Louis Barletta

Louis Barletta


Barletta Praises PA House for Bill Holding Sanctuary Cities Liable


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

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

The legislation targets sanctuary cities by:

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

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

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

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

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

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


WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today urged residents of Pennsylvania’s 11th District to dispose of unwanted, unused, or expired prescription drugs by participating in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, October 22, 2016.  Sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the program is designed to remove surplus medication from circulation and prevent its abuse.  In previous years, the program has resulted in nearly 500 tons of prescription drugs being collected nationally.

“Drug overdoses are the leading cause of injury deaths in this country,” Barletta said.  “We should do everything we can to remove old, unwanted drugs from medicine cabinets to protect children and prevent abuse by others.”

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

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Barletta Announces Firefighter Grant Application Period


Rep. Barletta visits Albrightsville Volunteer Fire Company during one of his Main Street Tours of Pennsylvania’s 11th Congressional District.


WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today announced that the application period is open to apply for Assistance to Firefighter Grants, a program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  Since 2001, the program has been designed to meet the needs of firefighters and emergency responders by funding equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources.  The application period is now open and runs through Friday, November 18, 2016. 

“As a former mayor of my hometown of Hazleton, I know how difficult it can be for local fire departments to make ends meet,” Barletta said.  “Our first responders are the first line of defense for our homes and businesses, and we must do everything we can to get them the tools they need.  My office stands ready to assist local fire companies in applying for these vital grants.”

For more information, interested organizations may contact Mike Shay in Rep. Barletta’s Hazleton office at (570) 751-0050 or by email at Michael.Shay@mail.house.gov

Prospective applicants may visit FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant webpage at: http://www.fema.gov/welcome-assistance-firefighters-grant-program

Barletta has been a longtime supporter of the Assistance to Firefighter Grants program, having made repeated requests to House Appropriations Committee leaders for continued support and funding.  He has promoted the support of benefits for first responders, particularly those who directly suffered the effects of September 11, 2001.  In addition, Barletta successfully led the fight to protect volunteer fire and emergency companies from the ravages of Obamacare, which could have caused many stations to close their doors because of financial burdens associated with the employer mandate provision.  Under pressure from Barletta, the Internal Revenue Service changed its rule governing the employer mandate and specifically exempted firefighters from Obamacare, though Barletta continues to pursue legislation to formalize it in federal law.  For his efforts, Barletta was named 2014 Legislator of the Year by the National Volunteer Fire Council.  When embarking on one of his Main Street Tours of the 11th District, Barletta usually begins his visit with a stop at the local fire house.  

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Rep. Barletta Presents Medals to Carlisle Veteran


Rep. Barletta (left) presents long-overdue medals to Navy veteran Steve Beeman in a ceremony at the family business, Beeman’s Baked Goods in Carlisle.


CARLISLE – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today presented long-overdue medals to United States Navy Veteran Steve Beeman in a ceremony at the Beeman family business in Carlisle.  Beeman served in the Navy from 1969 to 1973, and then in the Reserves until 1975.  He received the medals from Barletta in a ceremony at Beeman’s Baked Goods, the bakery run by Beeman’s wife and daughter.

“Veterans of our military have sacrificed enormously to protect this nation and keep us free,” Barletta said.  “We are proud of their service and we are grateful for their selfless actions.  These medals represent but a small amount of our regard for their bravery.”

Beeman received the following medals:

  • The National Defense Service Medal.
  • The Navy Expeditionary Medal.
  • The Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon. 

Rep. Barletta frequently presents medals which were lost or never awarded for a variety of reasons, including fire, lost records, or discovery of old records.  Veterans and their families wishing to secure medals for themselves or loved ones can contact the Congressman’s offices in Washington, DC (202-225-6511), Hazleton (570-751-0050), Harrisburg (717-525-7002), Carlisle (717-249-0190), or Sunbury (570-988-7801).

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Barletta Names Falvello District Director


HAZLETON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today announced that he has named long-time area attorney Conrad A. Falvello as the new District Director, who will oversee all staff and operations for the four 11th Congressional District offices.  Falvello, who will be stepping away from the family law firm he founded with his father, also served as solicitor of the City of Hazleton for seven years while Barletta was mayor.  Falvello will oversee Barletta’s district offices in Hazleton, Carlisle, Sunbury, and Harrisburg.  He will assume his new role on October 11, 2016.

“Connie has had a distinguished career to this point and has always placed an emphasis on public service, so this new position is a natural fit,” Barletta said.  “He has been a trusted advisor for many years, and now he will be a great asset to the people of the 11th District of Pennsylvania.  I look forward to working with him once again.”

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Dickinson Law School, Falvello formed the Falvello Law Firm with his father in 1977 before merging with Hourigan, Kluger & Quinn from 1982 to 1991.  Reforming the Falvello Law Firm in 1991, he practiced there until now, and will leave the firm in the hands of his daughter, Alexis.  During his career he performed many public duties, including as solicitor for Black Creek Township for 15 years, solicitor of the Butler Township Zoning Board, assistant solicitor for the Hazleton Area School District for three years, solicitor for Hazleton City Council for two years, and solicitor for the City of Hazleton for seven years.

“I have great admiration for the work Congressman Barletta has done for the people of our region and I look forward to joining his team,” Falvello said.  “Success in a career does not mean as much if you don’t give back to the community, and I am eager to take this next step in my public service.”

Falvello has a history of devoting his time and efforts to community organizations and charities.  He has been a member of the Hazleton Area Sports Hall of Fame Committee since 2006 and has served on the board of United Charities Children’s Home for seven years, spending one year as president.  He is also a founding board member of the Committee for Justice for All, an association of attorneys who advocate for civil justice.  Falvello also served for two years as a board member and executive committee member of the Hazleton Area Economic Development Organization.


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Rep. Barletta Presents Medals to Area Veterans


Rep. Barletta (center) presented medals to Navy veteran William Monk, Jr. (left) and to Leo J. Boris (right), accepting on behalf of his father, Army veteran Leo E. Boris (deceased) of Hazleton.


HAZLETON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today presented long overdue medals to two veterans of the United States military during a ceremony at his Hazleton district office.  Recipients of the medals were Navy veteran William Monk, Jr. of Drums and Army veteran Leo E. Boris (deceased) of Hazleton.  Leo J. Boris accepted medals on behalf of his father.

“Veterans of our military – and their families – have sacrificed greatly in the defense of their country and it is only right that they receive the recognition they are due,” Barletta said.  “We owe our veterans a debt we cannot ever fully repay, but awarding these overdue medals is a small gesture we can make on behalf of a grateful nation.”

Receiving medals were:

William Monk, Jr. of Drums, U.S. Navy, 1962-1968 (Served aboard the USS Ethan Allen): Navy Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and Honorable Discharge Button.

Leo E. Boris (deceased) of Hazleton, U.S. Army, 1941-1945: Bronze Star (awarded for heroic or meritorious service), Purple Heart (wounded 22 July 1944, France), Good Conduct Medal, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal & Bronze Star Attachment – Quadruple (Bronze Stars on medal represent campaigns in which he was involved.  In this case Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland Ardennes), World War II Victory Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge 1st Award, Honorable Service Lapel Button WWII, Expert Badge and Auto Rifle Bar, Carbine Bar, Machine Gun Bar, Pistol Bar, Rifle Bar, and Submachine Gun Bar.

Rep. Barletta frequently presents medals which were lost or never awarded for a variety of reasons, including fire, lost records, or discovery of old records.  Veterans and their families wishing to secure medals for themselves or loved ones can contact the Congressman’s offices in Washington, DC (202-225-6511), Hazleton (570-751-0050), Harrisburg (717-525-7002), Carlisle (717-249-0190), or Sunbury (570-988-7801).

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Barletta Announces COPS Grant for Hazleton Police Dept.


HAZLETON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today announced that the City of Hazleton Police Department has been awarded a grant of $614,747 under the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program.  It is a three-year grant for two new full-time officers, covering nearly all salary and benefits.  The COPS grant for Hazleton was awarded as part of $119.3 million announced nationally, funding a total of 918 new or rehired officers around the country.

“As a former mayor of Hazleton, I know how difficult it can be to make the budget stretch to fill the need for police officers and increased public safety,” Barletta said.  “I am proud to have advocated for the COPS program while mayor and to have supported it since I have been in Congress.  Our local police help keep our communities safe, and we must support them in any way we can.”

The COPS program awards grants to hire community policing professionals, develop and test innovative policing strategies, and provide training and technical assistance to community members, local government leaders, and all levels of law enforcement.  Since 1994, COPS has invested more than $14 billion to help advance community policing.

Typically, a COPS grant will cover 75 percent of the cost of hiring, training, and equipping police officers, with the locality picking up the remaining 25 percent.  In this case, the Hazleton Police Department was granted a waiver and will only have to provide approximately $24,000 in total over the three-year span of the grant.

“In this time of budget uncertainty, a grant like this is extremely helpful as we continue to serve the people of the Hazleton community,” said Jerry Speziale, Hazleton Chief of Police.  “We thank Congressman Barletta for all of his efforts to support law enforcement and the people of this area.”

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Barletta Votes for Relief for Small Businesses on Overtime Rule


WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) backed legislation that delays an Obama Administration rule that would more than double the salary threshold for employees eligible for overtime pay, reducing opportunities for workers and hurting nonprofits, colleges, and universities.  Barletta was an original cosponsor of H.R. 6094, the Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools, and Nonprofits Act, which requires a six-month delay in the implementation of the Department of Labor’s overtime rule.  The proposed rule raises the salary threshold for overtime-eligible employees to $47,476 and would take effect on December 1, 2016 unless delayed.  The legislation provides much-needed time for businesses, nonprofits, colleges, and universities to better prepare for the impact of the rule.  The bill passed the House of Representatives late Wednesday evening by a vote of 246-to-177 and now heads to the Senate for its consideration.

“Many employers I’ve talked to were not even aware of the change in the overtime rule and are wholly unprepared for the consequences of such a major change in policy,” Barletta said.  “As a former small business owner, I know that the way to retain good employees is to be able to pay them more.  This rule takes away the flexibility to do that.  Employers will shift workers away from salaried positions, reduce work hours, decline to hire new employees, or even eliminate some positions.  This is an ill-considered rule that the Obama Administration is determined to enforce, and the least we can do is delay its impact.”

The Fair Labor Standards Act establishes important protections for workers, among them the right to overtime pay at time-and-a-half for work performed above 40 hours per week.  The existing threshold for overtime pay is a salary of $23,660.  Moving that figure to $47,476 encompasses many more employees and places severe burdens on small businesses, nonprofits, and colleges and universities. 

“It took the Obama Administration 27 months to craft this rule, but it expects employers to implement it with only six months’ notice,” said Barletta, who is also cosponsoring bills to fully repeal the rule.  “The rule will hurt workers, eat into nonprofits charitable spending, and threaten college students with tuition increases.  We would rather eliminate the new rule altogether, but with President Obama standing in our way, a six-month delay is a good start.”


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Barletta Statement on Vote to Override Obama Veto


WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today voted to override President Obama’s veto of legislation that clarifies that victims of terrorist attacks may bring civil lawsuits against foreign states and individuals who sponsor, aid, or abet acts of terrorism on American soil.  The bill, the Justice Against Sponsors of Terror Act (S.2040), narrows the scope of foreign sovereign immunity of states in terrorism-related cases.  It also allows U.S. courts to assign liability to individuals who conspire or knowingly provide substantial assistance in terrorist acts.  The House voted to override President Obama’s veto by a vote of 348-to-77, with one member voting “present.”  The Senate already voted to override by a vote of 97-to-1.  Because two-thirds of the members of both houses of Congress voted to override, the bill now becomes law over the president’s objections.

Barletta issued the following statement:

“We just recently observed the fifteenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, so this is a fitting time to state once and for all that foreign nations and individuals who actively and knowingly engage in terrorism will be held accountable by their victims.  There is too much gray area in the law, and it should not be used to allow rogue, terror-sponsoring states to hide behind national sovereign immunity.  This legislation makes that clear. 

“Too often in recent years, it has appeared that the policy of this country is to go easy on terror-sponsoring nations in the hopes that they will improve their behavior on their own.  Clearly, the strategy of coddling rogue states is not working.  Terrorists use all sorts of tactics to evade discovery and to conceal their plans.  They shouldn’t be able to use technicalities in court to hide from their responsibilities as well.”  

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Barletta Sees SHINE-Eligible Grants into Juvenile Justice Bill


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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