Louis Barletta

Louis Barletta

PENNSYLVANIA's 11th DISTRICT

Barletta Named Small Business Champion

2014/08/20

- Pennsylvania SBDC Honors Congressman for Pro-Business Stance - TUNKHANNOCK – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today was named a “Small Business Champion” by the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), an agency under the U.S. Small Business Administration dedicated to helping small employers and entrepreneurs thrive.  Barletta was presented with the award by Pennsylvania SBDC State Director Christian Conroy while visiting Taylor Rental/BX3, a local equipment rental company that specializes in landscaping, environmental and Marcellus Shale-related products. “Today we are proud to recognize Congressman Barletta as a Small Business Champion,” Conroy said.  “During a period when new jobs are in demand, we are very grateful for the leadership of Congressman Barletta in advocating for proven and fiscally responsible programs like the SBDC that everyday work to help small companies thrive.  Congressman Barletta’s support is critical to ensuring that the SBDC will continue to be available to assist entrepreneurs and small businesses in the 11th district and throughout the nation.” “I first ran for public office because I was a small business owner, and I saw a need for a common sense approach to government that helps employers rather than create obstacles to success,” Barletta said.  “The best thing that government can do is to cut red tape and reduce regulations, which are the main impediments to job creation and small businesses.  Our small businesses create most of the jobs in our economy and we ought to be doing everything we can to create an environment where they can prosper and grow.” Taylor Rental/BX3, with locations in Tunkhannock and South Montrose, sells and rents items and supplies ranging from tents and banquet tables to heavy equipment for use in landscaping, erosion control, and natural gas development via Marcellus Shale.   -30- Read More

Barletta Bulletin 8.10.14

2014/08/11

House Acts to Stop Relocation of Unaccompanied Minors and Redirects Foreign Aid While the Senate Goes Home On August 1, I played a key role in the passage of two pieces of legislation intended to address the ongoing border crisis and block the continued use of President Obama’s policy against deporting certain illegal immigrants already present in the United States.  Combined, the two bills seek to combat the existing problems caused by the arrival of tens of thousands of illegal immigrants, primarily from the Central American nations of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, and prevent conditions from growing worse.  I was among a small group of lawmakers who met the night before the vote to go over the legislation and strengthen its provisions. From the first day I came to Congress, I have been asking that we do something about illegal immigration.  For a long time I got nowhere, but with the border crisis unfolding right before the eyes of the nation, more and more people now understand the scope of the problem.  We have successfully moved the conversation away from providing amnesty for illegal immigrants, and towards why we must protect our borders, and strengthen and enforce our laws.  Let’s remember that this current crisis is the president’s own creation and we are trying to fix it.  To be clear, this does not solve every problem we have with illegal immigration and border security, but these bills specifically address the border crisis, and are very important policy changes. Read More Read More

Barletta Calls Border, DACA Bills “Very Important Policy Changes”

2014/08/02

- House Acts, Senate Goes Home: Stops Relocation of Unaccompanied Minors, Redirects Foreign Aid - WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today played a key role in the passage of two pieces of legislation intended to address the ongoing border crisis and block the continued use of President Obama’s policy against deporting certain illegal immigrants already present in the United States.  Combined, the two bills seek to combat the existing problems caused by the arrival of tens of thousands of illegal immigrants, primarily from the Central American nations of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, and prevent conditions from growing worse.  Barletta was among a small group of lawmakers who met Thursday night in the U.S. Capitol to go over the legislation and strengthen its provisions.  “From the first day I came to Congress, I have been asking that we do something about illegal immigration,” Barletta said.  “For a long time I got nowhere, but with the border crisis unfolding right before the eyes of the nation, more and more people now understand the scope of the problem.  We have successfully moved the conversation away from providing amnesty for illegal immigrants, and towards why we must protect our borders, and strengthen and enforce our laws.  Let’s remember that this current crisis is the president’s own creation and we are trying to fix it.  To be clear, this does not solve every problem we have with illegal immigration and border security, but these bills specifically address the border crisis, and are very important policy changes.” A supplemental appropriations bill addressing the border crisis (H.R. 5230) funds a multi-faceted response to the continuing influx of unaccompanied minors.  The second bill (H.R. 5272) stops the expansion of President Obama’s policy of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), under which the administration has refused to deport illegal immigrants up to the age of 30, if they claim they have been present in the country since the age of 16, among other factors.  Obama’s DACA policy is a key reason for the recent influx of illegal immigrants, who believe that if they arrive safely in the United States, they will be allowed to stay. The legislation funds the efforts, in part, by redirecting foreign aid for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras to be used instead in repatriation efforts.  It also deploys the National Guard for border protection and reimburses states for their use of the Guard on the southern border.  The legislation will also prevent people detained at the border from being relocated around the United States by holding them pending deportation proceedings at the border.  The House passed its legislation while members of the Senate had already left town without approving any measures to deal with the situation.  “We are making some very important improvements in how we approach this current crisis and prevent similar situations in the future,” Barletta said.  “We are paying for states to send the National Guard to the border to help.  We are changing the law so that all illegal immigrants are treated the same no matter where they are from.  We are taking foreign aid we were giving to countries that contributed to this problem, and using it to repatriate their citizens instead.   And we are halting President Obama’s DACA program that actively encouraged the illegal immigrants in the first place.  Importantly, we are also stopping the practice of sending unaccompanied minors to relocation centers around the country by keeping them at the border pending their deportation proceedings.” H.R. 5230 passed the House of Representatives 223-to-189, while H.R. 5272 passed 216-to-192 (one voting present). Border Supplemental The supplemental appropriations bill provides wide-ranging changes to United States policies and laws to deal with the persisting flood of illegal immigrants at the southern border.  The legislation: Provides funding for the deployment of National Guard troops at the border to better defend against illegal crossings.  Funds the department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which will run out of money in mid-August, and the Border Patrol, which will exhaust its funding by mid-September.  Allows the Border Patrol to patrol federal lands.    Changes the 2008 human trafficking law to treat unaccompanied minors the same as if they were from Mexico for the purpose of removal. Provides that unaccompanied minors who claim a credible fear of persecution or who are victims of human trafficking must appear before an immigration judge within 14 days, and are detained until their appearance. Appropriates funding for additional immigration judges to reduce years-long wait times for hearings. Funds part of the legislation by redirecting foreign aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras for use in repatriation. Creates a “last-in, first-out” policy for prioritized removal of unaccompanied minors. Prohibits the housing of illegal immigrants on military bases if it causes the displacement of active duty armed forces personnel or interferes with military operations. “This is a much more substantive response than the one requested by President Obama,” Barletta said.  “His idea was to simply throw money at the problem without seriously changing our policies.  Given his lack of interest in enforcing existing immigration laws, I was not willing to write the president a blank check.” DACA The second bill prevents the expansion of DACA by prohibiting the federal government from issuing further guidance, memoranda, or regulations related to deferred deportations for people who are illegally present in the United States.  It also prevents the future granting of deferred action or the issuance of work permits for illegal immigrants unless otherwise expressly provided by law.     “There is no question that President Obama’s DACA policy has served as the ‘Welcome Mat’ put out to people from every other country in the world,” Barletta said.  “DACA told everyone that if you come to America illegally, you can stay.  Today we are saying, ‘not anymore.’  This stops DACA in its tracks.” Senate Inaction The passage of the two pieces of legislation is even more important in the wake of the Senate’s inaction Thursday evening before its members left Washington.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid failed to find the 60 votes necessary to proceed with President Obama’s border proposal, which nevertheless would have done nothing to address the problem or prevent it from growing.  The measure failed on a 50-to-44 vote. “The House has recognized that there is a serious problem with our immigration policy, and now is the time for the Senate to step up to the plate as well,” Barletta said.  “The Senate didn’t even pass President Obama’s half-hearted attempt at just throwing money at the problem without changing any of our national policies, and then they promptly left town.  The House continued to do its job.”   Read More

Barletta Statement on Senate Approval of VA Reform

2014/08/01

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today issued a statement regarding the final passage of legislation that overhauls the Veterans Administration and provide veterans with more responsive and accessible health care.  The Veterans Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act (H.R. 3230) is the product of a House-Senate conference committee and passed the House by a massive bipartisan majority of 420-to-5 on July 30th.  The Senate passed it last night by a vote of 91-to-3. The legislation follows revelations of long wait times at VA medical facilities, falsified records, and the deaths of veterans as a result.  Now headed to the president for his signature, the legislation: Allows veterans to seek medical attention outside the VA system if an appointment is not available within 30 days, or if a veteran resides more than 40 miles from the nearest VA medical facility. Provides funding to hire additional doctors, nurses, and medical staff Extends several existing pilot programs, including those increasing access to care for veterans with traumatic brain injuries and victims of sexual assault.  Requires an independent assessment of VA medical care and establishes a Congressional Commission on Care to evaluate access in the VA health system. Permits the VA Secretary to fire or demote employees in an expedited fashion based on performance or misconduct, while also including due processes rights. Requires public colleges to provide in-state tuition to veterans and eligible dependents in order for the school to remain eligible to receive G.I. Bill education payments. Expands the Sgt. Fry Scholarship Program to provide full Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits to spouses of service members who died in the line of duty after 9/11. Barletta’s statement is as follows. “This is a big step in the right direction towards ensuring that our veterans have the care they need and deserve.  Our veterans have sacrificed so much for the country they love, and it is the least we can do to keep the promise we made to provide them with quality health care.  Veterans know when they enter the armed services that they could be risking their lives in defense of their country, but they do not expect to become casualties once they return home. “The problems discovered in the VA system needed to be addressed, and we are addressing them now.  From the beginning, this was not a Republican or Democrat issue.  This was an American issue.”   Read More

Barletta Statement on Senate Passage of Highway Funding Bill

2014/08/01

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today issued a statement regarding the Senate passage Thursday night of the House of Representative’s version of an $11 billion highway funding bill.   The House had passed the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014, which addresses the September 30th expiration of surface transportation authorization and the Highway Trust Fund shortfall predicted to occur.  In fact, the Department of Transportation had indicated that it may have begun reducing disbursements to states as soon as today if an agreement had not been reached.  With Senate passage, the measure now moves to the president for his signature. Barletta, who is a subcommittee chairman in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, issued the following statement: “I am pleased to see that the Senate managed to put aside politics and pass this bill to sustain the Highway Trust Fund until we can work out a deal for the long term.  There are more than 5,000 bridges in Pennsylvania that are structurally deficient, and countless roadways that are in desperate need of repair.    If Congress failed to act, the money to fund surface transportation projects would soon run dry.  That could have resulted in the stoppage of more than 7,000 projects and the loss of countless jobs across the country, including Pennsylvania. “I have always supported a highway bill of at least five years, but in the absence of one, I supported this bill to give us time to work out a longer term funding solution – one that will meet our transportation needs, while also providing contractors and builders the guidance they need to invest in equipment and employees.” Read More

Barletta Statement on Returning Highway Bill to Senate

2014/07/31

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today issued a statement regarding the House of Representative’s second attempt at giving the Senate the opportunity to approve a bill to fund highway construction.  The House again passed its own bill, removing a drafting error in the Senate-passed bill that inadvertently reduced the amount of highway funding by $2.4 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). On July 15th, the House passed the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014, which addressed the September 30th expiration of surface transportation authorization and the Highway Trust Fund shortfall predicted to occur in early August.  In fact, the Department of Transportation has indicated that it may begin reducing disbursements to states as soon as this Friday if an agreement is not reached.  With a large bipartisan majority, the House passed the measure the first time by a vote of 367-to-55.  Earlier this week, the Senate adopted changes to the bill, most notably shortening the length of the funding period from May of next year to December of this year, and modifying the funding mechanisms or offsets.  However, CBO recognized that the bill contained the drafting error, which would cause the funding to run out in October, and not December as the Senate intended.  The Senate error rendered the bill unworkable, reduced actual funding to less than $6 billion, and eliminated it as a viable option.  The House has now returned the original version, with funding of almost $11 billion, to the Senate once again, by a vote of 272-to-150. Barletta, who is a subcommittee chairman in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, issued the following statement: “We have more than 5,000 bridges in Pennsylvania that are structurally deficient, and countless roadways that are in desperate need of repair.  If Congress fails to act, the money to fund surface transportation projects will soon run dry.  That could result in the stoppage of more than 7,000 projects and the loss of countless jobs across the country, including Pennsylvania. “As we used to say on the playground, we’re giving the Senate a chance for a do-over.  Their bill had a glaring error that would cause the money to run out early, and plays politics with road funding by forcing us to deal with it again in December, all because they’re unsure of what the makeup of the Senate will be come January.  This is too important an issue to be fooling around with a politically imposed expiration date that could cut off the end of the construction season for builders and contractors. “I have always supported a highway bill of at least five years, but in the absence of one, I support the House bill to give us time to work out a longer term funding solution – one that will meet our transportation needs, while also providing contractors and builders the guidance they need to invest in equipment and employees.” Read More

Barletta Backs VA Reform to Improve Medical Care for Veterans

2014/07/30

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today voted for House passage of a bill that will overhaul the Veterans Administration and provide veterans with more responsive and accessible health care.  The Veterans Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act (H.R. 3230) is the product of a House-Senate conference committee and passed the House by a massive bipartisan majority of 420-to-5.  The Senate is expected to vote on the measure later this week. “This is a big step in the right direction towards ensuring that our veterans have the care they need and deserve,” Barletta said.  “Our veterans have sacrificed so much for the country they love, and it is the least we can do to keep the promise we made to provide them with quality health care.” The legislation allows veterans to seek medical attention outside the VA system if an appointment is not available within 30 days, or if a veteran resides more than 40 miles from the nearest VA medical facility.  The bill extends several existing pilot programs, including those increasing access to care for veterans with traumatic brain injuries and victims of sexual assault.  It also provides funding to hire additional doctors, nurses, and medical staff, and improves education benefits for veterans and dependents. The legislation also: Requires an independent assessment of VA medical care and establishes a Congressional Commission on Care to evaluate access in the VA health system. Permits the VA Secretary to fire or demote employees in an expedited fashion based on performance or misconduct, while also including due processes rights. Requires public colleges to provide in-state tuition to veterans and eligible dependents in order for the school to remain eligible to receive G.I. Bill education payments. Expands the Sgt. Fry Scholarship Program to provide full Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits to spouses of service members who died in the line of duty after 9/11. “The problems discovered in the VA system must be addressed, and they must be addressed right now,” Barletta said.  “This is not a Republican or Democrat issue.  This is an American issue.” Read More

Like Benghazi, Obama's trying to change the subject on the Border Kids - it won't work

2014/07/30

Since the recent influx of illegal immigrants began at the southern border, we have heard the Obama administration and its allies blame the situation on people fleeing escalating violence in their home countries in Central America.  Though the evidence gathered at the border refutes this claim, the story persists in the media and is reminiscent of similar attempts at obfuscation from the administration.  Like the tall tale of an Internet video's involvement in the Benghazi attack, the transparent rearranging of facts leading up to a crisis is designed to blur the root causes and camouflage administration strategies and failures.  It is now accepted as fact that the assault on the American embassy in Benghazi was a planned attack by terrorists, and not the spontaneous reaction to an obscure Internet video as the administration initially asserted.  Obama administration officials dutifully repeated the weak claim about the video, and even went so far as to solidify the cover story by arresting and incarcerating the film's maker for parole violations related to its production.  In the end, the narrative unraveled and was ultimately proven false by the arrest of the terrorist who had masterminded the attack.  It is clear that President Barack Obama was trying to distract Americans from his foreign policy failures in that troubled part of the world. Like the video that absolutely did not cause an assault on an American embassy, there is always yet another false argument at the ready. Today we are being fed a line by the Obama administration that tens of thousands of minors are streaming – illegally – into this country from Central America because they fear the rising violence in their home nations of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.  We are also led to believe that the administration was caught by surprise by the development and has had to scramble to find a solution to the problem.  Once again, the yarn being spun comes apart with a few tugs at the strands.  In my recent trip to the United States border with Mexico, I spoke to Border Patrol agents who conduct interviews with the individuals entering this country.  Their experience was consistent: the huge majority of the border crossers say they came to America primarily because they believed that they would be allowed to stay if they arrived safely.  Additionally, many of those crossing had arrived in family units, with at least one parent or guardian, and others were seeking to be reunited with relatives already inside the country illegally.  Most had heard in their home countries that if they surrendered to the Border Patrol, they would be given a notice to appear in court, or permiso, which would essentially allow them to stay indefinitely and without fear of deportation.    Exactly where could thousands of illegal immigrants have gotten those ideas simultaneously?   In June 2012, President Obama used a White House Rose Garden speech to unveil his policy of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), under which illegal immigrants up to the age of 30 would not be deported if they claimed to have been present in the U.S. since before they were 16, among other factors.  Such claims are taken at face value, never investigated for truthfulness, and are almost always approved.  Not surprisingly, word has spread of DACA and the promise of effective amnesty, and the result is now in evidence at our southern border.   Not content to rely on just one smokescreen to protect itself from criticism, the administration recently has taken to blaming a 2008 law addressing human trafficking as reason for treating "refugees" differently if they come from nations not contiguous to the United States.  While the law should be changed to treat everyone the same regardless of their country of origin, the administration has ignored the language which gives them flexibility, and is not prevented from deporting those who are not apparent victims of human trafficking.  Finally, the notion that President Obama was caught unprepared for the border crisis is easily disproved.  In a recent hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee, Secretary Jeh Johnson was unable to tell me how his agency came to solicit escorts for as many as 65,000 unaccompanied minors in an advertisement placed in January.  Further, the Washington Post reported on July 19 that administration officials had been warned of the impending border disaster nearly a year ago, in August 2013.  That would seem to be sufficient advance warning to avoid what is now described as a surprise.  What, then, is the motivation behind all of the diversionary tactics?  Certainly the administration actively sought to avoid culpability for the crisis, but also reported in that same Washington Post article was the concern that a public exposition of the debacle at the border would ruin chances for "comprehensive immigration reform."  In the language of most Americans, that very simply means amnesty for illegal immigrants. The administration knew that if its policy failures were fully on display, the public would rise in opposition to more shirking of enforcing existing immigration laws.    Another administration ally, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, empathically proclaimed recently that "the border is secure," despite mountains of irrefutable evidence to the contrary.  Sen. Reid said that because he knows that no movement on amnesty could ever occur if Americans believe that our borders remain as open as they currently are.  But like the video that absolutely did not cause an assault on an American embassy, there is always yet another false argument at the ready.     U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, a Republican, represents the 11th Congressional District, which includes parts of central Pennsylvania. Read it on PennLive.com here.   Read More

Barletta Statement on Senate Games on Highway Bill

2014/07/30

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today issued a statement regarding Senate changes to the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2104, which addresses the September 30th expiration of surface transportation authorization and the Highway Trust Fund shortfall predicted to occur in early August.  In fact, the Department of Transportation has indicated that it may begin reducing disbursements to states as soon as this Friday if an agreement is not reached.  With a large bipartisan majority, the House passed the measure by a vote of 367-to-55 more than two weeks ago.  The Senate last night adopted changes to the bill, most notably shortening the length of the funding period from May of next year to this December. Barletta, who is a subcommittee chairman on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, issued the following statement: “It’s not bad enough that the Senate is sitting on more than 350 pieces of legislation that the House has already passed to help get our economy moving and bring much-needed relief to Americans, but now they’ve decided to play games with the Highway Trust Fund.  Quite obviously they’ve shortened the funding length of the bill because they’re unsure of what the makeup of the Senate will be come January.  This is pure politics, and it has no place in a matter so important to all Americans, especially Pennsylvanians. “We have more than 5,000 bridges in Pennsylvania that are structurally deficient, and countless roadways that are in desperate need of repair.    If Congress fails to act, the money to fund surface transportation projects will soon run dry.  That could result in the stoppage of more than 7,000 projects and the loss of countless jobs across the country, including Pennsylvania. “I have always supported a highway bill of at least five years, but in the absence of one, I support the House bill to give us time to work out a longer term funding solution – one that will meet our transportation needs, while also providing contractors and builders the guidance they need to invest in equipment and employees.  The Senate’s political gamesmanship puts the timely passage of highway funding in jeopardy, and will imperil our transportation infrastructure and the jobs that are associated with it.” Read More

Barletta Notes Progress toward FBI Building Consolidation

2014/07/29

  WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today noted the General Services Administration’s (GSA) announcement of a short list for sites under consideration for a consolidated location for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).  Currently, the FBI has over 3 million square feet of office space in more than 20 leased locations.  Barletta serves as Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management.   The sites on the short list are:   Greenbelt Metro Station, Prince George’s County, Maryland GSA’s Springfield/Franconia Warehouse Complex, Fairfax County, Virginia Landover Mall, Prince George’s County, Maryland Barletta issued the following statement:   “A consolidated FBI headquarters would shrink the agency’s footprint and could save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.  Today represents an important step towards that goal.   “In March 2013, I held my first subcommittee hearing on the FBI headquarters because it is one of the most significant projects the GSA is working on, especially in light of the FBI’s immediate security and operational needs.  It is also a project that has the potential to be a model for public private partnerships.    “I encourage GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini and Public Buildings Service Commissioner Norman Dong to continue to work with Congress on this project to ensure that we meet the security and operational requirements of the FBI.  No matter which site is eventually selected, I will work to ensure that the arrangement represents the best deal possible for taxpayers and the FBI itself.” Read More

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Contact Information

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Serving With

Mike Kelly

PENNSYLVANIA's 3rd DISTRICT

Scott Perry

PENNSYLVANIA's 4th DISTRICT

Glenn Thompson

PENNSYLVANIA's 5th DISTRICT

Jim Gerlach

PENNSYLVANIA's 6th DISTRICT

Patrick Meehan

PENNSYLVANIA's 7th DISTRICT

Mike Fitzpatrick

PENNSYLVANIA's 8th DISTRICT

Bill Shuster

PENNSYLVANIA's 9th DISTRICT

Tom Marino

PENNSYLVANIA's 10th DISTRICT

Keith Rothfus

PENNSYLVANIA's 12th DISTRICT

Charlie Dent

PENNSYLVANIA's 15th DISTRICT

Joe Pitts

PENNSYLVANIA's 16th DISTRICT

Tim Murphy

PENNSYLVANIA's 18th DISTRICT

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