Louis Barletta

Louis Barletta

PENNSYLVANIA's 11th DISTRICT

Special Update: Calling on the President to Take Action on Ebola Today

2014/10/20

The current Ebola outbreak originated this past March in Guinea, and, with over 3,400 reported deaths, is the largest outbreak ever documented.  On October 8, the first patient with Ebola in the U.S., Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian national visiting family, passed away at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.  Since that time, two of the health care workers who treated Mr. Duncan have contracted the virus, despite oversight and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and more possible cases are being evaluated.  Ironically, it was just days ago that the CDC promised to stop this disease in its track. Americans have no confidence that the government can accurately identify and track passengers who may have been exposed to Ebola, especially since the CDC has demonstrated that it cannot adequately control the movements of the staff at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. Read More Read More

Barletta Statement on Obama Ebola “Czar”

2014/10/17

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today issued a statement regarding President Obama’s appointment of Ron Klain, former chief of staff to Vice Presidents Joe Biden and Al Gore, to coordinate the administration’s response to the Ebola crisis.  Klain will reportedly answer to White House homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco and National Security Advisor Susan Rice.  In light of the handling of the situation by the administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Barletta also reiterated the call he made Wednesday for the president to enforce a ban on inbound travelers originating in countries affected by the growing Ebola outbreak.  Barletta said the ban should be imposed immediately and last until health officials have a better grasp of the situation inside the United States and in the West African nations where the disease has become widespread.  The Congressman said American citizens who wish to return home from such countries should be allowed to do so, but may have to be screened through a quarantine system upon reentry.  He also called for better and more complete training for medical and security personnel at all points of entry. Barletta’s statement is as follows: “We all want the same thing, which is to keep Americans safe from the spread of the Ebola virus.  I am not convinced, however, that the appointment of another bureaucrat, in the form of a partisan staffer who is not a medical professional, is the answer to the administration’s credibility problem.  Conflicting statements and overbroad promises coming from the White House and the CDC have left Americans wondering what they can believe.  We should be careful about adding layers to the government apparatus that separates the president from medical experts necessary to craft an effective response. “I renew my call for a ban on inbound travelers originating in countries affected by the growing outbreak.  Americans have no confidence that the government can accurately identify and track passengers who may have been exposed to Ebola, especially since the CDC has demonstrated that it cannot adequately control the movements of the staff at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. “More than two dozen African nations have already enforced restrictions or bans on travel involving those countries, and I find arguments that the United States should not follow suit to be illogical and unconvincing.  Medical supplies and personnel may still enter the affected nations, and if needed, the United States military could handle transport of people and material where necessary.  American citizens wishing to return home from those countries can certainly do so, but may have to pass through quarantine before being cleared.  “If the president can suspend air travel to and from Israel, as he did in July, then he can certainly do this.  The most basic responsibility of our government is to protect our citizens from harm, and I certainly believe Ebola represents a threat.  We must act in every way possible to stop it from spreading further.” Read More

Barletta Calls for Travel Ban from Ebola-Stricken Nations

2014/10/15

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today called on the Obama Administration to enforce a ban on inbound travelers originating in countries affected by the growing Ebola outbreak.  Barletta said the ban should be imposed immediately and last until health officials have a better grasp of the situation inside the United States and in the West African nations where the disease has become widespread.  The Congressman said American citizens who wish to return home from such countries should be allowed to do so, but may have to be screened through a quarantine system upon reentry.  He also called for better and more complete training for medical and security personnel at all points of entry. As Barletta released his statement, a second health care worker in Texas was diagnosed with Ebola.  The two medical employees in Dallas were infected after having treated Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola patient to die in the U.S., after he traveled to this country from Liberia. Barletta’s statement is as follows: “The most basic responsibility of our government is to protect our citizens.  I look at it like this: when my four daughters were younger, if my wife and I knew that one of their friends had the flu, we wouldn’t let the sick child into our house.  With something as serious as Ebola, I see no reason why we wouldn’t take even stronger precautions.  We are faced with the growing threat of a disease, for which there is no known reliable cure, and we know where it’s coming from.  Why would we not act in every way possible to stop it from reaching us?  “Unless we take the basic step of controlling access to this country, we are inviting trouble by simply asking travelers how they feel and taking their temperature.  Until the American and international medical communities are fully engaged and prepared to fight the spread of Ebola, I do not believe it is wise to continue to allow unfettered travel between affected countries and the United States.     “I have no doubt that the medical professionals risking their lives to fight Ebola on the front lines in Dallas are doing everything in their power to save their patients and protect all Americans.  The experts at the Centers for Disease Control are also hard at work, and I am pleased that we were able to fund their efforts even above the president’s most recent request.  However, the daily news reports leave the clear impression that the people on the ground are battling an unfamiliar enemy and developing new tactics as they move along.  More certainty is required, which means blocking the way to easy entry by those who may already be infected. “To me it seems illogical to argue that stopping passengers from entering the United States makes it more difficult to contain the disease in Africa.  Medical supplies and personnel may still enter the affected nations, and if needed, the United States military could handle transport of people and material where necessary.  American citizens wishing to return home from those countries can certainly do so, but may have to pass through quarantine before being cleared.  “Importantly, a travel ban to protect Americans has very recent precedent.  Just in July, President Obama placed a temporary ban on travel to and from Israel after a Hamas rocket exploded near Tel Aviv’s airport.  The president has it within his power, and indeed his job description, to protect the United States with a similar order today.” Read More

Barletta Receives Award for Defending Manufacturers

2014/10/09

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, has been recognized as a leading member of Congress who supports policies that enhance the abilities of small and large manufacturers to succeed in the global economy.  Barletta has been honored with the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Award for Legislative Excellence, based on his voting record on supporting manufacturing issues in the 113th Congress. “Manufacturers in Pennsylvania and throughout the United States are making a comeback, creating jobs, making more products, and making them better than ever before,” said NAM Senior Vice President of Policy and Government Relations Aric Newhouse. “However, manufacturers are often disproportionately impacted by decisions made by policymakers in Washington. The NAM is proud to stand with lawmakers like Lou Barletta who understand what is at stake and seek to implement policies that will foster innovation, growth, and competitiveness.” “In my part of Pennsylvania, hard work is a virtue,” Barletta said.  “Manufacturing is a bedrock industry in our country and helped make the United States a world leader.  I am proud to stand for policies that promote jobs, productivity, and prosperity.” The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector in all 50 states.  Manufacturing employs more than 12 million people, contributes $2.08 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector, and accounts for two-thirds of private-sector research and development.  Read More

Barletta Bulletin 10.5.14

2014/10/06

Protecting our Nation Against the Rise of the Islamic State As a nation, we have faced many threats to our national security since our founding over 238 years ago.  But the danger presented by the Islamic State may be unique in its hostility, raw hatred, and dedication to eliminating the United States from existence.  They will attack at will, without provocation, and without regard for the lives of any innocent people who stand in their way.  In fact, the more innocent the lives they take, the better – for their purposes. I am pleased that President Obama has finally acknowledged the threat the Islamic State presents to our national security.  Not content with wreaking havoc in their own corner of the Middle East, these terrorists have conquered territory, beheaded innocent Americans, forged allegiances with al Qaeda, threatened to strike us at home, and pledged to raise their flag over the White House.  They are a muscular and growing menace that must be dispatched. Read More Read More

Barletta Praises FEMA Ruling in Favor of Property Owners

2014/09/26

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today praised a ruling by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that allows eight properties, including five in Wyoming County, to proceed with buyouts resulting from damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee in 2011.  In June, Barletta and Rep. Bill Shuster, PA-9, asked FEMA to rescind its policy that unilaterally banned FEMA mitigation buyouts of homes that have suffered severe repeated flooding that also have subsurface leases for natural gas development.  In August, Barletta held a roundtable with FEMA representatives and other interested parties in Tunkhannock to discuss the issue and elicited a promise from FEMA to reexamine the policy and work to provide immediate answers to local officials in Wyoming County.  Today, FEMA notified the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency that it will not apply the policy retroactively for any approved projects that have already reached the point of obligation.                                                                                                        “This is tremendous news for property owners who only wanted to be able to exercise their rights to use their land as they intended,” Barletta said.  “I am pleased that FEMA has made this decision, however I still believe the entire policy should be reversed so that all property owners will have similar freedom moving forward.”    In the June letter to FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, Barletta and Shuster expressed concern that the policy hurts property owners who only want to relinquish surface rights while maintaining subsurface rights.  They also pointed out that the change was implemented without input from state and local governments, or other stakeholders, and asked that the policy be rescinded until that takes place.  Shuster is the Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, while Barletta chairs the Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management.  Barletta’s subcommittee has primary jurisdiction over FEMA.  FEMA frequently uses funds to purchase land for mitigation purposes, intending to create open space to prevent future structure damage from natural disasters.  Barletta and Shuster argued that the new FEMA policy is contrary to the goals of mitigation.   “In my part of Pennsylvania, I understand fully how important it is to mitigate damage from natural disasters like what Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee inflicted on us in 2011,” Barletta said.  “However, this new policy may bring to a halt the sale of properties under the mitigation program.  Federal agencies always seem to fire off new policies first without stopping to consider the practical implications of those policies.  It’s always better to get answers to questions before imposing rules blindly.” Read More

Barletta Urges Citizens to Dispose of Unwanted Prescription Drugs

2014/09/24

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today urged residents of Pennsylvania’s 11th District to dispose of unwanted, unused, or expired prescription drugs by participating in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, September 27, 2014.  Sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the program is designed to remove surplus medication from circulation and prevent its abuse.  In previous years, the program has resulted in nearly 500 tons of prescription drugs being collected nationally. “Drug overdoses are the leading cause of injury deaths in this country, according to the Centers for Disease Control,” Barletta said.  “We should do everything we can to remove old, unwanted drugs from medicine cabinets to protect children and prevent abuse by others.” From 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, police departments, shopping centers, and other locations are participating in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.  To find a nearby location, residents can call (800) 882-9539 or visit the DEA’s website within the Department of Justice by clicking here. Read More

Barletta Cosponsors Domestic Violence Bill to Account for Influence of Animals

2014/09/19

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today announced that he is cosponsoring the Pet and Women Safety Act (PAWS Act), which seeks to protect women trapped in domestic violence situations out of concern for the safety of their pets.  Barletta noted that a significant percentage of women in abusive relationships delay their decision to leave because of concern for their pets, or even return to the abuser for the same reason.  The PAWS Act (H.R. 5267) is sponsored by Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) & Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL). “We know that it’s very common for abusers to also torture pets as a component of their violence and control over their human victims,” Barletta said.  “As sad and horrifying as domestic violence situations already are, they can be made even worse if the victims are concerned for the safety of their animals as well.  This legislation will help prevent that tragic dynamic.” Studies have shown that as many as one-third of domestic violence victims report delaying their decision to leave physically violent relationships out of concern for the well-being of their pets.  Another study indicates that perhaps a quarter of victims of domestic violence will actually return to the abusive relationship because of the same fears.  Additionally, counselors contend that pets also can be an important part of the recovery process. The PAWS Act addresses these concerns by: Expanding existing federal domestic violence protections to include protections for the pets of domestic violence victims. Establishing a federal grant program specifically designed to assist victims of domestic violence to safely shelter their pets when they leave their abusers. Encouraging states to expand legal protections for the pets of domestic violence victims. “Throughout my life, I have known the unconditional love that your animals can give you,” Barletta said.  “It is cruel and inhumane for violent abusers to take that relationship and turn it into another weapon for assault in their domestic relationships.  This bill helps take that weapon away.” This legislation is supported by the National Network to End Domestic Violence, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the Humane Society of the United States, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, the National Link Coalition, the Sheltering Animals & Families Together (SAF-T) Program, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the Animal Welfare Institute, RedRover, and YWCA USA. Read More

Barletta Introduces Safer Trucks and Buses Act

2014/09/18

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today introduced the Safer Trucks and Buses Act (H.R. 5532), which halts the publication of flawed safety scores for carriers and directs the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to revamp its scoring system.  Barletta’s legislation addresses a problem with the Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) program, which was rushed into usage and often does not reflect changes made by carriers to improve their approaches to safety. “As a father of four daughters, I worry every day about the safety of my girls, and I strongly believe that unsafe vehicles should not be on the road,” Barletta said. “Unfortunately, companies across the country and in Pennsylvania are being unfairly misrepresented by their safety scores, causing economically devastating impacts to these bus and truck companies, many of which are small businesses.” Barletta related one example of a company which has suffered under the current inaccurate system in his 11th District of Pennsylvania.  The company had never had a roadway accident and employed drivers with an average of 35 years of continued experience.  Recently, one driver was cited twice for minor violations and was dismissed in compliance with company safety standard policies.  Despite the decisive action on the part of the carrier, the company’s CSA score suffered.  The driver now works for a different employer, which subsequently has a higher safety score and can obtain contracts for which the original company cannot compete.  The situation has cost the safety-conscious business approximately $1.5 million in lost revenue, forcing it to reduce its fleet by half and eliminate jobs. The legislation requires FMCSA to stop publishing safety scores compiled under the current system on its website and prevents these scores from being used as evidence in liability cases until the program is fixed.  In the meantime, the bill requires FMCSA to submit to Congress an improvement plan and implement that improvement plan.  Once the scores are improved, they will again be available for the public to make educated decisions about the safety of trucks and buses. “Make no mistake, I am a strong advocate for roadway safety,” Barletta said.  “This bill in no way eliminates law enforcement access to safety data, and the worst offenders can still be targeted.  Flawed safety scores do not benefit anyone.  Whether it’s a parent looking for the safest bus for her kid’s school trip, a shipper looking for the safest truck to haul its goods, or a small business trying to make it in a tough economy, we need better safety scores to provide adequate safety information.” Representatives from the carrier industry responded with praise for the Safer Trucks and Buses Act: “The current system of measurement is unreliable and needs substantial improvement,” said Dave Osiecki, Executive Vice President and Chief of National Advocacy​ for the American Trucking Associations.  “We appreciate Congressman Barletta’s support for the industry and recognition of the need to have a safety measurement system that is reliable, fair and accurate.” “The data collected in the current CSA program is often misinterpreted, difficult to challenge, and as a result, unreliable,” said Jim Runk, President of the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association.  “Improper and erroneous CSA information results in misleading and detrimental carrier profiles that are available on a public website.  We support Congressman Barletta’s bill that will ensure a safety measurement system that is fair, equitable and accurate.” “Since its launch in 2010, CSA’s methodology and data have been repeatedly shown to be detached from reality,” said David Owen, President of the National Association of Small Trucking Companies.  “As a result, carriers often see their CSA scores change under its relativistic scheme without the carriers experiencing any new accidents or inspections – predominately because of constantly changing peer groupings and competing carriers’ inspections at any given time.  Carriers have little control over their CSA scores, and remedial steps taken today may have little bearing on their CSA ratings for months.” “With significant shortcomings in the methodology used to generate CSA scores, as found by independent examinations, businesses that rely on the data to make safety decisions are just as likely to be directed to a less safe carrier than a more safe carrier,” said Todd Spencer, Executive Vice President of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.  “Misleading information about the safety of individual motor carriers not only leads to negative impacts on small business trucking companies, but it also can mean unintended public safety consequences.  OOIDA appreciates Representative Barletta’s leadership toward setting clear standards for accuracy in CSA’s methodology and data, and we urge all supporters of small business truckers and highway safety to support his legislation.” “Currently, the CSA program data is misleading to the public by including crash data where a motor carrier was not at fault, and using scores that do not reflect accurate safety assessments for individual operators,” said Elaine Farrell, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Bus Association.  “Our members have expressed concern over this issue and support efforts that require the FMCSA to make improvements.” Read More

Barletta Named “Highway Safety Hero”

2014/09/18

Rep. Barletta receives the Highway Safety Hero award.  Pictured from left to right: Marchelle Wood (whose daughter Dana was killed at age 18 by a tractor trailer), Jackie Gillan, Jill Claybrook, and Andrew McGuire.   WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, has been named a “Highway Safety Hero” by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, a broad alliance dedicated to improving safety conditions on American roadways.  In selecting Barletta for the award, the group highlighted his work in limiting the size and weight of trucks while a two-year federal study was conducted. “In talking to these road safety advocates, I met Marchelle Wood, who has been involved in the issue ever since her 18-year-old daughter Dana was killed by a tractor trailer,” Barletta said.  “It reminds me that my own four daughters drive on our roads every day, and every day I worry about their safety.  I am an honored to be recognized by a group that shares my concerns.” In 2012, Barletta teamed up with Rep. Jerry Costello (IL-12) to draft an amendment that maintained current truck size and weight limits while conducting a three-year study of the potential local and state costs any increases might bring.  There would be significant safety and cost implications of such changes, as larger and heavier trucks are involved in a large percentage of fatal traffic accidents and cause greater damage to roads and bridges.  The study is ongoing. Additionally, Barletta is a strong advocate for investing in the Highway Safety Infrastructure Program, which provides for roadway safety infrastructure projects, such as installing guardrails or rumble strips.  This successful program aggressively combats the 34,000 roadway fatalities that occur each year in the United States, and offers a tremendous return on investment with one study indicating that with every $1 million increase in safety obligations, seven roadway fatalities were prevented.   Read More

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Contact Information

115 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-6511
Fax 202-225-0764
barletta.house.gov

Representative Louis J. Barletta proudly represents his hometown of Hazleton and the people of Pennsylvania’s 11th Congressional District. He began his second term on January 3, 2013.

Representative Barletta was first sworn in on January 5, 2011. He immediately started serving on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which plays a critical role in the economic development of and job growth in Northeastern and South Central Pennsylvania, and the Education and Workforce Committee, which focuses on how our nation can improve its educational system so we have competitive, qualified workers in the future.

He remains on these committees during his second term in office.  Additionally, Rep. Barletta was appointed Chairman of the Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Subcommittee on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Also for his second term, Rep. Barletta was assigned to the Committee on Homeland Security, which was established in 2002 to provide congressional oversight for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and better protect the American people against a possible terrorist attack. The committee has jurisdiction over Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS), and the U.S. Coast Guard; border security programs including efforts to achieve operational control of the border; and border smuggling and trafficking of drugs, humans, currency, weapons and other illicit materials. The committee also has jurisdiction over the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), counterterrorism efforts, cybersecurity, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and airport security, and more.

Illegal immigration is a very important subject for Representative Barletta, who first tackled the problem when he was mayor of Hazleton, Pennsylvania. Lou Barletta was the first mayor in the country to introduce and sign into law local ordinances cracking down against businesses that knowingly hire illegal aliens. He has since become a national figure in the fight against illegal immigration.

During his first term in Congress, Representative Barletta formed the 112th Class Immigration Reform Caucus, which brings together members of the historic 2011-12 “freshmen” class. Representative Barletta chairs this caucus as it examines solutions to the country’s illegal immigration problems.

Also during his first term, Representative Barletta used his position on the Small Business Committee to fight to reduce the interest rate charged on certain Small Business Administration disaster recovery loans after massive flooding devastated the 11th District in September 2011.

Born and raised in Hazleton, Representative Barletta majored in elementary education as a student at Bloomsburg State College (now Bloomsburg University). He left school to try out for a Major League Baseball team, but was released when the team’s management discovered he couldn’t hit a curve ball.

After he returned to Northeastern Pennsylvania, he and his wife Mary Grace started a business together. For $29.95, the Barlettas formed a line-painting business. Through hard work and perseverance, they grew that business into the largest of its kind in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania within five years. They eventually grew it to be the sixth-largest business of its kind in the entire nation.

As a small business owner, Representative Barletta saw how government regulation and taxes could affect the bottom line. Even though he had very little interest in politics, he decided to run for a slot on Hazleton City Council. He was first elected to council in 1998, then was elected mayor in 2000.

Despite inheriting a massive budget shortfall, he was able to turn around the City of Hazleton with tough, fiscally responsible decisions. This turnaround earned statewide praise and recognition.

In addition, his leadership on the issue of illegal immigration in Hazleton garnered national attention. By ever-increasing margins of victory, Representative Barletta was elected mayor three times.

In September 2004, Representative Barletta was appointed by the White House to serve on the United Nation Advisory Committee of Local Authorities as the representative of the United States of America.

In November 2010, Representative Barletta was elected to Congress on his third attempt. He was re-elected in November 2012.

Lou and Mary Grace are the parents of four daughters: Kelly, April, Lindsey, and Grace. They also have one grandson, Gabriel Louis; and one granddaughter, Madeleine Grace.


Serving With

Mike Kelly

PENNSYLVANIA's 3rd DISTRICT

Scott Perry

PENNSYLVANIA's 4th DISTRICT

Glenn Thompson

PENNSYLVANIA's 5th DISTRICT

Jim Gerlach

PENNSYLVANIA's 6th DISTRICT

Patrick Meehan

PENNSYLVANIA's 7th DISTRICT

Mike Fitzpatrick

PENNSYLVANIA's 8th DISTRICT

Bill Shuster

PENNSYLVANIA's 9th DISTRICT

Tom Marino

PENNSYLVANIA's 10th DISTRICT

Keith Rothfus

PENNSYLVANIA's 12th DISTRICT

Charlie Dent

PENNSYLVANIA's 15th DISTRICT

Joe Pitts

PENNSYLVANIA's 16th DISTRICT

Tim Murphy

PENNSYLVANIA's 18th DISTRICT

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