Louis Barletta

Louis Barletta

PENNSYLVANIA's 11th DISTRICT

Rep. Barletta’s Offices Accepting Toys for Tots Donations

2016/12/06

 

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) is again participating in the Toys for Tots program, sponsored by the United States Marine Corps Reserves, which are celebrating their 100th anniversary this year.  Toys will be accepted in each of Congressman Barletta’s offices – in Washington, DC and the four 11th District offices with a deadline of Friday, December 16, 2016.  Donations should be geared toward children in an age range of infant to about 16 years old.  Toys should be unwrapped, new, still in original packaging, and dropped off at office locations between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on weekdays. 

“This is a tremendous program that helps put smiles on the faces of children this holiday season,” Barletta said.  “Toys for Tots began with one single toy – a hand-made doll.  Today, it makes tens of thousands of kids happy each year.”

Rep. Barletta Toys For Tots Donation Locations

All Drop-off Times: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Weekdays

Hazleton District Office

1 South Church Street

Suite 100

Hazleton, Pennsylvania 18201

Phone: (570) 751-0050

Carlisle District Office

59 W. Louther Street

Carlisle, Pennsylvania 17013

Phone: (717) 249-0190

 

Harrisburg District Office

4813 Jonestown Road

Suite 101

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17109

Phone: (717) 525-7002

 

 

Sunbury District Office

106 Arch Street

Sunbury, Pennsylvania 17801

Phone: (570) 988-7801

Washington, DC Office

2049 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

 

The U.S. Marine Corps Reserves Toys for Tots Foundation, an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charity, is the authorized fundraising and support organization for the Toys for Tots Program.  The foundation provides the funding and support needed for successful annual toy collection and distribution campaigns.  The foundation staff is headquartered in the Cooper Center located just outside the main gate of Marine Corps Base, Quantico, Virginia, about 35 miles south of Washington, D.C.  Local campaigns are conducted annually in about 500 communities covering all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

For more information, please visit www.ToysForTots.org.

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Barletta Meets with President-Elect Trump

2016/11/29

NEW YORK CITY – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today met with President-Elect Donald J. Trump at Trump Tower to discuss the presidential transition.  Barletta is a member of the Presidential Transition Team Executive Committee.

Following the meeting, Barletta met with reporters.  The following are excerpts of his conversation with the press:

Barletta: It was great.  We had a good conversation.  We talked about many issues concerning the country and talked about the President-Elect’s ideas moving forward.

Reporter: Are you considering roles in the administration?

Barletta: We talked about Secretary of Labor and it’s something I’m going to consider.

***

Reporter: What was your pitch to him?

Barletta: We talked.  I’ve worked with the President-Elect throughout the campaign.  He knows my background and, as a member of the Executive Transition Team, we talked about the importance of his ideas and moving them forward in Congress and making sure that the transition goes well, as a member of that team.  We talked about that, as I said, and some other things.

Reporter: What were the top policy initiatives the President-Elect talked to you about?

Barletta: His infrastructure plan is obviously very important to him.  And again, making sure there’s a smooth transition and the role that I could play either in Congress or as a part of his cabinet.

 

 

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Rep. Barletta Statement on Thanksgiving 2016

2016/11/23

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today issued the following statement regarding Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 24, 2016:

“Thanksgiving Day is more than just a big meal and perhaps a football game or two.  It is a time to be grateful for our many blessings, and to remember that there are many who do not enjoy the same good fortune as others.  As President Ronald Reagan once said, ‘Americans have always understood that, truly, one must give in order to receive. This should be a day of giving as well as a day of thanks.’

“We have much to be thankful for in this country.  Life is not perfect, but as Americans we each have the opportunity to succeed and to help others along the way.  And following a somewhat rancorous political season, let us all resolve to focus on what unites us, rather than what divides us.  At this beginning of the 2016 holiday season, I wish all Pennsylvanians, and all Americans, a healthy and happy Thanksgiving.”

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Barletta: Harrisburg Courthouse Moves to #1 on Priority List

2016/11/16

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today confirmed that the long-awaited federal courthouse in Harrisburg has been installed formally as the top priority for the judiciary.  The judiciary’s Committee on Space and Facilities has ranked the project as the number one item on the construction list – a decision which has been approved by the Judicial Conference of the United States, the governing body of the judiciary chaired by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.  The ascension of Harrisburg to the top slot is further indication that the courthouse project will become a reality. 

Barletta has pushed for the project as Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management.  He has worked closely with Judge D. Brooks Smith, Chief Judge of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, who had been Chairman of the Committee on Space and Facilities until October 1, 2016.  Barletta has also been in close contact with Judge Christopher Conner, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.  Congress formally appropriates the money for courthouse construction and renovation, but traditionally defers to the judiciary to set the priority order.

“Each bit of good news brings us closer to the day when we can cut the ribbon and open the new courthouse,” Barletta said.  “The new courthouse will be an important new facility for Harrisburg, as it will serve as a hub of activity and drive new economic development for the area.  I am proud to have been working on this project for a number of years, and I commend Judge Smith, Judge Conner, all of the members of the judiciary, and everyone in Harrisburg who has worked so hard to make the courthouse possible.”

“The rigorous analysis that the judiciary applies to ranking courthouse projects that most merit Congressional funding has resulted in Harrisburg as the top priority for Fiscal Year 2018,” said Judge Smith.  “As the former chair of the Judicial Conference's Space and Facilities Committee, I am grateful for the generous support Congress has demonstrated for our courthouse needs; and as the Chief Judge of the Third Circuit, I am pleased that the Harrisburg community can look forward to having a modern and secure courthouse to serve its needs.”

“We are thrilled,” said Judge Conner. “We thank Congressman Barletta for his unwavering support of this important project, and we look forward to the construction of a courthouse that will represent the very best of our federal courthouse facilities.”

In September 2016, Barletta had announced that the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee had authorized a total of $194,444,000 for the Harrisburg Courthouse.  The final step will be the actual appropriation of the funds, a process which will not begin until at least the new year.  The amount includes $29.5 million appropriated in Fiscal Year 2016 for partial funding of feasibility studies and preparation work in addition to earlier funding in 2004 of $26 million.

The Harrisburg project includes the design and construction of a courthouse of approximately 243,000 square feet and an estimated 43 parking spaces.  The building will contain as many as eight courtrooms, including three for District Judges, two for Senior District Judges, two for Magistrate Judges, and one for Bankruptcy Judges.  There had been initial discussions of constructing only an annex to the existing courthouse, but that idea has been shelved in favor of an entirely new courthouse.

 

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Barletta Statement on Being Named to Trump Transition Team

2016/11/11

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today issued the following statement regarding being asked by President-Elect Donald J. Trump to serve on the Presidential Transition Team Executive Committee:

“It is a great honor to be asked by the next President of the United States to be part of the team that will help put together the new administration to take office in just two months.  As I said many times during the campaign, I have seen the ‘Board Room Donald Trump’ when I sat in meetings with him.  In those sessions, he always sought the input of those around him and listened to their opinions and ideas.  I anticipate that he will expect similar counsel from his transition team.  It is an exciting time, as we will be assembling the people who will be tackling the problems facing the country and making America great again.  I appreciate the confidence President-Elect Trump has shown in me and I take on the responsibility with humility and the resolve to perform to the best of my abilities.”

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Rep. Barletta Statement Regarding Veterans Day 2016

2016/11/10

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today issued the following statement regarding Veterans Day, Friday, November 11, 2016:

“Veterans Day is a time to remember the brave men and women who have kept us safe during peacetime and dangerous times of conflict over the course of the history of this country.  They – and their families – have made tremendous sacrifices on behalf of their fellow citizens.  We observe the holiday on November 11th every year to signify the end of World War I – recalling the armistice at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.  Today, we honor all veterans for their service. 

“The heroes that began America’s story at Lexington and Concord in 1775 have been followed through the decades and centuries by men and women who have fought – and still fight to this day – so that we can remain the greatest and most freedom-loving nation the world has ever known.  For those who have served, and those who still wear the uniform today, a grateful nation salutes you.”

 

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Rep. Barletta Reflects on Successes in 114th Congress

2016/10/28

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today looked back on the 114th Congress and highlighted his record of achievement in a variety of areas, including saving taxpayers more than $3 billion, combating the opioid epidemic, negotiating a new Highway Bill, protecting the steel industry, and strengthening after school programs for children.  The 114th Congress opened in January 2015 and already has concluded much of its business leading into its final session days in November and December of this year.  The 114th Congress has constituted Barletta’s third term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“We made progress on a lot of fronts in the 114th Congress and addressed some problems facing Pennsylvania and the nation,” Barletta said.  “There is still much work to be done, but the work we did over the past two years represents large steps in the right direction.”

Saving Taxpayers More Than $3 Billion

Barletta’s efforts as Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management have already saved taxpayers more than $3 billion by reforming the way the federal government manages its real estate portfolio.  To build on that, Barletta introduced H.R. 4487, the Public Buildings Reform and Savings Act of 2016, which would end up saving taxpayers at least $500 million each year.  The legislation increases accountability and oversight of the agency responsible for securing and protecting thousands of federal buildings.  The bill also includes language that will give the General Services Administration (GSA) a better ability, where appropriate, to use Public-Private Partnerships to meet space needs, leveraging private dollars to offset costs.  The bill passed the House and is now under consideration by the Senate. 

Additionally, in his role as subcommittee chairman, Barletta has held numerous hearings in Washington, DC and different regions of the country, providing oversight and holding federal bureaucrats at the GSA accountable for their use of office space and taxpayer resources. 

“Within five years, half of all federal leases will expire,” Barletta said.  “To give some perspective on how much space that represents – that’s 100 million square feet of space or 32 new World Trade Centers in New York.  And, more than half of the total real estate inventory is in commercial leased space, costing the taxpayers more than $5.5 billion each year.  How we replace these leases has a huge impact on the costs to the taxpayer.”

Combating the Opioid Epidemic & Saving Addicted Babies

Barletta was part of the conference committee made of House and Senate members who crafted sweeping legislation to fight the growing opioid epidemic.  The package contained Barletta’s own bill that specifically protected addicted newborns and their caregivers.  The bill, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (S. 524), combined educational and prevention programs, enhanced treatment, and increased law enforcement efforts to provide a comprehensive approach to the expanding problem of opioid abuse.   As a conferee on the legislation, Barletta was able to secure the inclusion of provisions of his own Infant Plan of Safe Care Improvement Act (H.R. 4843), which had already passed the House on its own by a unanimous vote of 421-to-0.  The overall package has been signed into law by the president.

“All you have to do is read the newspapers or watch television news to know that substance abuse is a problem that afflicts millions of Americans,” Barletta said.  “The opioid epidemic is something that I consistently hear about when I am home in Pennsylvania.  I am pleased to have been a leader on this legislation that will attack the problem, and help bring so many lives back from the brink of disaster.”

Battling Illegal Immigration

Barletta was a signatory to an amicus brief filed in the Supreme Court in the case of U.S. v. Texas, which had the effect of blocking President Obama’s executive amnesty for illegal immigrants.  At issue were Obama’s blanket executive actions in November of 2014, which violated the separation of powers as laid out in the Constitution.  A 4-to-4 deadlocked court left in place a lower court ruling that halted the president’s unlawful plans. 

“The president said it himself at least 22 times: he does 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,” Barletta said.  “We have immigration laws in this country for two main reasons: to protect national security and to preserve American jobs.  The president’s actions violated both of those principles and were unconstitutional on top of it all.”

In January of 2015, Barletta led the fight to defund the president’s illegal executive amnesty plans through the passage of an appropriations bill that would have cut funding, 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. 

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.

Making a Mark on the Highway Bill

Barletta was appointed to the conference committee which negotiated the particulars of the newly-passed Highway Bill, which included many of Barletta’s highest priorities for the U.S. transportation system and its infrastructure.  The package totaled about $305 billion over five years and included a number of measures Barletta pushed for, including blocking a weight-limit increase for heavy trucks.  Barletta was also able to fight off Senate attempts to cut the Highway Safety Improvement Program and fixed the problem of farmers getting traffic tickets for not “tarping their load” when driving short distances down the road from field to field, or field to processing center.  The Highway Bill has been signed into law by the president.

“This is a five-year bill, one that is robustly funded, and it will provide long-term certainty in our highway plans, so that Congress is not forever slapping short-term Band-Aids on our transportation problems,” Barletta said.  “I grew up in a family road construction business, and as a former mayor, I know that states, localities, and contractors need this certainty so they can make decisions about projects, hiring, and purchasing equipment.  The five-year duration of this bill is a good first step, but ultimately we will have to find a more innovative approach or we will find ourselves with an even bigger problem just half a decade from now.” 

Protecting the Steel Industry & American Jobs

Barletta was successful in including provisions to protect steel in the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act (H.R. 644), otherwise known as the Customs Bill.  Barletta insisted on inclusion of provisions of the ENFORCE Act, which prevent countries from circumventing trade laws by shipping a product through another country and switching the label.  

The measures Barletta insisted upon are intended to protect the steel industry and related jobs in Pennsylvania and elsewhere in the United States.  For example, when China dumps steel into America, American steel companies spend time and money building a case against the Chinese dumping.   If they win that case, the steel companies deserve to have the Chinese penalized for the dumping.  The ENFORCE Act makes sure that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) actually investigates the American companies’ case.  The ENFORCE Act gives CBP a strict deadline to review the case.  American companies can pursue a case in U.S. Trade Court if the company believes CBP is rubberstamping the decisions without fairly reviewing the details.  The Customs Bill has been signed into law by the president.

“Every foreign company wants to sell their goods on American store shelves to American consumers,” Barletta said.  “We must make sure we have the tools we need at the border to prevent foreign trade cheaters from sneaking their goods onto our shelves without paying the appropriate duties.  The bill also contains critical protections against misguided attempts to use trade agreements to rewrite our domestic immigration laws and environmental regulations.”

Strengthening After School Programs

Barletta was instrumental in preventing the elimination of $1 billion in funding for afterschool programs like SHINE (Schools and Homes in Education) that has proven successful in Schuylkill, Carbon, and now Luzerne Counties.  Barletta and Pennsylvania State Senator John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon) have championed SHINE together and helped expand it to Luzerne County. 

Barletta saved the important SHINE funding source, the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program, which was slated to be cut out by the Student Success Act (S. 1177).  Beginning in February 2015, he began painstakingly working to restore the 21st CCLC funding, which had been slated for elimination.  Barletta, however, negotiated 14 changes to the base text of the bill in support of afterschool programs, and specifically the SHINE model, in the House Education and the Workforce Committee.  He also engaged in a colloquy with committee Chairman John Kline (MN-2) to establish a record of support for such programs.  On the floor of the House, Barletta spoke in support of his own successful amendment that requires school districts to report to state agencies on the use of Title I money for afterschool activities to further demonstrate the importance of such programs.  Finally, when the legislation reached the conference committee, Barletta sent a letter to lead House and Senate negotiators imploring them to preserve the 21st CCLC program.  As a result, the conference report authorized $1 billion in funding for the 21st CCLC program and was signed by the president.

Barletta also negotiated a change in the language of a bill about youth opportunity to enable afterschool programs like SHINE to compete for federal grants to keep students steered on the right path.  During consideration of the Supporting Youth Opportunity and Preventing Delinquency Act (H.R. 5963) in the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Barletta succeeded in inserting afterschool programs into the list of eligible recipients of funds.  The change means that states will be eligible to compete for five-year grants to help local leaders meet specific needs in keeping students headed in the right direction through programs such as SHINE.  The bill passed the House and is now under consideration in the Senate.

“SHINE has already shown its value in the number of young lives it is positively impacting,” Barletta said.  “When you awaken the minds of young children with hope and possibility of what their future can be, there’s no stopping them.  That’s what SHINE does, and I am proud to help clear the way for more kids to be successful.”

For his efforts, Barletta was named the National Parent Teacher Association’s 2016 Legislator of the Year – the only House member to receive the award.  He was also named an “Afterschool Hero” by the Afterschool Alliance.

Fighting for Firefighters

For the third time, Barletta shepherded his bill to protect volunteer firefighters from the ravages of Obamacare to unanimous passage in the House of Representatives.  Barletta’s bill, the Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act, ensures that emergency services volunteers are not counted as full-time employees by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) under the Employer Mandate of Obamacare.  If volunteer fire companies were subject to the mandates of Obamacare, they could be liable for crippling new health care costs, causing many to have to close their doors.  Under pressure from Barletta in 2014, the IRS changed its previous position of treating volunteer firefighters as employees, but the legislation remains necessary so that the IRS policy is not reversed once more.

The House of Representatives by has passed Barletta’s bill by unanimous votes three times – first by 410-to-0 in March of 2014, then by 401-to-0 in January 2015, and finally by 415-to-0 in March of 2015.  Each time House passed the bill, it failed because of actions by the Senate.  In 2014, the Senate used it to attach unrelated language about emergency unemployment insurance, thereby killing the bill.  In January of 2015, the Senate stripped all language from the bill and turned it into a one-week funding measure for the Department of Homeland Security.  Finally, in March of 2015, the Senate converted it into legislation requiring Congressional approval of any agreements regarding Iran’s nuclear capabilities.

“Firehouses and municipalities across the country need assurance that they wouldn’t have to pay costly fines or shut down. This bill provides them with that certainty,” Barletta said.  “Public safety is too important a concern to leave to the whims of an unelected government bureaucracy like the IRS.  Just as importantly, it is time that we stop playing political games with such a vital public safety issue.”

Defending Coal

Barletta successfully amended the Defense Appropriations bill to prevent U.S. military installations, regardless of their locations, from purchasing energy from Russia.  Barletta’s amendment benefits coal workers in Pennsylvania, since some U.S. military bases, such as one in Kaiserslautern, Germany, use anthracite coal for fuel.  The version containing Barletta’s coal language passed the House, which is currently negotiating with the Senate on an end-of-the-year funding bill.

“Time and again, we have seen Vladimir Putin use Russian energy to assert his political will over the rest of the world,” Barletta said.  “By ensuring our military does not rely on the Russian Federation to supply the heating and energy needs of our military bases, we can provide certainty and security for the brave individuals protecting our freedom.  And this has the added benefit of helping Pennsylvania coal workers.”

Improving Disaster Response

Barletta authored a bill to reform the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to address the rising costs of disasters in the United States, reduce the toll of future losses, and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of disaster assistance capabilities and programs.  The FEMA Disaster Assistance Reform Act of 2015 (H.R. 1471) authorizes programs that help reduce the loss of life and property and speed recovery for those impacted by disasters.  The bill also requires an assessment of trends in disaster losses and recommendations that will result in the reduction of losses and increased cost savings.  The bill passed the House and is awaiting action in the Senate.

“While we are making FEMA more responsive, we’ll also be examining why the cost associated with recovering and rebuilding following disasters continues to increase,” Barletta said.  “I have travelled to different areas of the country, hearing from local people about their experiences in disaster relief, and I believe our study of rising costs will be critical to the efficient use taxpayer resources in responding to catastrophes.  If we can get a handle on rising costs, we will be better able to meet the needs of victims of future disasters.”

Promoting Pipeline Safety

Barletta successfully inserted language into a pipeline safety bill that protects the ability of states like Pennsylvania to use their own pipeline inspectors when dealing with federal agencies.  The Protecting Our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety (PIPES) Act (S.2276) reauthorizes the pipeline safety program administered by the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). The president has signed the bill into law. 

The Barletta language involves the use of interstate agent agreements between states and 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 use their own resources to protect pipeline safety, which requires interstate agent agreements with PHMSA.  

“In Pennsylvania, our Public Utility Commission has been trying to arrange an agreement under which we could use our own pipeline inspectors, instead of relying on regional federal inspectors who are not as available or accessible,” Barletta said.  “This legislation allows Pennsylvania and other states better flexibility in keeping pipelines safe.”

Improving Communication in Terror Response

The U.S. House of Representatives passed Barletta’s legislation to clarify and enhance the partnership between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the national network of fusion centers.  A fusion center is a collaborative effort of two or more agencies, including federal, state, and local entities, which share resources and information to improve their ability to detect, prevent, and respond to terrorist or criminal activity.  The bill, H.R. 3598, the Fusion Center Enhancement Act, passed the House by a voice vote and awaits action by the Senate.  

As a Member of the Homeland Security Committee and a former mayor, Barletta has heard from law enforcement officials that there is currently a lack of information-sharing and coordination.

“I have seen this problem firsthand, and know that more can be done to help our local law enforcement get the support they need from the federal government,” Barletta said.  “This bill is one small step to make the fusion centers a better resource for the people who know our communities the best – our local law enforcement officers.”

Pushing for the Harrisburg Courthouse

Barletta has gotten the proposed Harrisburg federal courthouse closer to reality than ever before, succeeding in winning authorization for $194,444,000 in funding for the design and construction of the facility.  As chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management, Barletta pushed for the project, including holding hearings in his subcommittee to discuss the proposal.  The Harrisburg structure is part of the long-awaited federal courthouse construction plan, developed by the federal judiciary and the General Services Administration.  The authorization is the final step before an actual appropriations bill sends the money out the door.

“Authorization of funds is a huge step toward making the courthouse a reality, as the last hurdle remaining is the actual appropriation,” Barletta said.  “This has been a long time coming, with various baby steps along the way, but the hard work of our subcommittee, the judiciary, and the people of Harrisburg is paying off.”

Honoring Veterans with the Medals They Earned

During the two years of the 114th Congress, Barletta presented long-overdue medals to 29 area veterans or their families.  Barletta frequently presents medals which were lost or never awarded for a variety of reasons, including fire, lost records, or discovery of old records.  Medals awarded this Congress included Bronze Stars, Purple Hearts, Prisoner of War Medals, and various unit and individual citations.  

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Barletta: FEMA Offers Power Outage Scenario Simulation

2016/10/26

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today alerted local governments and community-based first responders to upcoming simulated power outage scenarios designed to assess the viability of plans and policies in place to react to such emergencies.  The Emergency Management Institute within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will offer the four-hour simulations on November 29 and 30 and December 1, 2016.  The content will be the same in each session, so participants need only take part in one of them.

“As we have learned from cyber-attacks here at home and around the world, our infrastructure can be vulnerable to outside assault,” Barletta said.  “With the possibility of our power grid failing in the face of a cyber-attack or another cause, a little preparation can go a long way.  I encourage all localities and first responders to take this opportunity to assess the plans they have in place, or craft new ones to fit evolving possibilities.”

The FEMA program is a “Virtual Tabletop Exercise” designed to help communities examine their responses to long-term power outages.  The sessions will run from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Interested organizations should send an email to Doug Kahn of FEMA at douglas.kahn@fema.dhs.gov or call 301-447-7645.  It is also requested to send a courtesy copy email to the Integrated Emergency Management Branch at fema-emi-iemb@fema.dhs.gov or call 301-447-1381. The application deadline is October 31, 2016. Additional information is available at https://training.fema.gov/programs/emivttx.aspx.

As Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management, Barletta held a hearing earlier this year to examine how well prepared the United States is for a cyber-attack on the electrical grid.  The testimony from utilities and emergency management personnel indicated that states and localities should be prepared to face weeks, rather than days, of power outages following such an assault. 

“State and local governments, who are on the ground, will be the first ones charged with the protection of people and property,” Barletta said.  “Whether it is a category 5 hurricane hitting Miami or an 8.0 earthquake in Los Angeles, the federal government has realistic estimates or scenarios for states to plan.  The federal government does not have this basic planning scenario for a cyber-threat to the power system and there is a huge disparity in what different groups think is a potential scenario for which states and local governments should prepare.  These exercises from FEMA will be an excellent learning tool.”

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Barletta Praises PA House for Bill Holding Sanctuary Cities Liable

2016/10/20

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today praised the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for passage of legislation that would crack down on “sanctuary cities” – those localities which refuse to cooperate in the enforcement of federal immigration laws.  The legislation, which is now being considered by the Pennsylvania Senate, imposes financial penalties on such localities and requires local law enforcement to cooperate and share information with federal immigration officials.  The legislation (HB1885), authored by state Rep. Martina White (170th District), passed the Pennsylvania House this week by a vote of 136-to-55.  Barletta long has been a champion of combating municipalities which provide safe havens for those who have broken United States immigration laws. 

“This is a tremendous step in the right direction, and I urge the state Senate to follow the House in approving this important legislation,” Barletta said.  “Sanctuary cities provide refuge for illegal immigrants, drain local resources, and contribute to an increase in crime.  This bill says that sanctuary cities can no longer operate with impunity and holds them accountable for their own actions and the behavior of the illegal immigrants they are sheltering.”

The legislation targets sanctuary cities by:

  • Holding sanctuary cities financially responsible for crimes against persons or property committed by illegal immigrants.
  • Prohibiting municipalities from blocking or restricting the ability of local law enforcement to communicate information regarding immigration status to federal officials.
  • Requiring municipalities to file a compliance report with the state regarding such communications to federal officials.
  • Requiring local law enforcement officers who have reasonable cause to believe that an individual under arrest is an illegal alien to immediately contact the federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE).
  • Requiring municipalities to report to the state the number of times it reports suspected illegal aliens to ICE.
  • Withholding state funding to municipalities which fail to comply.  

“As we saw in the case of Kate Steinle in San Francisco, sanctuary cities can result in deadly consequences for law-abiding citizens,” Barletta said, referencing the murder of the 32-year-old woman killed in 2015 by an illegal immigrant, who was a seven-time felon who had been deported at least five times.  “In my own hometown of Hazleton, we have seen violent crime at the hands of illegal immigrants, sometimes with tragic conclusions.”

Barletta has personal experience with tragedies involving the victims of illegal immigrants.  When Barletta was mayor of Hazleton in 2006, a local man, Derek Kichline, was murdered by an illegal immigrant who had been released in New York, another sanctuary jurisdiction.  Barletta was also moved by meeting the parents of 20-year-old murder victim Carly Snyder of Northumberland County, who was stabbed 37 times by an illegal immigrant from Honduras in 2005.    

In October 2015, Democrats in the U.S. Senate blocked federal legislation that would have addressed sanctuary cities.  The House had passed similar legislation, which withheld certain law-enforcement funding and grants.  There are now approximately 340 such sanctuary cities in the United States, according to the Center for Immigration Studies. 

In July 2015, Barletta had reintroduced a bill – tougher than even the House version – that he authored in 2011 as his first piece of Congressional legislation, the Mobilizing Against Sanctuary Cities Act (H.R. 3002), which would prohibit any federal funding for a minimum period of one year to any state or local government which has a policy or law that prevents them from assisting immigration authorities in enforcing federal immigration law.  A state or local government would only regain federal funding eligibility after the Attorney General certifies that its laws and policies are in compliance with federal immigration law.

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Barletta Announces Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, October 22nd

2016/10/19

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, October 22, 2016.  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,” Barletta said.  “We should do everything we can to remove old, unwanted drugs from medicine cabinets to protect children and prevent abuse by others.”

Police departments, shopping centers, and other locations will be receiving unwanted prescription drugs as part of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.  To find a nearby location, residents can call (800) 882-9539 or visit the DEA’s website at https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/.

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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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