GOP Chair of House Education Committee to Retire

September 4, 2015

Representative John Kline, the Minnesota Republican who chairs the U.S. House of Representatives Education and Workforce Committee, announced Thursday that he won’t seek re-election next year.

Kline said in a Facebook post that he made the decision “after much careful thought and deliberation” but did not give a reason for leaving Congress after his seventh term ends at the beginning of 2017.

Over the past several years, Kline has been a vocal opponent of the Obama administration’s higher education policies, such as its tougher regulation of for-profit colleges and, more recently, efforts to expand Pell Grants to incarcerated students. He has also been critical of efforts by college athletes to unionize.

Kline has also overseen House Republicans’ work on rewriting the Higher Education Act, which has focused mostly on streamlining federal aid programs, boosting counseling for loan borrowers, and overhauling how cost information and data are provided to prospective students.

Kline would likely have had to give up his post as the head of the House education committee in the next Congress, because of chair term limits.

In a statement, Kline said that “strengthening higher education” was among his priorities “over the next 16 months” while he remains in office.

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