Louis Barletta

Louis Barletta

PENNSYLVANIA's 11th DISTRICT

Barletta Sees SHINE-Eligible Grants into Juvenile Justice Bill

2016/09/22

Rep. Barletta (right) and state Sen. Yudichak read to SHINE students at Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Wilkes-Barre.

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today voted for juvenile justice reform legislation containing a change he negotiated to enable afterschool programs – like the successful SHINE (Schools and Homes in Education) program in Pennsylvania – to compete for federal grants to keep students steered on the right path.  During consideration of the bill earlier this month in the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Barletta succeeded in inserting afterschool programs into the list of eligible recipients of grants to states to prevent juvenile delinquency.  The change means that states will be able 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, the Supporting Youth Opportunity and Preventing Delinquency Act (H.R. 5963), which Barletta co-sponsored, today passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 382-to-29 and now heads to the Senate for its consideration. 

“We have seen the success of SHINE back home as a very effective afterschool program, giving kids much more productive ways to spend their time when the school day is over,” Barletta said.  “I am very proud to have expanded access to more grants for programs like SHINE, because we have seen how effective they can be in giving children greater educational opportunities.”

SHINE has already been a success in Schuylkill and Carbon Counties and expanded to Luzerne County last fall in the Wilkes-Barre Area, Greater Nanticoke Area and Wyoming Valley West school districts.  It expanded to Hazleton earlier this year.  The program, geared to grades K-8, focuses on a project-based STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) curriculum. SHINE links schools to homes to help children build a stronger academic and social foundation. 

Barletta and Pennsylvania state Senator John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon) have championed SHINE together, working closely with Luzerne County host institution Wilkes University and its president, Patrick Leahy.  Barletta was also instrumental in saving an important SHINE funding source, the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program.

Beginning in February 2015, Barletta 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 passed authorized $1 billion in funding for the 21st CCLC program.   

Currently, SHINE of Luzerne County serves nearly 300 students from five area school districts: Wilkes-Barre Area, Wyoming Valley West, Nanticoke Area, Hanover Area, and Hazleton Area.  The existing programs in Schuylkill and Carbon Counties bring the total number of students to more than 1,000.

Read More

Barletta Votes to Protect Olympic Medals from Taxation

2016/09/22

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today backed legislation that prohibits the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from taxing medals and awards won by Americans competing in the Olympics or Paralympics.  The U.S. Olympic Committee currently awards each American athlete $25,000 for each gold medal, $15,000 for each silver, and $5,000 for each bronze.  U.S. Paralympics receive $5,000 for a gold medal, $3,500 for silver, and $2,500 for bronze.  Additionally, the medals themselves have market value based on the metal contained within them.  Under today’s IRS regulations, those awards and medals are treated as income and subjected to federal taxation.  The United States Appreciation for Olympians and Paralympians Act (H.R. 5946) removes the awards and medals from taxation, unless the athlete has an income in excess of $1 million.  The legislation is retroactive to include the recently completed Olympics in Rio.  The bill passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 415-to-1 and now heads to the Senate, which has a similar bill. 

Barletta issued the following statement:

“Our athletes train their entire lives for a chance to fulfill their dreams of competing in the Olympics, making untold sacrifices along the way.  Many of them are competing in events that will never offer professional opportunities outside of amateur athletics, meaning the Olympic games represent the pinnacle of their chosen sport.  While they are pursuing their own goals of excellence, it is inconceivable that the IRS would come to take a bite of the fruits of their labors.  This bill is aimed primarily at the athlete who will never become rich off of the sport, and is truly competing for the love of competition.” 

 

Read More

Barletta Named “Guardian of Small Business” by NFIB for 3rd Time

2016/09/22

Rep. Barletta was named a “Guardian of Small Business” by the National Federation of Independent Business for the third straight Congress.

 

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) has been named a “Guardian of Small Business” by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s largest association of small businesses, for the third consecutive Congress.  Barletta was honored because of his voting record in support of policies that benefit small businesses and job creators.  Barletta has won the award in each Congress of which he has been a member: the 112th, 113th, and 114th.

“Many elected officials claim that they are champions of small business, but our Guardian Award shows our members and other small business owners who is really fighting for them,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan.  “Based on his voting record, Rep. Barletta is one of the most reliable advocates for small business in Washington.”

The Guardian of Small Business is NFIB’s most prestigious award.  It is reserved for lawmakers who vote consistently with NFIB on the key issues identified by small business owners and is awarded by tracking and scoring the votes of every member of Congress.  House members and Senators who vote with NFIB members at least 70 percent of the time are eligible for the Guardian Award.  Barletta received a 100 percent voting record during the 114th Congress.

“As a former mayor of my hometown of Hazleton, and a former business owner myself, I know that small employers are the lifeblood of any community,” Barletta said.  “Today, it is harder than ever for entrepreneurs to go into business for themselves, so we must do everything we can to clear obstacles so they can do what they do best: create jobs and stimulate the economy.  I am proud to have been honored by NFIB for the third straight Congress.”

Read More

Barletta Honors Brandon’s Forever Home in DC Award Presentation

2016/09/21

Rep. Barletta with state Rep. Tarah Toohil, Lori Ogurkis, family, friends, and people associated with Brandon’s Forever Home, recipient of the Angels in Adoption award.

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today honored Brandon’s Forever Home, the non-profit organization in Hazleton focused on raising awareness of adoption and foster care and placing children with permanent families, with the formal presentation of the Angels in Adoption award.  Brandon’s Forever Home was founded in 2014 by state Rep. Tarah Toohil (116th District) and local attorney Lori Ogurkis, who each has her own personal experiences with adoption and foster children.  Barletta had nominated the group for the honor awarded each year by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.   

The Angels of Adoption award, which is given to individuals or organizations nationwide, is considered prestigious in the world of adoption and foster care. Since 1999, nearly 2,000 have been named, including: Muhammad Ali, former First Lady Laura Bush, Patti LaBelle, Al Roker, the Hallmark Channel, and People Magazine.

“At home in Hazleton, we’re all familiar with the great work Rep. Toohil and Lorine Ogurkis have been doing at Brandon’s Forever Home, so it is truly gratifying to see them receive national recognition,” Barletta said.  “For too many children, the dream of a loving, permanent family can seem so far out of reach.  But thanks to Brandon’s Forever Home, that dream is becoming reality for more and more young people.”

Both Toohil and Ogurkis came to their commitment to the welfare of children through experiences in their own personal lives.  Rep. Toohil’s parents lovingly fostered more than 40 children through the years, including Brandon, a young man whose tragic death inspired the lifelong dedication that has resulted in Brandon’s Forever Home.  Ogurkis, the mother of three biological children, met her youngest son, Michael, through adoption.  She also has provided a home to young Brittany, who had aged out of the foster system.  The first location of Brandon’s Forever Home was actually in the Ogurkis residence.

Brandon’s Forever Home, located at 187 North Church Street in Hazleton, assists with adoptions and children in the foster care system, and urges individuals to become foster parents.  The non-profit organization is a place for those aging out of the foster care system to find help, learn life skills, and connect with others.  For more information, please visit the website www.BrandonsForeverHome.com.

Read More

Barletta Bulletin 9.18.16

2016/09/18

Lost but Not Forgotten

A week ago, we observed the fifteenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 – it’s hard to believe that so much time has passed.  If they were old enough to be aware at the time, there are few Americans who do not recall where they were on that beautiful late summer morning.  In a matter of minutes, our whole notion of the feeling of safety within our own borders changed.  And when the details began to emerge and it became clear that it was a coordinated act of terrorism, our entire outlook on the world we occupied was altered dramatically.

Read More

Read More

Barletta Announces Fire Grant for Fire Department in Weatherly

2016/09/16

WEATHERLY – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today announced that the Lehigh and Lausanne Rural Volunteer Fire Company in Weatherly will receive a federal grant of $200,000 for the purchase of a new vehicle.  The grant was awarded under the Assistance to Firefighter Grant (AFG) program, administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency within the Department of Homeland Security. 

“As a former mayor of my hometown of Hazleton, I know first-hand how difficult it is for fire departments to meet their needs for equipment and vehicles,” Barletta said.  “Too often, local resources are so scarce that you will often see firefighters soliciting donations with boots at intersections.  I am proud to support these types of grants to help them with the equipment they need to keep our residents and businesses safe.”

The AFG program provides direct support to fire departments, emergency medical services organizations, and state fire training academies to fund necessary equipment and training.  For more information on the program, please visit https://www.fema.gov/welcome-assistance-firefighters-grant-program.  Additionally, interested organizations may contact Mike Shay at Rep. Barletta’s Hazleton office at (570) 751-0050 or by email at Michael.Shay@mail.house.gov.

Read More

Barletta Statement Regarding Harrisburg Sinkhole Grant

2016/09/15

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today applauded the announcement of a $1.65 million federal grant for Harrisburg to begin to address its sinkhole problem.  The grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) represents 75 percent of the $2.2 million first phase of a plan for the purchase of endangered homes and excavation of the affected area along South 14th Street in Harrisburg.  Rep. Barletta’s office expressly requested that FEMA select Harrisburg for the grant in a letter also signed by Rep. Scott Perry (PA-4) and Senators Pat Toomey and Bob Casey.  The federal grant is being distributed by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, as announced today by Gov. Tom Wolf.

The Harrisburg Sinkhole Mitigation Project calls for the purchase and demolition of approximately 50 houses in the affected area, with the excavation of the sinkholes to follow.  The project will be completed in two phases.  Phase One will address the 18 to 25 homes which are at the greatest risk.  Phase Two will involve the remaining homes and require additional funding of approximately $3.3 million.  The combined cost of Phase One and Phase Two is expected to be $5.5 million.

Rep. Barletta issued the following statement:

“The residents who have been directly affected by the sinkhole problem have been waiting for some good news for a long time, so this announcement is certainly welcome.  The sinkholes have been wreaking havoc for more than two years now, and it’s time for people to get some help.  I am grateful for the cooperation involved in securing this grant, from my partners at the federal level, to leaders at the state and local levels.  This has truly been a team effort.”

 

Read More

Barletta Votes to Block Transfer of Gitmo Detainees

2016/09/15

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today supported legislation to block the handover of detainees from the U.S. facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to other countries, a move designed to counter the Obama Administration’s increased pace and number of transferals.  When President Obama assumed office, there were 240 detainees at the facility, also known as Gitmo.  Today there are 61, while many of the released terrorism suspects are believed to have returned to the battlefield.  The legislation, H.R. 5351, bars transfers until Congress provides additional legislative guidance or until a new administration takes office and considers what federal law currently states.  The bill passed the House by a vote of 244-to-174 and now heads to the Senate for its consideration.

“Congress has made clear over and over again that it is opposed to the transfer of detainees and the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility,” Barletta said.  “We don’t want these terrorists released so they can return to the fight, or worse, enter American prisons and begin to radicalize inmates within our own borders.”

Early in the Obama Administration, officials determined that some detainees should remain in detention and be prosecuted.  Since then, some have had their designation changed and many have been transferred.  In the meantime, Congress is currently considering the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which will contain important provisions related to Guantanamo Bay detainees.  Depending on when the president signs the act, the measure could take effect as early as January 1, 2017.  The bill the House approved today blocks the transfer of any detainees until the NDAA takes effect or a new president takes office, whichever comes first.

“This bill will prevent any rash decisions on the part of an outgoing administration which is desperate to fulfill a poorly-conceived campaign promise from eight years ago,” Barletta said.  “The new president ought to be able to examine the situation at Gitmo and make a determination about what is the prevailing law.  Nothing less than national security is at stake.”

Read More

Barletta Backs Accountability at Dept. of Veterans Affairs

2016/09/14

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today supported legislation to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in the wake of scandalous revelations of lengthy wait times for health care services, which resulted in the deaths of numerous veterans.  The VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act of 2016 (H.R. 5620) provides the Secretary of Veterans Affairs the flexibility to remove VA employees for misconduct and also strengthens whistleblower protections.  The bill also allows the restriction of bonuses for supervisors who retaliate against whistleblowers.  The bill passed the House of a vote of 310-to-116 and now heads to the Senate for its consideration.

Barletta issued the following statement:

“Like most Americans, I was horrified to learn of the deplorable treatment too many veterans were receiving from the VA, and was then infuriated to find out that there was little or no recourse against those who had committed the wrongdoing.  Our veterans and their families have sacrificed so that the rest of us may remain free in the greatest nation the world has ever known.  We owe them a debt we can never fully repay, but one way we can show our appreciation is to ensure they have the best medical care in existence. 

“This legislation will provide much-needed authority to make sure that problem employees are dealt with and that those who call attention to problems are protected.  Whistleblowers who are looking out for the welfare of military veterans should not have to fear retaliation, and those who are causing the problems should not be free to continue their employment.  This bill represents a good first step to restoring credibility to the VA and ensuring that any future issues can be handled quickly and out in the open.”

Read More

Barletta Secures SHINE Eligibility for Federal Grants

2016/09/14

Rep. Barletta was presented with an Afterschool Hero cape by Mia Zamudio, a SHINE student from Jim Thorpe, PA, as part of his recognition in May by the Afterschool Alliance.

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today negotiated a change in the language of a bill about youth opportunity to enable afterschool programs – like the successful SHINE (Schools and Homes in Education) program in Pennsylvania – to compete for federal grants to states to help keep students steered on the right path.  During consideration of the Supporting Youth Opportunity and Preventing Delinquency Act (H.R. 5693) 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 committee by a voice vote and now heads to the full House of Representatives for its consideration.

“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.”

SHINE has already been a success in Schuylkill and Carbon Counties and expanded to Luzerne County last fall in the Wilkes-Barre Area, Greater Nanticoke Area and Wyoming Valley West school districts.  It expanded to Hazleton earlier this year.  The program, geared to grades K-8, focuses on a project-based STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) curriculum. SHINE links schools to homes to help children build a stronger academic and social foundation. 

Barletta and Pennsylvania State Senator John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon) have championed SHINE together, working closely with Luzerne County host institution Wilkes University and its president, Patrick Leahy.  Barletta was also instrumental in saving an important SHINE funding source, the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program.

Beginning in February 2015, Barletta 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 passed authorized $1 billion in funding for the 21st CCLC program.   

Currently, SHINE of Luzerne County serves nearly 300 students from five area school districts: Wilkes-Barre Area, Wyoming Valley West, Nanticoke Area, Hanover Area, and Hazleton Area.  The existing programs in Schuylkill and Carbon Counties bring the total number of students to more than 1,000.

Read More

Loading legislation ... one moment please
Loading votes ... one moment please

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

Recent Videos