Louis Barletta

Louis Barletta

PENNSYLVANIA's 11th DISTRICT

Barletta Votes to Protect Access to Retirement Advice

2016/04/28

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today voted to protect access to affordable retirement advice for low- and middle-income families, blocking the Department of Labor’s (DOL) flawed “fiduciary rule.”  The DOL rule imposes new mandates and regulations on retirement advisors, raising bipartisan concerns about negative impacts on individuals and small business owners.  The bill, H.J.Res. 88, which blocks the rule, passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 234-to-183 and now heads to the Senate for its approval.  

“Americans are living longer lives than ever before, which means that retirement planning is even more important,” Barletta said.  “The federal government ought to make it easier for people and small employers to get the best advice possible, not put up barriers.  This legislation will help people get the information and advice they need, and therefore provide workers with a better chance at saving for their retirement years.”

The proposed DOL rule would dramatically alter how families and small business owners receive financial advice.  The rule would prohibit some of the most basic advice available, such as assistance in rolling over funds from a 401(k) into an Individual Retirement Account, or determining the distribution of funds upon retirement.  Small business owners would be denied certain assistance while determining investment options for employees, making it more likely that small employers will forego retirement plans for workers altogether.  In addition, low- and middle-income families with fewer resources would lose access to financial advice completely or be forced to pay substantially higher fees to continuing seeing advisors they already trust.

Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress may pass a resolution of disapproval to prevent, with the full force of the law, a federal agency from implementing a rule or issuing a substantially similar rule without congressional authorization.  The resolution would block the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, which is scheduled to go into effect in April 2017.  

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Barletta Bill Protecting Opioid-Addicted Newborns Sails through Committee

2016/04/28

Click here or on image for video of Rep. Barletta speaking in support of his bill to protect babies who are born addicted to opioids.

 

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today successfully guided his bipartisan legislation protecting opioid-addicted newborn babies through the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.  The Infant Plan of Safe Care Improvement Act, H.R. 4843, which Barletta authored with Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA), requires that states which receive federal funds for the treatment of opioid-dependent babies comply with federal law and enact certain guidelines for child welfare.  The category of opioids includes a variety of pain medications or other drugs, such as heroin.  The legislation does not seek to persecute the mothers of the children, so as not to dissuade parents from allowing their newborns to access appropriate care.  The bill passed the committee by voice vote and now heads to the floor of the House of Representatives for its consideration.

“Children who are exposed to illegal substances before they’re born are helpless in avoiding the pain and suffering caused by addiction, and so many infants enter this world without even a fighting chance,” Barletta said.  “In fact, every 25 minutes in this country, a baby is born having already been exposed to drugs and suffering from opiate withdrawal.  These children will pay the price for something they had absolutely no control over – something they were defenseless against.  That’s why it’s so important we do everything we can to prevent these heartbreaking situations and ensure all children have the protection and care they need.”

“Our nation is facing a growing opioid epidemic that is destroying communities, families, and lives, and some of the most vulnerable children and families are suffering its worst consequences,” said Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman Kline (R-MN). “This bill is an important part of a much broader effort to address the national opioid crisis. The bill will strengthen protections not only for infants exposed to illegal drugs before birth, but for all children in need of help and care. I’m grateful for the leadership of Representatives Barletta and Clark and for their work advancing this critical bipartisan proposal. We have taken an important step to address a real need, and I look forward to advancing these reforms in the weeks ahead.”

This legislation would:

  • Require the department of Health and Human Services to review and confirm states have put in place policies required under the 1974 Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA).
     
  • Strengthen protections for infants born with illegal substance exposure by clarifying the intent of safe care plans.
     
  • Improve accountability related to the care of infants and their families by requiring additional information on the incidents of infants born with illegal substance exposure and their care.
     
  • Provide states with best practices for developing plans to keep infants and their caregivers healthy and safe.
  • Encourage the use of information made available through other child welfare laws in verifying CAPTA compliance.

CAPTA was enacted in 1974 to coordinate federal efforts to prevent and respond to child abuse and neglect.  The law provides states with resources to improve their child protective services systems.  In order to receive funds under CAPTA, states are required to assure the Department of Health and Human Services that they have implemented certain child welfare policies.  Such policies include requiring health care providers to notify state child protective services agencies when a child is born with prenatal illegal substance exposure, as well as requiring the development of a “safe care plan” to protect these newborns and keep them and their caregivers healthy.  A recent Reuters investigation revealed some states are receiving federal funds without having the necessary policies in place, resulting in shocking and deadly consequences.

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Barletta Votes to Protect Email Privacy

2016/04/27

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today voted in favor of legislation that protects email privacy the same way the government is prevented from going through citizens’ regular mail without a search warrant.  Barletta co-sponsored H.R. 699, the Email Privacy Act, which eliminates the provision in current federal law which allows the government to search through private emails if they are stored on third-party servers for more than 180 days.  The bill passed the House by unanimous bipartisan vote of 418-to-0 and now heads to the Senate for its consideration.

“We haven’t updated federal email privacy laws since 1986, the same year the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded, which tells you how long ago that was,” Barletta said.  “Government will need a warrant to look at private emails – otherwise, the IRS could be reading your old emails right now without your knowledge.  This bill is a victory for privacy and 4th Amendment rights against unreasonable searches, and I am proud to be a cosponsor.”

Under current federal law, if emails are stored on a third-party server, such as Gmail or Yahoo, they are considered abandoned after 180 days, clearing the way for the government to sift through them at will by simply issuing a subpoena.  The legislation, authored by Rep. Kevin Yoder (KS-3), would require a warrant issued by a court for the government to examine emails, not matter how old they are.  Additionally, the government must notify citizens if their emails become the subject to a warrant.  When the original law was drafted, Congress envisioned that most Americans would have their own email servers in their homes and did not contemplate such widespread use of third-party providers.

“We now know that, unless you are Hillary Clinton, it is unlikely that you have your own email server at home,” Barletta said.  “Millions of Americans use an outside provider for their personal emails, which means that current law is simply behind the times.  For privacy purposes, we will finally treat email the same as snail mail.”

 

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Barletta Backs Bill Protecting Access to Retirement Advice

2016/04/21

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today voted for committee passage of a bill to protect access to affordable retirement advice for low- and middle-income families, blocking the Department of Labor’s (DOL) flawed “fiduciary rule.”  The rule imposes new mandates and regulations on retirement advisors, raising bipartisan concerns about negative impacts on individuals and small business owners.  The House Education and the Workforce Committee, of which Barletta is a member, approved H.J. Res 88 on a vote of 22-to-14.  The bill now heads to the floor of the full House of Representatives for its consideration.

“Americans are living longer lives than ever before, which means that retirement planning is even more important,” Barletta said.  “The federal government ought to make it easier for people and small employers to get the best advice possible, not put up barriers.  This legislation will help people get the information and advice they need, and therefore provide workers with a better chance at saving for their retirement years.”

The proposed DOL rule would dramatically alter how families and small business owners receive financial advice.  The rule would prohibit some of the most basic advice available, such as assistance in rolling over funds from a 401(k) into an Individual Retirement Account, or determining the distribution of funds upon retirement.  Small business owners would be denied certain assistance while determining investment options for employees, making it more likely that small employers will forego retirement plans for workers altogether.  In addition, low- and middle-income families with fewer resources would lose access to financial advice completely or be forced to pay substantially higher fees to continuing seeing advisors they already trust.

“We all agree that financial advisors should act in their clients’ best interest, but the administration’s approach is fundamentally flawed,” said Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman Rep. John Kline (MN-2).  “Low- and middle-class families will lose access to affordable retirement advice and small businesses will be discouraged from helping their employees save for retirement.  Congress cannot stand by and allow a federal regulation to create this much havoc in the lives of the American people.  This resolution will stop this harmful regulatory scheme and empower more Americans to invest and plan for the years ahead.” 

Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress may pass a resolution of disapproval to prevent, with the full force of the law, a federal agency from implementing a rule or issuing a substantially similar rule without congressional authorization.  The resolution would block the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, which is scheduled to go into effect in April 2017.  The resolution follows earlier efforts to enact a responsible, bipartisan alternative to the department’s flawed rule.

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Barletta Votes to Stop IRS Bonuses, Block Rehire of Bad Employees

2016/04/21

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today voted for two pieces of legislation designed to improve poor customer service at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and strengthen the standard of conduct among employees of the tax agency.  One bill prohibits the IRS from awarding bonuses to any employee until the agency creates a plan to increase responsiveness to taxpayer needs.  The other blocks the rehiring of former IRS employees who had been fired for misconduct.  Both bills passed the House of Representatives and now head to the Senate for its consideration. 

“The IRS is the federal agency that is most likely to strike terror in the hearts of Americans, and dealing with them is even worse when you can’t get your problems taken care of,” Barletta said.  “Private businesses would never operate the way the IRS does – giving out bonuses for subpar performance and rehiring old employees who had behaved terribly.  In order for taxpayers to have any faith at all in their government, these kinds of practices have got to stop.”

Barletta voted in favor of two bills on the floor of the House of Representatives:

H.R. 4890 – Bill to Limit IRS Bonuses

According to a review by the Government Accountability Office, taxpayers who called the IRS seeking to speak to a live person were successful only 38 percent of the time.  Those who were able to find a representative to speak to were forced to endure average wait times of more than 30 minutes.  The legislation prohibits the IRS from paying bonuses to any employee until it creates and submits to Congress a comprehensive strategy – which it currently does not have – to improve customer service.  It also requires the IRS to submit semiannual reports to Congress on its progress in implementing the strategy.  The bill passed the House by a vote of 260-to-158.

H.R. 3724 – Ensuring Integrity in the IRS Workforce Act

Incredibly, a 2015 Inspector General’s report found that the IRS frequently rehires former employees who had been previously fired for well-documented poor conduct or substandard performance issues.  In particular, the IRS had rehired 141 former employees who had serious tax delinquency issues, including several who willfully refused to file federal tax returns.  Other misconduct issues of rehired former employees included accessing taxpayer information without authorization and falsification of official forms.

The legislation prohibits the IRS from rehiring former employees who had been terminated for misconduct.  It passed the House by a vote of 345-to-78.

“The people who work at the IRS have got to remember that the very taxpayers they are employed to serve are the ones who are paying their salaries,” Barletta said.  “It just stands to reason that the agency charged with collecting tax dollars ought to do a good job in spending them efficiently and appropriately.”

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Barletta Amendment Passes to Preserve PA Pipeline Inspection Interests

2016/04/20

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today succeeded in amending pipeline safety legislation to protect the interests of states in using their own pipeline inspectors when dealing with federal agencies.  Barletta’s amendment was incorporated into H.R. 4937, the Protecting Our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety (PIPES) Act, which was approved during a hearing of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, of which Barletta is a member.  The PIPES Act now heads to the floor of the full House of Representatives for its consideration.

The Barletta amendment involves the use of interstate agent agreements between states and the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), which regulates the safety of pipelines at the federal level.  The agency is responsible for ensuring safety in the design, construction, testing, operation, and maintenance of pipelines.  It is more beneficial for states to be able to use their own networks of pipeline inspectors, since PHMSA has only five regional offices to serve the entire country.  Many states, including Pennsylvania, want to be able to leverage their own resources to protect pipeline safety, which requires interstate agent agreements with PHMSA.  

“I understand that the federal government has been hesitant to move forward with any new agreements,” Barletta said.  “For example, in Pennsylvania, our state’s Public Utility Commission attempted to arrange an interstate agent agreement.  To me, this makes sense.  However, federal regulators have repeatedly blocked these state attempts without providing a clear explanation why Pennsylvania is ineligible for an agreement.”

Barletta’s amendment will:

  • Require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study interstate agent agreements to examine their benefits. 
  • Require an explanation from PHMSA if the agency denies a state’s request for an interstate agreement.

Pennsylvania is home to thousands of miles of pipeline, with many more thousands of miles needing to be built to transport Marcellus Shale natural gas.  In total, the United States has the largest network of energy pipelines in the world, with some 2.6 million miles of pipelines transporting 64 percent of the energy commodities used in the country.

The overall PIPES Act:

Improves safety by closing gaps in federal standards

  • Requires PHMSA to set federal minimum safety standards for underground natural gas storage facilities and allows states to go above those standards for intrastate facilities.
  • Authorizes emergency order authority that is tailored to the pipeline sector, taking into account public health and safety, network, and customer impacts.
  • Ensures that pipeline operators receive timely post-inspection information from PHMSA to allow them to maintain and improve their safety efforts, and ensures that product composition information is quickly provided to first responders after an incident.

Enhances the quality and timeliness of PHMSA rulemakings

  • Requires PHMSA to update Congress every 60 days on outstanding statutory mandates, including the status of each mandate, reasons for its incompletion, and estimated completion date.
  • Requests two GAO studies on the effectiveness of integrity management programs for both natural gas and hazardous liquids pipelines.

Promotes better use of data and technology to improve pipeline safety

  • Tasks GAO with investigating how to use technology to improve third-party damage prevention (a leading cause of releases).
  • Requires GAO to study the latest innovations in pipeline materials and corrosion prevention technology.
  • Creates a working group of PHMSA, states, industry stakeholders, and safety groups to develop recommendations on how to create an information sharing system to improve safety outcomes.
  • Authorizes PHMSA to create a national integrated pipeline safety database to have a clearer picture of federal and state safety oversight efforts.

 

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Barletta: Want to Work at the IRS? Pay Your Taxes!

2016/04/20

“It’s like having Lance Armstrong lead a task force on fair competition in bicycle racing.”

 

- Rep. Lou Barletta (PA-11)

 

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today backed legislation that prevents the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from hiring any new employees until the Treasury Secretary certifies to Congress that no existing employees are carrying significant delinquent tax debt.  Under current federal law, the IRS Commissioner is required to fire employees for failing to file federal tax returns or willfully understating their tax delinquency, unless failure to pay is due to a reasonable cause.  A 2015 Inspector General’s report, however, revealed that only 39 percent of the 1,580 employees with tax delinquencies were terminated.  The bill, H.R. 1206, the No Hires for the Delinquent IRS Act, passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 254-to-170 and now heads to the Senate for its consideration.

“Is it any wonder that Americans have lost faith in their government?” Barletta said.  “More than half of IRS employees who owe significant back taxes are still working at the very agency that collects taxes.  It’s like having Lance Armstrong lead a task force on fair competition in bicycle racing.”

The legislation specifically prohibits the IRS from extending an offer of employment to any individual until the Secretary of the Treasury submits written certification to Congress that the agency does not employ anyone with serious tax delinquencies.  If the Secretary cannot make such a certification, he or she must submit a report explaining why, outline the remedial actions necessary to make such a certification, and indicate the time needed to complete the actions.  The bill applied to all offers of employment after December 31, 2016.

“Tax Day was earlier this week, marking that painful day when millions of Americans had to sit down and write a check to the IRS,” Barletta said.  “It is outrageous that the people who receive and process those checks may not have paid their own taxes.  This is an offensive situation that has to be fixed.”

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Barletta Statement on Harrisburg Courthouse Funding

2016/04/18

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today issued a statement regarding the announcement that the proposed federal courthouse project in Harrisburg has received $29.5 million in partial funding.  The long-awaited federal courthouse construction plan, developed by the federal judiciary and the General Services Administration (GSA), is required by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016.  The amount is part of funding appropriated by Congress for federal courthouse construction.  The amount represents initial funding for continued feasibility studies and preparation work for the Harrisburg project, which could result in a new courthouse or an annex to the existing one.  The final scope, budget, and possible completion date are still being determined.

Barletta’s statement is as follows:

“At long last, this is good news for the federal courthouse project in Harrisburg, local business owners, and the surrounding economy.  Projects across the country have been on hold for years, and Congress has provided a construction budget for the first time in a decade.  There is still a long way to go, but the fact that initial funding has been set aside by the judiciary means that we are finally on track to see the project to completion. 

“I commend the members of judicial branch for their hard work, as well as the efforts of those at GSA, and thank them for seeing the value in Harrisburg’s project.  The process itself is a marathon, and it continued today with a significant next step.”    

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Barletta Honored by PA Association of Township Supervisors

2016/04/18

Rep. Barletta was presented with the Chairman’s Award by Bill Hawk,

Executive Board Chairman of the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors, at the organization’s 94th annual state conference.

 

HERSHEY – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today was honored with the Chairman’s Distinguished Service Award by the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors (PSATS) for his work in fighting for issues that impact local governments, as well as his background as a former mayor of his hometown of Hazleton.  Presented with the award by PSATS Executive Board Chairman Bill Hawk, who is also a Paxton Township Supervisor in Dauphin County, Barletta was singled out for fighting against overreach by the Environmental Protection Agency, preventing heavier trucks on the roads and interstates, and enhancing the local role in emergency response and national security situations.

“As a former city council member and mayor of Hazleton, this award means a lot to me because I know what local officials deal with on a day-to-day basis,” Barletta said.  “While I’m a member of Congress now, I really never took off my ‘Mayor’s Hat,’ because I always keep in mind that the policies we decide in Washington can have major impacts back at home.”

Barletta received the award during PSATS’ 94th annual state convention at the Hershey Lodge.

“PSATS is honoring the congressman for his work championing local government on the belief that the government closest to the people is the most efficient and responsive,” said Hawk, who also serves as PSATS Second Vice President.  “As a former local government official, Congressman Barletta understands the obligations and dedication of local officials.  He has repeatedly stood strong on issues that place an undue burden on local governments.”

The Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors represents Pennsylvania’s 1,454 townships of the second class and is committed to preserving and strengthening township government and securing greater visibility and involvement for townships in the state and federal political arenas. Townships of the second class represent more residents — 5.5 million Pennsylvanians — than any other type of political subdivision in the commonwealth and cover 95 percent of the commonwealth’s land mass.

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Barletta Backs Rule of Law as SCOTUS Hears Obama Amnesty Case

2016/04/18

“… he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed …”

 

- U.S. Constitution

Article II, Section 3

 

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today supported the rule of law as the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case challenging President Obama’s granting of blanket amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.  The case of United States, et al. v. Texas, et al. was brought by 26 states and centers on the question of the constitutional separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches of government.  Barletta has been an outspoken critic of Obama’s amnesty policies and supported the filing of a brief in the case by the House of Representatives.

“Barack Obama was not elected king, he was elected president, with certain powers and specific limits on his authority,” Barletta said.  “He said it himself at least 22 times: He did not have the legal authority to do what he eventually did, which was to grant amnesty to people who have willfully broken our immigration laws to be present in this country.”

Issues in the case include the “Take Care Clause” in Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution, which requires the president to faithfully execute the laws.  The Supreme Court took the unusual step in asking whether the president’s actions had violated the clause, inviting the House of Representatives to weigh in.  By raising this question, the Supreme Court has made U.S. v. Texas into a potentially important Article I versus Article II case that could determine future powers – or limits on those powers – of the executive and legislative branches of government. 

“The president has repeatedly ignored Congress and stretched executive authority beyond its breaking point, which is why we have turned to the courts to restore order,” Barletta said.  “The Constitution is very clear about the roles of the president and the Congress.  President Obama has clearly overstepped his role.”   

The plaintiffs in the case are 26 States, which sued to stop implementation of President Obama’s executive actions relating to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) programs.   On February 15, 2015, the district court held that the states were likely to succeed on the merits of their claims, and barred implementation of the DACA and DAPA programs until a final ruling on the merits.  On November 9, 2015, the Firth Circuit affirmed, by a vote of 2-1, the district court's decision and went further by saying that executive actions were contrary to the Immigration and Nationality Act.  On November 20, 2015, the Solicitor General filed with the Supreme Court a petition for a writ of certiorari. The Supreme Court agreed to take the case on January 19, 2016.  In granting “cert” the Court raised four questions (three presented by the Solicitor General, and one additional question - whether the president’s executive order violates the Take Care Clause of the Constitution).

Barletta Led the Fight to Defund Amnesty in the House

Barletta fought to defund the president’s illegal executive amnesty plans through the passage of an appropriations bill that would have defunded the amnesty program for illegal immigrants, largely through an amendment Barletta co-authored, had the bill been signed into law.  The House approved the appropriations bill for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), along with the key amendment known as the Aderholt/Mulvaney/Barletta Amendment.  The House also adopted additional amendments Barletta supported, including one which stops the president’s DACA program, which has abused the practice of prosecutorial discretion on immigration enforcement. 

The Aderholt/Mulvaney/Barletta Amendment

The lead amendment to the DHS appropriations bill was the one authored by Rep. Barletta, Rep. Robert Aderholt (AL-4), and Rep. Mick Mulvaney (SC-5).  It was the Aderholt/Mulvaney/Barletta amendment which would have specifically defunded President Obama’s executive amnesty. 

The Aderholt/Mulvaney/Barletta amendment addressed the Obama executive amnesty by:

  • Preventing any funds from any source from being used to carry out the executive actions the president announced on November 20, 2014.
  • Preventing any funds from any source from being used to carry out the so-called “Morton Memos,” which directed immigration officers to ignore broad categories of illegal immigrants.
  • Declaring that no funds may be used to carry out any policies that are substantially similar to the ones being defunded.
  • Declaring that the policies being defunded have no basis in federal law or the Constitution and therefore have no legal effect.
  • Preventing any funds from being used to provide federal benefits to illegal immigrants intended to be impacted by the president’s executive amnesty.

“We have immigration laws for two main reasons: to protect national security and to preserve American jobs.  The Obama Amnesty violates both of those principles,” Barletta said.  “There can be no question that rampant illegal immigration is a national security threat.  In addition, it’s hard enough to find a job these days for millions of Americans and legal residents.  The president has introduced millions of new applicants who will compete for jobs that are already scarce.  It is difficult to imagine how such a policy is beneficial to Americans.”

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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

Ryan Costello

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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