the House Republican Steering Committee to serve as the senior Republican on the 50-member Education and Labor Committee,” Klein wrote.

“I look forward to working in a bipartisan manner with Chairman Miller to be an advocate for education and advancing priorities for workers and their employers. Serious battles lie ahead for the Education and Labor Committee. I have earned the trust of my colleagues and stakeholders in the education and labor communities, and I am ready to take the lead.”