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The 2015 Pension 40: John Kline

No. 11 John Kline, U.S. Representative / Minnesota

John Kline
U.S. Representative / Minnesota
Last year: 12

As chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and of its health, employment, labor and pensions subcommittee, Minnesotan John Kline, 68, is the GOP’s man on pensions in the House of Representatives. Last year he and Representative George Miller, a California Democrat Politico once described as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s “strong right arm,” teamed up to pass the Kline-Miller Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014. That bipartisan effort to shore up failing union pension funds has proved controversial among organized labor: Some appreciate the need to save troubled funds, while others are resisting the inevitable benefit cuts from restructurings. “Business and labor leaders came together to support the legislation because they understood it was the only responsible option,” says Kline. “Those trying to undermine the law risk inflicting greater pain on millions of Americans.” Opponents of the bill are pushing a Senate proposal introduced in June by Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders that would repeal the benefit suspension provision of Kline-Miller. In September, Kline, who was first elected to Congress in 2002, announced he would retire at the end of 2016. Some labor leaders hope Kline will tackle legislation that would offer a way for multiemployer plans to offer more flexible, or hybrid, pension solutions before he leaves. Kline, however, has said his legislative priority is the passage of a rewrite of President George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind program, which mandated school testing and expired in 2007. Kline’s bill passed the GOP-controlled House in early December, leaving time for him to return to the pension wars. Kline says he has been talking with stakeholders and colleagues on the House Ways and Means Committee. The proposal, he says, “continues to be one of my leading priorities, and I am hopeful we can finish our work next year.“ Kline will lack one old ally: Miller, 70, retired from Congress last January.

The 2015 Pension 40

1. Bruce Rauner
2. John & Laura Arnold
Laura and John Arnold Foundation
3. Chris Christie
New Jersey
4. Randi Weingarten
AmericanFederation of Teachers
5. Phyllis Borzi
U.S. Department of Labor
6. Kevin de León
7. Alejandro García Padilla
Commonwealth ofPuerto Rico
8. Laurence Fink
9. Rahm Emanuel
10. Sean McGarvey
North AmericanBuilding Trades Unions
11. John Kline
12. J. Mark Iwry
U.S. TreasuryDepartment
13. Damon Silvers
14. Jeffrey Immelt
General Electric Co.
15. Joshua Gotbaum
Brookings Institution
16. Robin Diamonte
United Technologies Corp.
17. Mark Mullet
18. Terry O'Sullivan
Laborers' International Union of North America
19. Raymond Dalio
Bridgewater Associates
20. Ted Wheeler
21. Thomas Nyhan
Central States Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Fund
22. Karen Ferguson & Karen Friedman
Pensions Rights Center
23. Randy DeFrehn
National Coordinating Committee forMultiemployer Plans
24. Robert O'Keef
Motorola Solutions
25. Caitlin Long
Morgan Stanley
26. Kenneth Feinberg
The Law Offices of Kenneth R. Feinberg
27. Orrin Hatch
28. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend
Center for Retirement Initiatives, Georgetown University
29. Ian Lanoff
Groom Law Group
30. Joshua Rauh
Stanford Graduate School of Business
31. Ted Eliopoulos
California Public Employees' Retirement System
32. Edward (Ted) Siedle
Benchmark Financial Services
33. Teresa Ghilarducci
New School for Social Research
34. Denise Nappier
35. W. Thomas Reeder Jr.
Pension BenefitGuaranty Corp.
36. Hank Kim
National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems
37. Paul Singer
Elliott Management Corp.
38. Bailey Childers
National PublicPension Coalition
39. Amy Kessler
Prudential Financial
40. Judy Mares
U.S. Labor Department

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