Kline looks to scale down federal education departmentby Elizabeth Dunbar, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., said Thursday that he will look to scale down the federal Department of Education when he takes over the House committee that oversees it.
Kline is expected to lead the House Education and Labor Committee in the Republican-led House next year.
He told MPR's Morning Edition that he and other members of Congress have identified some 60 federal education programs that could be eliminated or combined. He said Democrats agree that some programs can be scaled back.
"We just need to go through that process with the will to start weeding out stuff that just does not meet the priority test," Kline said.
While some Republicans have argued the federal education department should be eliminated, Kline, considered one of the moderates in Congress, has not said he would go that far.
"It's worth looking at the department to see what it's doing and understand what the role is and should be," Kline said. "In my judgment, it is clearly less than it has grown to be."
Kline said the No Child Left Behind law is a "very large intrusion" by the federal government that needs fixing. He said he's committing to working with Democrats to find a good solution.
"There's bipartisan agreement that we've got to do something with that legislation," he said.
Kline also talked about earmarks and whether to extend unemployment benefits. Click on the audio link on this page to hear the full interview.
(MPR's Cathy Wurzer contributed to this report.)
- Morning Edition, 11/18/2010, 7:45 a.m.