WASHINGTON—Today, President Donald J. Trump outlined a new strategy to deal with the ongoing threat posed by Iran by decertifying the Iran nuclear deal. The core strategy, released by the White House early this morning, will focus on neutralizing the Government of Iran’s destabilizing influence and constraining its aggression, particularly its support for terrorism and militants.
“President Obama’s deal with the brutal Iranian regime was a big mistake. The reckless behavior of this regime, as well as the bloodshed caused by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and their proxies around the world, warranted harsh American foreign policy measures to preserve the balance of power,” Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) said following the announcement from the White House. “Instead of tough demands, the Obama Administration determined striking a deal was more important than the merits of the deal’s terms. This put America and our allies in the region like Israel at risk. It amounted to total appeasement of Iranian aggression.”
The Iranian regime has a notorious history of funding terrorism around the world, as well as providing material aid to the North Korean regime in their development of nuclear weapon technology. Reports have also pointed to significant Iranian involvement in the Iraq War, leading to the deaths of thousands of American soldiers.
For 28 years, Ali Khamenei has been Iran’s Supreme Leader. Khamenei and the IRGC have pursued a steady policy of spreading a revolutionary ideology aimed at undermining the international system by force and subversion. His main enemy and rallying point has been and continues to be the United States of America, which he refers to as the Great Satan.
Under Khamenei, Iran exports violence, destabilizes its neighbors, and sponsors terrorism abroad. The reckless behavior of the Iranian regime and the IRGC in particular, poses one of the most dangerous threats to the interests of the United States and to regional stability. The Iranian regime has taken advantage of regional conflicts and instability to aggressively expand its regional influence and threaten its neighbors with little domestic or international cost for its actions.
Barletta says, “As a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, I know that the threats to the American homeland and our allies are real. Appeasing terrorism will encourage more terrorism. I look forward to supporting President Trump as he works with our allies to confront Iranian aggression.”
Back in 1986, Ronald President Reagan reignited the American dream.
Through simplification and reduction, the tax code's suffocation on income and business was lifted, reversing over a decade of stagnation in America.
Nearly 31 years after Reagan's landmark reform, President Donald Trump is leading the fight again.
President Trump knows what will drive economic revival for the people of Pennsylvania.
Since 1986, Washington corruption slowly sapped the spirit out of middle America. Excessive regulation and special interest tax carve-outs have sentenced American workers and businesses to death by paperwork.
As a businessman, I often felt like my most difficult competition was from Washington, not other businesses.
I started a business with $29.95 and a dream.
Today, because of nameless, faceless bureaucrats and an overbearing tax system, American policies do everything to make business impossible. How can we expect this to create growth and innovation from business, and opportunity for the worker?
The system is not competitive. Washington's choke-hold is causing the export of dollars and jobs out of our borders.
Though we offer the best markets, the most stable legal system, and freest society, America continues to be uncompetitive among the industrial nations of the world--it should be the gem.
Finally, we have a president who has identified these concerns of American workers and businesses.
Previous presidents and political leaders, bound by the blinders of Washington, failed to pass policies competitive with other nations. Like the failed leaders of the past, obstructionists in the House and Senate also refuse to see America as a land of opportunity.
Since November, 2016, they have done everything they can to work against the President's reform program.
They continue to take the politically easy way out. Instead of fighting for hard-working Americans, they make lives harder with open border policies.
For businesses, weak kneed trade enforcement has made it impossible for American industry to compete with foreign companies. For the public system, politicians have turned a blind eye to illegal labor causing serious stress on local resources like schools and hospitals.
The worker is dealt the back-hand of both.
President Trump aims to break this house of cards.
After slashing Washington regulation, the economy has responded. Despite being smacked by major hurricanes, a million jobs have been added. Working wages have increased, experiencing the fastest growth in 7 years.
Unemployment is at the lowest mark in 16 years and the labor force participation rate is at the highest level since 2014.
The market is confident and workers are coming off the sidelines, but the President cannot do this alone. Pennsylvanians can feel this energy and want to see it unleashed.
It is vital that Congress pass pro-growth, pro-wage, and pro-worker tax reform to continue the great American revival. I will be pushing hard for Congress to deliver.
Let Pennsylvanians fight
Billions of dollars remain overseas, while hard-working Pennsylvanians have seen more of their wages going to Washington. American workers have had enough watching their livelihoods exported and communities broken apart.
They continue to fight, but Washington has made them do so with a hand tied behind their back. With President Trump, they finally have a leader in their corner. He is willing to fight with them, not against them.
A freer, fairer, and simpler tax code, with lower taxes on businesses and individuals, will reignite the American dream for Pennsylvanian families.
An incentive based territorial system will make us competitive with other nations. Businesses will want to bring their money, jobs, and industrial capacity back home. Growth will flood American markets to power a great American revival. Businesses will hire Pennsylvanians and invest in our local communities.
Tax reform for all will see a waterfall effect of economic growth. Instead of a system weighing on Pennsylvanian wages, a ladder will appear. As opportunities grow, workers will take advantage of the new pro-American system. Once closed paths to prosperity will open.
It's time for Congress to join President Trump and fight for America. I am proud that under the Make America Great Again agenda, the United States will again rise to its rightful place as the preeminent economic powerhouse in the world.
Pennsylvanians are ready to fight for our future. I was proud to stand by President Trump this week in Harrisburg. Congress should unite behind President Trump and pass a pro-American tax reform package--I will not vote for anything less.
Let's come together to rebuild American greatness.
U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, a Republican, represents the Hazleton-based 11th Congressional District, which includes a portion of the mid-state. He is also a Republican candidate for United States Senate in 2018.
This opinion piece ran in PennLive
HARRISBURG – Today, President Donald J. Trump spoke to a full capacity crowd at the National Guard Hanger in Harrisburg International Airport. The speech touted the benefits of tax cuts and reform for the American workers, businesses, and the economy.
Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) joined the President in strong support of his plan to raise wages and expand jobs. After the speech Barletta said, “President Trump is fighting for the American worker and business. He is calling on those in Congress to join him in providing all Americans with prosperity and opportunity.”
President Trump’s speech highlighted his administration’s accomplishments so far. The President said, “Unemployment is at a 16-year low. Wages are rising. The stock market is soaring to record levels—boosting pensions and retirement accounts for hardworking Americans. GDP growth reached more than 3 percent last quarter—way ahead of schedule.”
Barletta thinks the rally in the economy, after over a decade of stagnation, could expand to even more Americans should Congress get behind President Trump and pass the proposed tax cuts and reform, saying, “This will help hard-working Pennsylvanians as they struggle to find money for car payments or their children’s education. All Americans will see opportunity and prosperity thrive in this country once again. Leaving a better future for my grandchildren is something I am passionate about—it’s why I fight each and every day for the hard-working people of Pennsylvania.”
President Trump pitched the need for his tax plan, citing that the tax code is “outdated, complex and extremely burdensome.” He said, “That is why we have proposed tax cuts that are pro-growth, pro-jobs, pro-worker, pro-family, and pro-American.”
“First,” said President Trump, “Under our framework, the first $12,000 for a single individual and the first $24,000 for a married couple will be tax free. We are nearly doubling the amount of income that is taxed at the zero bracket. In other words, Senator Schumer and the Democrats are lying. Schumer pretends there isn’t a zero rate, but there is and it’s expanding under my plan. Under our framework, the current 10 percent tax bracket will go down to zero. The 15 percent rate will go down to 12 percent. All of the rates comes down, so there would be 0, 12, 25, 35.”
“The second plank of our tax framework is to make the tax code more simple, fair and easy to understand. American families and businesses waste billions of hours, and tens of billions of dollars, on excruciating paperwork and compliance every single year. Under our framework, the vast majority of families will be able to file their taxes on a single sheet of paper.”
“Third: We will cut taxes on American businesses to restore our competitive edge and create more jobs and higher wages for American workers….In fact, when it comes to the business tax, we are now dead last among developed nations—our rate is the least competitive. Our business tax rate is 60 percent higher than our average economic competitor.
“Finally, our framework encourages American companies to bring back trillions of dollars in wealth parked overseas. Our current tax code actually punishes companies for keeping their headquarters in America—and discourages them from bringing back the profits they earn overseas. In 2016, American multinational companies kept 71 percent of their foreign-earned profits overseas. Our framework will reverse this very troubling trend.”
President Trump’s Council of Economic Advisors estimates that the plan would likely give the typical American household a $4,000 pay raise.
President Trump also touted the power of the American worker: “It is time to end this unfair disadvantage and to give American companies and workers the level playing field they deserve. Because when American workers—and American Truckers—have a level playing field, no one on earth can beat us. You finally have a government that is going to defend you and stand up for our country. America is being respected again.”
Barletta said he was proud to join President Trump for his speech on tax reform, saying after the event, “We are all in this together as Americans. Let us compete. Let us fight. No one can get in the way of our great country.”
Link to the president's full remarks HERE.
WASHINGTON – Yesterday, Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) applauded Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Director Scott Pruitt’s decision to begin the process of formally rolling back the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan, arguing that the job-killing regulation exceeds the agency’s statutory authority.
“The Obama Administration illegally went around Congress and passed a policy that would cripple Pennsylvania industry,” said Barletta. “Instead of working with businesses and workers to revitalize America’s industrial base, they declared a war on American energy producers. These policies were a flagrantly unconstitutional abuse of executive power and would have eliminated the jobs of millions of hard-working Americans. By rolling back this regulatory overreach, President Trump again shows he has the backs of hard-working Pennsylvanians.”
On August 3, 2015, President Obama unveiled the Clean Power Plan, with the goal of reducing carbon emissions from industry and utilities through a wide array of burdensome rules and regulations. The proposal would have touched every aspect of power production and usage across the United States.
According to the Department of Energy, 320 coal-fired power plants have shut down since 2012. Between 2012 and 2020, the Energy Information Administration anticipates approximately 60 gigawatts of coal-fired capacity is expected to retire. This means fewer jobs and higher energy prices for Pennsylvanians.
Following the issuance of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to repeal the Clean Power Plan, the EPA released the following statement:
“The Clean Power Plan, issued by the Obama administration, was premised on a novel and expansive view of Agency authority that the Trump administration now proposes to determine is inconsistent with the Clean Air Act. In fact, the Clean Power Plan was put on hold in February 2016, when the U.S. Supreme Court issued an unprecedented, historic stay of the rule.”
“My constituents would have been devastated by the Clean Power Plan,” Barletta said. “They are tired of paying more for their electricity and constantly fighting the job-killing regulations of nameless, faceless Washington bureaucrats. As a member of the Congressional Coal Caucus, I want to protect Pennsylvania jobs and ensure that the electrical grid remains reliable for industry and residents.”
To view the full text of the EPA’s rule, click here.
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Lou Barletta helped push legislation that would protect American jobs and entrepreneurship through the Committee on Education and the Workforce. The Save Local Business Act, H.R. 3441, of which Barletta is an original cosponsor, would roll back the Obama era definition of a “joint employer.” The bill passed out of committee by a vote of 23 to 17.
“This decision by the Obama Administration is a textbook definition of faceless, unelected Washington bureaucrats hindering the ability of Americans to grow their small businesses, or realize their dreams of owning their own companies,” said Rep. Barletta. “I’m glad the House is taking the appropriate steps to provide clarity for hard-working Pennsylvanians and ensure that their jobs and businesses will remain into the future. I’ve signed the front of a paycheck, and I can tell you from experience that Washington micromanaging business decisions means less jobs for all Americans. I encourage House leadership to immediately bring this measure to the floor for a vote.”
In 2015, the National Labor Relations Board decided to overlook decades of settled labor policy when they redefined what it means to be a “joint employer.” Traditionally, two businesses were considered “joint employers” if they shared direct control over the terms and conditions of employment, including hiring decisions.
Under the Obama era ruling, two separate businesses could be considered joint employers for something as simple as sharing a business agreement that either indirectly or potentially affects their employees’ working environment. This vague definition has especially endangered small franchisees – making it more likely that they could lose their business to a larger company. The standard has also made it increasingly difficult to start a business, or for existing ones to grow.
Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL), chairman of the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, introduced the Save Local Business Act. The legislation reaffirms that two or more employers must have “actual, direct, and immediate” control over employees to be considered joint employers under the National Labor Relations Act and Fair Labor Standards Act.
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) voted for a bill led by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz) that restricts abortions 20 weeks or more after conception. Science has proven that unborn children of 20 weeks are capable of feeling pain; however, federal law still permits the late-term abortions of babies. Commonly referred to as “Micah’s Law,” H.R. 36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act of 2017, is named after Micah Pickering from Iowa City, Iowa. Now 5 years old, Micah was born at 22 weeks in July 2012. The House of Representatives passed “Micah’s Law” by a vote of 237 to 189, and it now heads to the Senate for a vote.
“As a cosponsor of ‘Micah’s Law,’ I believe every baby has a right to life,” said Barletta. “America should be a country that protects the most vulnerable among us, but right now that is not the case. Unfortunately we remain one of only seven countries worldwide who allow late term abortions. My faith and personal experience watching what my daughter went through as she struggled to finally become pregnant with my twin grandchildren reinforced the importance of protecting and honoring life. Medical professionals agree that an unborn baby of 20 weeks can feel pain. Protecting the unborn from needless suffering should already be on the books. I now urge the Senate to stand for the most vulnerable Americans and vote for this bill to give millions of unborn children a chance to live.”
The vote comes four years after the infamous abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell from Philadelphia, PA was found guilty of murdering three babies who were born alive during a late term abortion procedure by severing the victim’s spinal cords. Fallout from his initial arrest in 2011 uncovered that none of Pennsylvania’s 22 abortion clinics had been inspected by the state government for more than 15 years.
Similar health related issues caused the closure of embattled abortion clinic Hillcrest Women’s Medical Center in Harrisburg, PA. The Harrisburg facility neither had a registered nurse on staff, nor were they in compliance with the Child Protective Services Law. Pennsylvania’s state health department reviewed 12 patient records and found all 12 patients went without nursing care. This was the fourth time the facility was cited for major health care violations in only six years.
WASHINGTON – Today Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) voted for legislation led by Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson (PA-5) that would protect long established private property rights to underground minerals, including oil and natural gas, in the Allegheny National Forest. Roughly 478,283 acres of this 517,000 acre subsurface mineral estate in Northwestern Pennsylvania are privately owned. The bill, H.R. 2316, the Cooperative Management of Mineral Rights Act of 2017, passed the House and now heads to the Senate.
“I believe that Pennsylvania can once again be a national, if not global leader, in energy production,” said Rep. Barletta. “However, this ‘Keep it in the Ground’ mentality hurts the hard working men and women of Pennsylvania by preventing this energy revolution. Reasonable regulation does not mean the power to ban all mineral development. By protecting private property rights, Pennsylvanians will have greater opportunities to develop these resources and provide good paying jobs. I commend my friend GT for introducing this great bill.”
Since the 1923 designation of the Allegheny National Forest, private mineral owners have worked cooperatively with the U.S. Forest Service to develop subsurface mineral resources, including oil and natural gas. For nearly a century, property owners routinely provided a 60-day notification of drilling plans, and the Forest Service issued a “Notice to Proceed.” However, in 2007, the Forest Service significantly changed this policy by designating the “Notice to Proceed” as a major federal action, thereby requiring extensive and costly environmental analysis. This departure from decades of practice shut down oil and gas development in the region and caused irreparable economic damage. The industry sued, claiming that the Forest Service lacked the authority to ban development of the private mineral estate. In 2009, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania agreed, and overturned the moratorium on oil and gas development in the national forest. This decision was confirmed on appeal in 2013. H.R. 2316 reaffirms the court’s findings that the Forest Service does not have the legal authority to shut down energy production in the Allegheny National Forest, protecting against future infringement on private property rights.
Rep. Barletta has repeatedly signaled domestic energy development as a top priority for America’s prosperity and bringing high paying jobs back to Pennsylvania. Last Thursday, September 28, Barletta brought U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry to Jeddo Coal Company in Ebervale to see an active anthracite mining operation, as well as tour a reclamation site and a new pilot program to extract Rare Earth Elements from coal waste.
“Sec. Perry saw for himself the abundance of anthracite coal in Pennsylvania,” Barletta said after the meeting. “I was honored to have Sec. Perry in Pennsylvania to see what we can accomplish. Hard working Pennsylvanians are ready to power the future of America. Get out of our way and we will succeed.”
WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11), a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, today applauded President Trump’s announcement that he will be using his constitutional authority to strengthen security standards for foreign nationals traveling to the United States. President Trump’s enhancement of national security measures per Executive Order 13780 temporarily suspended travel to the United States from eight countries that have strong connections to terrorism, inadequate information sharing services, and poor screening and vetting processes. Five of the countries listed in the executive order have failed to improve their vetting processes to the administration’s baseline standard, and therefore restrictions will be maintained on foreign nationals traveling from these countries. In addition, after further review of our national security protocols, Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela have been added to the original five countries and will also face enhanced restrictions.
Barletta released the following statement:
“We are a compassionate nation, one built on legal and orderly immigration, and one which has always offered a place for people seeking better lives. However, our enemies continuously seek to use our generosity against us, and the president has a duty to protect the American people first. We know that ISIS has expressed their intent to use our refugee program to sneak their fighters and sympathizers into our country because our security measures are lacking. We cannot allow this.
“It is also important to recognize that citizens of foreign nations simply do not have the right to unfettered admission to the United States. In hearings before the House Homeland Security Committee under both the Obama and Trump administrations, numerous national security experts and professionals have stated that we simply cannot accurately screen all foreign nationals because we have no information from their home countries to verify their identities. In many cases, we have no idea who is trying to enter our country. I fully support President Trump’s actions to keep America safe, which I believe are only prudent as we work on a system that allows us to verify the identity and background of applicants.”
WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) on Friday, September 22, 2017 attended a roundtable discussion on veterans issues, where he had the privilege of introducing the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), David Shulkin.
“I was honored to introduce Secretary David Shulkin, and to welcome him to Mechanicsburg to have an important conversation with the veterans of our community,” said Barletta. “Secretary Shulkin, who is no stranger to Pennsylvania, is a distinguished physician by trade, and uniquely qualified to serve as the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.”
The roundtable was well-attended by local representatives from the veterans community, who are best-positioned to inform the discussion on how to improve the services provided to those who have served. During the conversation, veterans were able to share their vision on how to address systemic issues at the VA, including long wait times and claims backlogs.
In July, Barletta voted for, and the House passed, H.R. 3219, the Make America Secure Appropriations Act, which provides $78.3 billion for the VA – the highest level of funding ever for that agency. In addition, the bill provides $69 billion for VA medical care so that veterans can receive mental health and suicide prevention services, treatment for traumatic brain injury, opioid abuse prevention, and other medical services, such as rural health initiatives. The bill also includes $65 million for upgrading the VA electronic record system, as well as $156 million for the Board of Veterans Appeals to address claims backlogs.
Barletta also voted for legislation in June, S. 1094, the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017, which would institute necessary reforms at the VA by providing the Secretary with the authority to expeditiously remove, demote, or suspend any VA employee for performance or misconduct, while maintaining due process for employees. On average, it takes six months to a year to remove a permanent civil servant in the federal government – an unacceptable timeline given the immediate impact they have on veterans’ wellbeing. President Trump has since signed the bill into law.
“I commend Secretary Shulkin and the Trump Administration for the action they have taken to restore veterans’ trust in the government that is indebted to them,” Barletta said. “Already, Secretary Shulkin has helped usher VA accountability legislation through Congress, and has made the VA the first health care system in the country to publish waiting times at its clinics – a victory for accountability, which we owe to our heroes.”
HAZLETON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today announced the formation of the Congressional Afterschool Caucus, of which he will serve as the Republican Co-Chair. The caucus brings together a group of bipartisan lawmakers to support afterschool programs and advocate for sufficient resources to promote quality educational programming in Pennsylvania and across the country.
Barletta, a member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, has long been a champion of afterschool programs such as Schools and Homes in Education (SHINE), located in Carbon, Luzerne, and Schuylkill counties. SHINE is a successful afterschool program geared towards grades K-8 and focuses on a project-based STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) curriculum. The program links schools and homes in order to help children build a stronger academic and social foundation.
“I am proud to lead the Congressional Afterschool Caucus along with my Democratic colleague, Congresswoman Nita Lowey of New York,” said Barletta. “Afterschool programs, like SHINE, give students of all ages the opportunity to have brighter futures while also helping working families. When you give young children hope and the possibility of what their futures can be, there’s no stopping them. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress to continue advocating for programs like SHINE, and believe the caucus will be helpful in educating other members about the positive impacts of afterschool programming.”
Since coming to Congress, Barletta has fought for programs supporting afterschool education. For example, upon learning that the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) Program, which provides funding for programs like SHINE, was slated for elimination in February 2015, Barletta worked painstakingly to ensure its survival. As a result of his efforts, the 21st CCLC Program was approved on a bipartisan basis in the Every Student Succeeds Act, legislation reauthorizing our elementary and secondary education programs.
Just last week, Barletta voted for, and the House passed, an amendment that restored the funding for the 21st CCLC Program to $1.1 billion, preserving afterschool programming for over 100,000 students across the nation. The program's funding was originally slated to be cut to a funding level of $1 billion. The amendment restoring $100 million of the program’s funding passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 228 to 118.
“Afterschool programs are critical to fostering student development and achievement through activities that complement classroom learning, and they are also indispensable for parents who need a safe and educational alternative to costly child care,” said Congresswoman Lowey. “I look forward to once again serving as Co-Chair of the Congressional Afterschool Caucus and to working with our members to support afterschool programs and to highlight the good work these programs do for families in our communities.”
“We are thrilled that Representatives Lou Barletta (R-PA) and Nita Lowey (D-NY) will co-chair the House Afterschool Caucus this year,” said Jodi Grant, executive director of the Afterschool Alliance. “Both are powerful, longtime champions who understand the essential role that afterschool and summer learning programs play in keeping kids safe, inspiring them to learn and helping working families. The Caucus has never had stronger leadership, and we have never needed it more than we do right now, when we are facing unprecedented threats to federal funding for afterschool. The decisions Congress makes in the next few months will help shape the future for millions of students and families as well as their schools and communities.”
Barletta has consistently been recognized for his work on behalf of afterschool programs. Last year, Barletta was the only House member to receive the 2016 Congressional Voice for Children Award from the National Parent Teacher Association, as a result of his leadership in saving federal funding for afterschool programs. He was also named an “Afterschool Hero” by the Afterschool Alliance for his strong support and work on learning programs. And, the Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool/Youth Development Network named him an Afterschool Champion for his commitment, dedication, and outstanding work on learning programs.
115 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
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.
Retweeted by reploubarletta
Everyone please be safe tonight! https://t.co/siAeKaetYu
Retweeted by reploubarletta
Retweeted by reploubarletta
Retweeted by reploubarletta
Ivanka Trump headlines tax reform event in Bucks County, touting bigger child tax credit and simpler tax code: https://t.co/KcVeEnD0wi