Louis Barletta

Louis Barletta


Barletta Praises FEMA Ruling in Favor of Property Owners


WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today praised a ruling by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that allows eight properties, including five in Wyoming County, to proceed with buyouts resulting from damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee in 2011.  In June, Barletta and Rep. Bill Shuster, PA-9, asked FEMA to rescind its policy that unilaterally banned FEMA mitigation buyouts of homes that have suffered severe repeated flooding that also have subsurface leases for natural gas development.  In August, Barletta held a roundtable with FEMA representatives and other interested parties in Tunkhannock to discuss the issue and elicited a promise from FEMA to reexamine the policy and work to provide immediate answers to local officials in Wyoming County.  Today, FEMA notified the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency that it will not apply the policy retroactively for any approved projects that have already reached the point of obligation.                                                                                                        “This is tremendous news for property owners who only wanted to be able to exercise their rights to use their land as they intended,” Barletta said.  “I am pleased that FEMA has made this decision, however I still believe the entire policy should be reversed so that all property owners will have similar freedom moving forward.”    In the June letter to FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, Barletta and Shuster expressed concern that the policy hurts property owners who only want to relinquish surface rights while maintaining subsurface rights.  They also pointed out that the change was implemented without input from state and local governments, or other stakeholders, and asked that the policy be rescinded until that takes place.  Shuster is the Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, while Barletta chairs the Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management.  Barletta’s subcommittee has primary jurisdiction over FEMA.  FEMA frequently uses funds to purchase land for mitigation purposes, intending to create open space to prevent future structure damage from natural disasters.  Barletta and Shuster argued that the new FEMA policy is contrary to the goals of mitigation.   “In my part of Pennsylvania, I understand fully how important it is to mitigate damage from natural disasters like what Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee inflicted on us in 2011,” Barletta said.  “However, this new policy may bring to a halt the sale of properties under the mitigation program.  Federal agencies always seem to fire off new policies first without stopping to consider the practical implications of those policies.  It’s always better to get answers to questions before imposing rules blindly.” Read More

Barletta Urges Citizens to Dispose of Unwanted Prescription Drugs


WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today urged residents of Pennsylvania’s 11th District to dispose of unwanted, unused, or expired prescription drugs by participating in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, September 27, 2014.  Sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the program is designed to remove surplus medication from circulation and prevent its abuse.  In previous years, the program has resulted in nearly 500 tons of prescription drugs being collected nationally. “Drug overdoses are the leading cause of injury deaths in this country, according to the Centers for Disease Control,” Barletta said.  “We should do everything we can to remove old, unwanted drugs from medicine cabinets to protect children and prevent abuse by others.” From 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, police departments, shopping centers, and other locations are participating in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.  To find a nearby location, residents can call (800) 882-9539 or visit the DEA’s website within the Department of Justice by clicking here. Read More

Barletta Cosponsors Domestic Violence Bill to Account for Influence of Animals


WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today announced that he is cosponsoring the Pet and Women Safety Act (PAWS Act), which seeks to protect women trapped in domestic violence situations out of concern for the safety of their pets.  Barletta noted that a significant percentage of women in abusive relationships delay their decision to leave because of concern for their pets, or even return to the abuser for the same reason.  The PAWS Act (H.R. 5267) is sponsored by Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) & Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL). “We know that it’s very common for abusers to also torture pets as a component of their violence and control over their human victims,” Barletta said.  “As sad and horrifying as domestic violence situations already are, they can be made even worse if the victims are concerned for the safety of their animals as well.  This legislation will help prevent that tragic dynamic.” Studies have shown that as many as one-third of domestic violence victims report delaying their decision to leave physically violent relationships out of concern for the well-being of their pets.  Another study indicates that perhaps a quarter of victims of domestic violence will actually return to the abusive relationship because of the same fears.  Additionally, counselors contend that pets also can be an important part of the recovery process. The PAWS Act addresses these concerns by: Expanding existing federal domestic violence protections to include protections for the pets of domestic violence victims. Establishing a federal grant program specifically designed to assist victims of domestic violence to safely shelter their pets when they leave their abusers. Encouraging states to expand legal protections for the pets of domestic violence victims. “Throughout my life, I have known the unconditional love that your animals can give you,” Barletta said.  “It is cruel and inhumane for violent abusers to take that relationship and turn it into another weapon for assault in their domestic relationships.  This bill helps take that weapon away.” This legislation is supported by the National Network to End Domestic Violence, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the Humane Society of the United States, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, the National Link Coalition, the Sheltering Animals & Families Together (SAF-T) Program, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the Animal Welfare Institute, RedRover, and YWCA USA. Read More

Barletta Introduces Safer Trucks and Buses Act


WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today introduced the Safer Trucks and Buses Act (H.R. 5532), which halts the publication of flawed safety scores for carriers and directs the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to revamp its scoring system.  Barletta’s legislation addresses a problem with the Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) program, which was rushed into usage and often does not reflect changes made by carriers to improve their approaches to safety. “As a father of four daughters, I worry every day about the safety of my girls, and I strongly believe that unsafe vehicles should not be on the road,” Barletta said. “Unfortunately, companies across the country and in Pennsylvania are being unfairly misrepresented by their safety scores, causing economically devastating impacts to these bus and truck companies, many of which are small businesses.” Barletta related one example of a company which has suffered under the current inaccurate system in his 11th District of Pennsylvania.  The company had never had a roadway accident and employed drivers with an average of 35 years of continued experience.  Recently, one driver was cited twice for minor violations and was dismissed in compliance with company safety standard policies.  Despite the decisive action on the part of the carrier, the company’s CSA score suffered.  The driver now works for a different employer, which subsequently has a higher safety score and can obtain contracts for which the original company cannot compete.  The situation has cost the safety-conscious business approximately $1.5 million in lost revenue, forcing it to reduce its fleet by half and eliminate jobs. The legislation requires FMCSA to stop publishing safety scores compiled under the current system on its website and prevents these scores from being used as evidence in liability cases until the program is fixed.  In the meantime, the bill requires FMCSA to submit to Congress an improvement plan and implement that improvement plan.  Once the scores are improved, they will again be available for the public to make educated decisions about the safety of trucks and buses. “Make no mistake, I am a strong advocate for roadway safety,” Barletta said.  “This bill in no way eliminates law enforcement access to safety data, and the worst offenders can still be targeted.  Flawed safety scores do not benefit anyone.  Whether it’s a parent looking for the safest bus for her kid’s school trip, a shipper looking for the safest truck to haul its goods, or a small business trying to make it in a tough economy, we need better safety scores to provide adequate safety information.” Representatives from the carrier industry responded with praise for the Safer Trucks and Buses Act: “The current system of measurement is unreliable and needs substantial improvement,” said Dave Osiecki, Executive Vice President and Chief of National Advocacy​ for the American Trucking Associations.  “We appreciate Congressman Barletta’s support for the industry and recognition of the need to have a safety measurement system that is reliable, fair and accurate.” “The data collected in the current CSA program is often misinterpreted, difficult to challenge, and as a result, unreliable,” said Jim Runk, President of the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association.  “Improper and erroneous CSA information results in misleading and detrimental carrier profiles that are available on a public website.  We support Congressman Barletta’s bill that will ensure a safety measurement system that is fair, equitable and accurate.” “Since its launch in 2010, CSA’s methodology and data have been repeatedly shown to be detached from reality,” said David Owen, President of the National Association of Small Trucking Companies.  “As a result, carriers often see their CSA scores change under its relativistic scheme without the carriers experiencing any new accidents or inspections – predominately because of constantly changing peer groupings and competing carriers’ inspections at any given time.  Carriers have little control over their CSA scores, and remedial steps taken today may have little bearing on their CSA ratings for months.” “With significant shortcomings in the methodology used to generate CSA scores, as found by independent examinations, businesses that rely on the data to make safety decisions are just as likely to be directed to a less safe carrier than a more safe carrier,” said Todd Spencer, Executive Vice President of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.  “Misleading information about the safety of individual motor carriers not only leads to negative impacts on small business trucking companies, but it also can mean unintended public safety consequences.  OOIDA appreciates Representative Barletta’s leadership toward setting clear standards for accuracy in CSA’s methodology and data, and we urge all supporters of small business truckers and highway safety to support his legislation.” “Currently, the CSA program data is misleading to the public by including crash data where a motor carrier was not at fault, and using scores that do not reflect accurate safety assessments for individual operators,” said Elaine Farrell, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Bus Association.  “Our members have expressed concern over this issue and support efforts that require the FMCSA to make improvements.” Read More

Barletta Named “Highway Safety Hero”


Rep. Barletta receives the Highway Safety Hero award.  Pictured from left to right: Marchelle Wood (whose daughter Dana was killed at age 18 by a tractor trailer), Jackie Gillan, Jill Claybrook, and Andrew McGuire.   WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, has been named a “Highway Safety Hero” by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, a broad alliance dedicated to improving safety conditions on American roadways.  In selecting Barletta for the award, the group highlighted his work in limiting the size and weight of trucks while a two-year federal study was conducted. “In talking to these road safety advocates, I met Marchelle Wood, who has been involved in the issue ever since her 18-year-old daughter Dana was killed by a tractor trailer,” Barletta said.  “It reminds me that my own four daughters drive on our roads every day, and every day I worry about their safety.  I am an honored to be recognized by a group that shares my concerns.” In 2012, Barletta teamed up with Rep. Jerry Costello (IL-12) to draft an amendment that maintained current truck size and weight limits while conducting a three-year study of the potential local and state costs any increases might bring.  There would be significant safety and cost implications of such changes, as larger and heavier trucks are involved in a large percentage of fatal traffic accidents and cause greater damage to roads and bridges.  The study is ongoing. Additionally, Barletta is a strong advocate for investing in the Highway Safety Infrastructure Program, which provides for roadway safety infrastructure projects, such as installing guardrails or rumble strips.  This successful program aggressively combats the 34,000 roadway fatalities that occur each year in the United States, and offers a tremendous return on investment with one study indicating that with every $1 million increase in safety obligations, seven roadway fatalities were prevented.   Read More

Barletta Named “Guardian of Small Business” by NFIB


Rep. Barletta accepts the “Guardian of Small Business” award from Dan Danner, President and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business.   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.  Barletta was honored because of his voting record in support of policies that benefit small businesses and job creators in the 113th Congress. “The record shows that Rep. Barletta is a true champion of small business, supporting the votes that matter in the 113th Congress,” said Dan Danner, NFIB President and CEO.  “This award reflects our members’ appreciation for supporting the NFIB pro-growth agenda for small business.  Small business owners are very politically active – paying close attention to how their lawmakers vote on key business issues and stand by those who stand for them.” Barletta received a 100 percent rating from NFIB, which scored members of Congress based on their votes on ten bills or amendments in the 113th Congress, including legislation aimed at cutting taxes, reducing regulation, increasing energy production, and shielding small businesses from the damaging effects of Obamacare. “I am very honored to receive this award, especially because I’ve been a small business owner, and I know how much work goes into being successful and creating jobs,” Barletta said.  “The last thing a small business needs is more interference from the government.  Any time we can make things easier on the people who create most of the jobs in this country, we should do it.” Read More

Rep. Barletta Statement on House Vote on Islamic State


WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today submitted the following statement for the official record of the U.S. House of Representatives regarding his vote in favor of the McKeon Amendment to the Continuing Resolution (H.J. Res. 124).  The McKeon Amendment authorizes the training and equipping of Syrian opposition forces to combat the Islamic State.  The amendment passed the House by a vote of 273-to-156. The statement for the record is as follows: “Mr. Speaker, I support the McKeon Amendment to the Continuing Resolution. “As a nation, we have faced many threats to our national security over the 238 years of our existence.  But the danger presented by the Islamic State may be unique in its hostility, raw hatred, and dedication to eliminating the United States from existence. “Less than a week ago, we observed the anniversary of the devastating attacks of September 11, 2001.  Then, as today, we are reminded of the true nature of this enemy.  They will attack at will, without provocation, and without regard for the lives of any innocent people who stand in their way.  In fact, the more innocent the lives they take, the better – for their purposes. “I am pleased that President Obama has finally acknowledged the threat the Islamic State presents to our national security.  Not content with wreaking havoc in their own corner of the Middle East, these terrorists have conquered territory, beheaded innocent Americans, forged allegiances with al Qaeda, threatened to strike us at home, and pledged to raise their flag over the White House.  They are a muscular and growing menace that must be dispatched. “After our briefings on the situation in the region and the president’s proposed strategic outline, I will be supporting his efforts on behalf of the nation.  But I do so with some reservations. “With what we know now, this is not a perfect plan by any means, and I trust the president will listen to the counsel of his military advisers.  American military strength will be evident in powerful air strikes, but on the ground, we will be relying on a fighting force trained quickly by American personnel.  These are not seasoned fighters.  These are just regular people – doctors, pharmacists, plumbers, or laborers.  They are not soldiers, although very shortly we will be asking them to be.  “These rookie ground forces will be entering into what the president has called an anti-terrorism operation, which is, in reality, a war.  The administration and its representatives have been reluctant to use that word, but when our enemies have declared war on this country, there is no other terminology that is appropriate.  And it will be a two-front war – on one side they will be fighting in Syria, and on the other, in Iraq.  This will not be an easy fight, and I pray that they meet with more success than their military qualifications and experience suggests they might. “Another issue that I find troubling is that we do not know exactly who we will be assisting.  While we trust and depend on their courage and determination in defeating what we perceive to be our common enemy, we truly do not know what their core loyalties are.  This is a situation that will require constant monitoring. “The international coalition the president says he is assembling will be key, as other countries will be called upon to fund much of the effort, and, we hope, ground troops.  Though the president has pledged significant air strikes, I find it hard to believe that many nations will be convinced to enter into the conflict with full commitment, while our own president has made it clear that the United States has firmly defined limits on what it will and will not do.  That is another concern that I have – that the president has broadcast to the world, and the enemy, exactly what will not be in his war plan. “In the end, the president is the Commander in Chief, though I believe it is right that Congress vote on matters as important as this.  The bottom line for me, Mr. Speaker, is that today we are all Americans.  We are not Republicans or Democrats.   Throughout our history, presidents from different political parties have come to Congress asking for our blessing for moving forward with armed conflict.  With what I know now, and with the chance to continually examine this endeavor, I am prepared to give my consent. “That is why, despite my reservations and my concerns about the effectiveness of the somewhat vague strategy the president has outlined, I will be supporting the amendment to the Continuing Resolution.  We must present a united front.  It is vital that we show the world that all of us, as Americans, are together in fighting this common enemy. “Absolutely essential in gaining my support for the amendment is the requirement that the administration provide detailed and regular reports on the effectiveness and status of the ongoing training and equipping efforts.  We must know that what we are doing is having the intended effect. “Mr. Speaker, this is not a perfect plan.  And I worry that moving forward in such a way can be described as somewhat less than a full effort to defeat an evil that has pledged to exterminate us. “But sitting by and doing nothing was never an option. “While we take this vote, I am reminded that even with the most careful planning, any armed conflict is inherently perilous for the men and women in our military.  My thoughts and prayers go with them and their families as they head toward danger.   “I urge my colleagues to support the McKeon Amendment.” Read More

DHS Secretary Admits Pathway to Citizenship Checks Would Miss Terrorists


Click here or on images to watch Homeland Security Committee questioning WASHINGTON – Under questioning from Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson today admitted that background checks conducted on illegal immigrants pursuing an often-discussed “pathway to citizenship” would fail to apprehend terrorists or those with criminal records or intent.  During a hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee, Barletta pressed Johnson on Obama Administration support for amnesty for those illegally present in the United States, in light of national security concerns and past lapses. During the hearing, titled “Worldwide Threats to the Homeland,” Barletta noted that the 9/11 Commission found that as many as fifteen of the nineteen hijackers of September 11, 2001 could have been intercepted through diligent enforcement of existing immigration laws.  Barletta also noted that Mahmud Abouhalima, convicted in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, had been granted amnesty as an agricultural worker in 1986, even though he was a cab driver in New York City.  Barletta questioned whether background checks conducted as a component of any amnesty program would effectively identify public safety or national security threats.  “I’ve dealt with this as mayor in my home town,” Barletta said.  “Do we honestly believe that any would-be terrorist, or criminal, or drug dealer is going to come forward to have a criminal background check done on them?  Or are they going to continue to remain underground?  Nobody with a criminal record is going to come forward.” “The more I can learn about the undocumented population in this country, the better,” Johnson said.  “The more effectively we can use our removal resources against the type of person you just described, the better.  And so I’m interested in going after public safety, national security threats, in terms of our removal resources.  And I want to have a system that more effectively gets to that population.” “Do you believe that Mahmud Abouhalima would have come forward for a criminal background check in 1993?” Barletta asked. “Most criminals do not subject themselves to criminal background checks,” Johnson said.  “I agree with that.” Barletta once again called on Congress to adopt recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission, chief among them the enforcement of existing immigration laws. Read More

Special Update: Introducing the Unaccompanied Alien Children Transparency Act


On September 9, I formally introduced legislation to empower governors and local elected officials to control whether or not the federal government can place unaccompanied minors, who have illegally entered the country, into their communities.  H.R. 5409, the “Unaccompanied Alien Children Transparency Act,” will require the federal government to inform states and localities of relocation plans in advance, and will require the federal government to certify to the states that the minors will not pose a health or public safety risk to the community.  It will also require the federal government to provide information such as the costs associated with the housing and education of these minors.  I had previously announced my plan to introduce the measure in a press conference last week in Hazleton, where I was joined by Hazleton Area School District Superintendent Dr. Frank Antonelli and Hazleton Police Chief Frank DeAndrea. The Unaccompanied Alien Children Transparency Act is in response to the flood of illegal immigrants streaming across the United States border with Mexico, which is the predictable result of Obama administration policies that advertise that those who violate U.S. immigration law will not be returned home.  Thousands of unaccompanied minors have been transported to communities across America, including 456 in Pennsylvania as of July 31, 2014.  In Pennsylvania, those localities include Mechanicsburg, Womelsdorf, Bethlehem, Montgomery County and Philadelphia.  Various news reports indicate that some of the unaccompanied minors arriving at the border are carrying infectious diseases, or are affiliated with violent, criminal gangs.  Read More Read More

Barletta Announces Outreach Schedule for the 11th Congressional District


WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Lou Barletta, PA-11, has announced his constituent outreach schedule for the remainder of 2014. The schedule is designed to better serve constituents across Pennsylvania’s 11th District, which is comprised of nine counties, spanning from Wyoming County to Cumberland County.   Staff members at each location will be available to aid constituents with federal casework and legislative concerns. “Our district is very large, and I want to make sure my constituents do not have to travel very far to seek help.  Therefore, in addition to casework services provided in my four district offices, my district staff will provide in person constituent services in other locations around the district.  “If you can’t get an answer from a federal agency in a timely fashion, or if you feel you have been treated unfairly, our office may be able to help resolve your problem or get you the information you need,” Barletta said. While we cannot always guarantee you a favorable outcome, we will do our best to help you receive a fair and timely response.”  For more information about the schedule, or to inquire about making an appointment, please contact one of Rep. Barletta’s four district offices: Hazleton (570-751-0050); Sunbury (570-988-7801); Carlisle (717-249-0190); or Harrisburg (717-525-7002). The new outreach schedule is as follows: Albrightsville             (Fourth Tuesday of every month, 12pm-2pm)             Location:             Rep. Heffley’s Office             2681 State Route 903             Albrightsville, PA   Berwick             (Fourth Tuesday of every month 9am-11am)             Location:             Rep. Millard’s Office             904 B Orange Street             Berwick, PA   Bloomsburg             (Second Thursday of every month 9am-11am)             Location:             Rep. Millard’s Office             1000 Market Street             Bloomsburg, PA   Dallas             (First Friday of every month 10am-12pm)             Location:             Rep. Boback’s Office             1108 Twin Stacks Drive             Dallas, PA   Danville             (Second Tuesday of every month 12pm-2pm)             Location:             Montour County Courthouse             29 Mills Street             Danville, PA   Dauphin             (First Thursday of every month 2-4pm)             Location:             Middle Paxton Township Building             10 Elizabeth Avenue              Dauphin, PA   Duncannon             (Fourth Tuesday of every month 10am-12pm)             Duncannon Borough Hall             428 High Street             Duncannon, PA   Elizabethville             (First Tuesday of every month 10am-12pm)             Location:             Rep. Helm’s Office             16 East Main Street             Elizabethville, PA   Elysburg             (Second Tuesday of every month 9am-11am)             Location:             Rep. Masser’s Office             467 Industrial Park Way             Elysburg, PA   Factoryville           (Third Friday of every month 10am-12pm)           Location:           Borough Offices           161 College Avenue           Factoryville, PA   Hanover Township           (Second Thursday of every month 12pm-2pm)           Location:           Borough Building           1267 Sans Souci Parkway           Hanover Township, PA   Harvey’s Lake           (Third Friday of every month 1:30pm-3:30pm)           Location:           Municipal Building           4875 Memorial Highway, Suite 101            Harvey’s Lake, PA   Halifax           (Third Tuesday of every month 1pm-3pm)           Location:           Borough Building           203 Armstrong Street           Halifax, PA   Kingston Borough           (First Wednesday of every month 2pm-4pm)           Location:           Kingston Municipal Building           500 Wyoming Ave           Kingston PA   Lykens           (First Thursday of every month 10am-12pm)           Location:           Borough Office/Senior Center           200 Main Street           Lykens, PA   Mechanicsburg           (Fourth Friday of every month 10am-12pm)           Location:           Borough Hall           36 West Allen Street           Mechanicsburg, PA   Millersburg           (Third Tuesday of every month 10am-12pm)           Location:           Borough Building           101 West Street           Millersburg, PA   Mount Carmel           (Fourth Thursday of every month 9am-11am)           Location:           Borough Office/Police Station           300 Laurel Street           Atlas, PA   Nanticoke           (Third Wednesday of every month 1pm-3pm)           Location:           Nanticoke City Building           15 E Ridge St           Nanticoke PA 18634   Newville           (Second Tuesday of every month 12pm-2pm)           Location:           Big Spring Senior Center           91 Doubling Gap Road           Newville, PA   Shamokin           (Fourth Thursday of every month 12pm-2pm)           Location:           Borough Building/Mayor’s Office           47 East Lincoln Street           Shamokin, PA   Shickshinny           (Third Wednesday of every month 10am-12pm)           Location:           Borough Building           35 West Union Street           Shickshinny, PA   Shippensburg           (Second Tuesday of every month 9:30am-11:30am)           Location:           Shippensburg Township Building           81 Walnut Bottom Road           Shippensburg, PA   Steelton           (Third Thursday of every month 12pm-2pm)           Location:           Borough Offices           123 North Front Street           Steelton, PA   Tunkhannock           (First Friday of every month 1:30pm-3:30pm)           Location:           Wyoming County Courthouse           1 Courthouse Square           Tunkhannock, PA Read More

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Contact Information

115 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-6511
Fax 202-225-0764

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


Scott Perry


Glenn Thompson


Jim Gerlach


Patrick Meehan


Mike Fitzpatrick


Bill Shuster


Tom Marino


Keith Rothfus


Charlie Dent


Joe Pitts


Tim Murphy


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