GOP Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.) is set to retire, he announced on his Facebook page Thursday.
"After much careful thought and deliberation, I have decided not to seek re-election next year,"
Kline, the Chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, served in Congress for a dozen years. He and his committee members have long labored over the goal of replacing the No Child Left Behind Act, signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2002.
Just last month, Kline’s Student Success Act passed in the House. The legislation would usher in reforms that would reduce the government’s role in education, restore local control, and empower parents and education leaders to hold local schools accountable, according to his congressional website. A few weeks later, the Senate passed a similar bill called the Every Child Achieves Act.
Kline assured his constituents that removing and replacing No Child Left Behind with programs that better serve students is one effort that will still be a main priority in his last 16 months.
“I want to be clear — much more work lies ahead in the next 16 months on Capitol Hill. As Chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee I look forward to replacing No Child Left Behind and reducing the federal footprint in our schools.”
He also pledged to fight for veterans and hold the scandal-ridden Veteran Affairs agency accountable.
With Kline's announcement, the open seat has a few powerful players waiting in line, the Hill reports.
Kline’s retirement opens up a powerful committee chairmanship for the next Congress. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) is next in seniority, followed by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), a leadership ally who sits on the House Rules Committee.