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Continued: Minnesota Rep. John Kline is chair, but title holds less power

  • Article by: COREY MITCHELL , Star Tribune
  • Last update: April 28, 2013 - 8:38 PM

The regular order, where legislation works its way through subcommittees, committees and then a House and Senate conference committee, has withered for decades, as party leaders have exerted more control over legislation, said Christopher Deering, a political scientist at George Washington University.

“The committee chair is allowed to do anything he wants to do, as long as the House leadership approves,” joked Oberstar, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee from 2007 to 2010.

Peterson saw evidence of that last year, when the farm bill was bottled up by top Republican House leaders.

Kline will face his own test soon. He and Obama support a proposal that would tie student loan rates to the government’s cost of borrowing. Kline has close ties to House leaders but, Deering said, his issues are not high on their radar.

“The bills that are on the [Republican] agenda are not education and labor bills, by and large,” Deering said. “That’s just realistic. It’s not his fault.”

 

Corey Mitchell is a correspondent in the Star Tribune Washington Bureau. Twitter: @C_C_Mitchell

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