WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today supported legislation that will lift the 40-year-old ban on exporting American crude oil to foreign countries, a policy that was put in place in reaction to the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s. Barletta voted in favor of H.R. 702, which will lower gasoline prices, support almost one million American jobs – including hundreds of jobs in the 11th District – and strengthen the U.S. position in the world by reducing the influence of Russia and oil-rich nations in the Middle East.
H.R. 702 passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 261-to-159.
Barletta issued the following statement:
“When the ban was put in place four decades ago, it made sense because of the Arab oil embargo. The energy situation has changed, however, with new discoveries like Marcellus Shale natural gas, and we are now in a position to export some of our resources. The United States is now one of the top oil-producing countries in the world, and we ought to be in global competition – this will lower our own gasoline prices by as much as 13-cents per gallon, promote domestic energy production, and spur job growth. It just makes sense to toss this outdated relic of an oil ban onto the trash heap of history.
“It’s pretty clear that Russia is throwing its weight around these days, to the detriment of American influence around the world, so removing the oil export ban would weaken one of the political weapons Vladimir Putin is currently using. President Obama has threatened to veto the bill, which makes no sense to me, since the nuclear weapons deal he struck with Iran will also allow the mullahs to export their own oil to international markets. It defies logic that we should allow Iran to sell their oil, while stopping ourselves from doing the same. I don’t understand how our president can be the chief salesman for Iranian oil, while blocking our own producers from competing. It’s time for the ban to go.”Read More
WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today issued a statement regarding President Obama’s signature of H.R. 1624, the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees Act, which protects employees of small businesses from cancellation or dramatic alteration of their health care plans under the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. The bill also authorizes $205 million for the Medicare Improvement Fund, which was cut by Obamacare.
States have traditionally determined the definition of “small employers” and most, including Pennsylvania, have defined them as having fifty or fewer employees. Currently under federal law, small employers are defined the same way, but on January 1, 2016, Obamacare would have expanded the definition to include businesses with up to 100 people, which were previously defined as large employers. Because there are different health insurance standards for large and small employers in the law, the change would have caused many health policies for small companies to fall outside the new regulations and be cancelled or rendered ineligible for renewal. In many cases it could have caused premium increases of as much as 18 percent. The legislation maintains the definition of small employers as having fifty or fewer employees.
Barletta’s statement is as follows:
“This is the 10th time President Obama has actually signed a bill that makes dramatic changes to his signature health care law, which is a clear indication that the law was flawed from the start. He said over and over that if you liked your health insurance, you could keep it, and it has taken Congress to act to make sure that’s true for as many people as possible. While he is in the White House, it’s difficult to scrap Obamacare and start over, but we can make the needed improvements where we can.”Read More
WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today backed a resolution that established a select committee to investigate potential wrongdoing and lawbreaking involved in abortion provider practices. The move comes in the wake of videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s practice of selling the organs and body parts of unborn children. Specifically the committee will look into medical procedures and business practices involving fetal tissue procurement, federal funding and support for abortion providers, and providers of late-term abortions, including partial birth abortion and procedures for the care of a child born alive as a result of an attempted abortion.
H.Res. 461 establishes the select committee within the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The resolution passed the House by a vote of 242-to-184.
Barletta’s statement is as follows:
“While we have already voted to stop the taxpayer funding of this abortion mill, we ought to be looking into their practices of selling the body parts of unborn infants for profit. Anyone who has seen the videos which exposed the flippant and callous nature of their dealings should agree that we must get to the truth. Are laws being broken while Planned Parenthood profits off the hundreds of thousands of abortions they perform each year? Are babies being born alive and then left to die so their organs can be harvested? Those are questions that need to be answered.”Read More
Rep. Barletta with the U.S. Champion Red Land Little League team of Lewisberry, PA
WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today congratulated the Red Land Little League team from Lewisberry, Pennsylvania as the players, coaches, and families visited the U.S. Capitol and met with members of Congress. Red Land won the U.S. Championship in the 2015 Little League World Series in Williamsport by beating a team from Pearland, Texas 3-to-2. Barletta is a co-sponsor of H.Res. 422, authored by Rep. Scott Perry, PA-4, which details Red Land’s success in the series, winning the American title before falling to a team from Japan in the world championship.
“I took my grandson Gabriel to Williamsport to see Red Land win the U.S. title game, and I remember thinking to myself how great it would have been to be able to trade places with them on that Sunday afternoon,” Barletta said. “Baseball is part of America, and these kids are truly the American champions. Maybe one of them will grow up to play center field for the New York Yankees, like I always wanted to do.”
The resolution chronicles Red Land’s thrilling walk-off victory against Texas, which made them the first team from Pennsylvania to win the U.S. championship in twenty-five years. It also names each player individually: Camden Walter, Braden Kolmansberger, Dylan Rodenhaber, Adam Cramer, Jaden Henline, Chayton Krauss, Kaden Peifer, Cole Wagner, Zack Sooy, Jake Cubbler, Jarrett Wisman, Bailey Wirt, and Ethan Phillips. Also recognized are the manager, Tom Peifer, and coaches J.K. Kolmansberger and Bret Wagner.
The resolution reads, in part:
Resolved, That the House of Representatives—
(1) congratulates and honors the Red Land Little League team and its loyal fans, affectionately known as the “Red Sea”, on the performance of the team at the 69th Little League World Series championship;
(2) recognizes and commends the hard work, dedication, determination, and commitment to excellence of the members, parents, families, coaches, and managers of the team; and
(3) recognizes and commends the people of Lewisberry, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding area for their outstanding loyalty, support, and countless hours of volunteerism for the Red Land Little League team throughout the season.
The passage of the resolution will reside in the Congressional Record for all time.
Click here to see the entire House resolution honoring the Red Land Little League team.
Rep. Barletta met with the Central Susquehanna Valley Board of Realtors in August.
WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today supported legislation that will protect homebuyers and sellers who experience difficulties in using new forms during the disclosure process in home transactions. The Homebuyers Assistance Act (H.R. 3192) creates a safe harbor that lasts until February 1, 2016 to hold buyers and sellers harmless from mistakes that may occur as a result of the implementation of a new rule from the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB).
The legislation is necessary because a CFPB rule designed to streamline the process required significant changes to forms used by consumers. The altered forms had to be integrated into the electronic systems used by realtors, lenders, mortgage brokers, land title agencies, and software vendors. This created unforeseen problems for people applying for loans, and created substantial challenges for lending institutions which have yet to use the process in real-life transactions. The CFPB has refused to grant a grace period for those struggling to comply with the new rules. The legislation provides buyers, sellers, and lenders a period of time to navigate the new process.
In May, Barletta signed a letter to the CFPB requesting a grace period for consumers because of the complexity of the new rules. The grace period was not granted by the CFPB. Barletta also met with Central Susquehanna Valley Board of Realtors and the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association to hear their concerns about the situation.
H.R. 3192 passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 303-to-121. Barletta issued the following statement:
“We all support regulations that protect consumers, but we know that when the process changes there can be problems in the early stages. A government agency has refused to observe a hold-harmless period, so Congress should step in and provide this safe harbor. Buying or selling a house is difficult enough without people getting bogged down because of new glitches in the transaction. People shouldn’t be penalized when they are making a good faith effort to follow the rules, but cannot through no fault of their own.”Read More
WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today issued a statement regarding excitement surrounding the reported trade agreement among the U.S., Canada, and 10 other Pacific Rim nations known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP agreement would require Congressional approval before taking effect, yet Barletta today said that Congress should not even consider the deal until the House and Senate complete their work on the Customs Bill (H.R. 644, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act) and President Obama signs the bill into law.
Barletta’s statement is as follows:
“Congress set down very specific rules in the Customs Bill that are intended to protect American industries and jobs whenever we discuss trade agreements, and we should not be voting on the Trans-Pacific Partnership until the president signs those protections into law. To consider such an important trade agreement without those guarantees in our laws would be premature and a disservice to American businesses and workers.
“We achieved real victories for American jobs in the Customs Bill that must be made permanent before we vote on the trade agreement. Specifically, we took strong action to stop countries like China from dumping cheap products, like steel, into international markets and hurting Pennsylvania manufacturing. The bill has better protections for manufacturers and will more vigorously punish countries with duties or financial penalties for breaking trade laws. For too long, these countries have avoided penalties by shipping a product through another country and switching the label. Up to now, the American referees in the trade arena haven’t been enforcing all the penalties for the fouls committed by foreign countries.
“Until those protections for American workers are in place, Congress should not even vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.”Read More
WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today issued a statement regarding the Senate passage of legislation to protect employees of small businesses from cancellation or dramatic alteration of their health care plans under the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. The bill also authorizes $205 million for the Medicare Improvement Fund, which was cut by Obamacare. The House passed the same legislation on September 28, 2015, meaning that the bill, H.R. 1624, Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees Act, now goes to President Obama’s desk.
States have traditionally determined the definition of “small employers” and most, including Pennsylvania, have defined them as having fifty or fewer employees. Currently under federal law, small employers are defined the same way, but on January 1, 2016, Obamacare will expand the definition to include businesses with up to 100 people, which were previously defined as large employers. Because there are different health insurance standards for large and small employers in the law, the change will cause many health policies for small companies to fall outside the new regulations and be cancelled or rendered ineligible for renewal. In many cases it could cause premium increases of as much as 18 percent. The legislation maintains the definition of small employers as having fifty or fewer employees.
Barletta’s statement is as follows:
“The president promised over and over again that if you liked your health insurance, you could keep it. This bill makes sure that is the case for millions of Americans, and this is a chance for the president to stand by his words and sign the bill. As time passes, we continue to see more and more problems with Obamacare surfacing. If we don’t make this change before January, millions of Americans will see disruption of their health care coverage, or at the very least, significant increases in health care premiums.”Read More
Rep. Barletta has lunch with 4th graders at Steelton-Highspire Elementary School
while promoting his bill to modernize school cafeterias.
STEELTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today visited with students and faculty at Steelton-Highspire Elementary and High Schools to promote his legislation to help schools modernize their cafeterias and kitchen equipment. In July, Barletta introduced the School Food Modernization Act (H.R. 3316), which will help local schools replace outdated kitchen equipment and improve infrastructure in an effort to provide healthy and nutritious meals to students. A national survey indicates that 88 percent of school districts need at least one piece of new kitchen equipment, and 55 percent require infrastructure changes. The legislation is bipartisan, with Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA) serving as lead co-sponsor, and Rep. Glenn “G.T.” Thompson (R-PA), Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME), and Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH) also co-sponsoring.
“We need a permanent solution to ensure that our schools have the tools they need to serve our kids healthier meals,” Rep. Barletta said. “Too many of our nation’s schools have deep fryers when they really need walk-in refrigerators and freezers to keep fresh fruits and vegetables longer. They have microwaves meant to reheat pre-packaged foods when they really need something as simple as a knife and cutting board. By giving schools better access to modern kitchen equipment and infrastructure, while also strengthening workforce training, we do just that. It will result in improved focus in the classroom, and ultimately, a lifetime of healthier eating habits.”
“The research is clear: nutrition plays a critical role in a child’s development,” Rep. DeSaulnier said. “We committed to giving students the nourishment they need to learn and grow with new federal nutrition standards, but it is time we give our schools and their staff the tools they need to implement them. I am pleased to join this bipartisan effort to help make our food healthier and our students prosper.”
“The School Food Modernization act will improve the quality and accessibility of equipment used for preparing high quality meals in our schools,” Rep. Thompson said. “Food service professionals work tirelessly to comply with the barrage of new school nutrition standards and we must ensure they have the necessary tools to provide healthy meals to students.”
“Everyone I've met who works at a school lunch program wants to provide, the best, freshest, healthiest meal possible for the students they serve,” Rep. Pingree said. “But they don't always have the equipment and facilities they need to do that. This bill will help give them the tools they need to cook fresh meals from scratch. School kitchens need more cutting boards and refrigerators fewer microwaves and can openers.”
WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today backed legislation that prevents the president from lifting economic sanctions against Iran until that belligerent nation has paid the $43.5 billion in judgments it owes to victims of terrorist attacks with which it is associated. At least three Pennsylvanians, including 25-year-old Benjamin Blutstein of Susquehanna Township, have been killed in attacks traced back to Iranian support. Iran is a well-known financial supporter of the notorious terrorist groups Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, among others. Barletta is a co-sponsor of H.R. 3457, the Justice for Victims of Iranian Terrorism Act, authored by Rep. Pat Meehan (PA-7). It passed the House by a vote of 251-to-173.
“Iran remains the greatest state sponsor of terrorism in the world, and the mullahs who orchestrate the attacks should not see one cent of economic relief until they have compensated their victims and their families,” Barletta said. “The president may think it’s good policy to reward Iran with over $100 billion in sanction relief, but I do not.”
Under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the nuclear weapons treaty signed by the Obama Administration and other nations, Iran will receive more than a $100 billion windfall to prop up their sagging economy and continue efforts to support terrorist activities around the globe. At best the deal merely postpones Iran’s quest for nuclear capability. At worst, it paves the way, and places the mullahs in an economically advantageous position to achieve unfettered nuclear capability in as little as ten years from now. Barletta opposed the Iranian nuclear arms deal, but the Senate was unable to derail it.
“I can’t support secret side deals between Iran and the United Nations,” Barletta said. “And I can’t support a huge signing bonus for Iran while their terror debt remains unpaid.”
Among the victims of Iranian terrorism who have been awarded judgments in U.S. courts are victims of the attacks of September 11, 2001, the Khobar Towers bombing, the 1983 attach on the Beirut Marine barracks, and numerous bus bombings, suicide attacks, assassinations, and hostage takings. All the attacks were linked in court to Iranian support or financing.
At least three Pennsylvanians have been involved in terrorist judgments against Iran. In July 2002, Benjamin Blutstein of Susquehanna Township, PA was a 25-year-old student at Hebrew University when he was killed in a bombing. He was part of a $655.5 million judgement. Joseph Cicippio of Norristown, PA was part of a $91 million judgment after he was abducted on American University of Beirut’s campus in 1986 and held hostage for five years. Gail Belkin of Monroeville, PA was killed by a 1996 suicide bombing in Jerusalem while shopping for a wedding dress with her mother and daughter. She was awarded an $18.5 million judgment.Read More
WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today voted in favor of the Conference Report to H.R. 1735, the Fiscal Year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The bill authorizes the defense-related spending, but does not actually appropriate the funds. Appropriations are done separately. The legislation passed the House by a vote of 270-to-155.
Barletta’s statement is as follows:
“The most basic responsibility of our federal government is to protect our citizens, which is the aim of this defense authorization bill. While no legislation is perfect, there are a number of key aspects to this measure which I strongly support.
“The bill forbids the transfer of any detainees from our facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to domestic locations, meaning that the worst terrorists will remain safely ensconced in a facility specifically intended for their imprisonment. It requires the president to report to Congress the risks associated with his troop drawdown from Afghanistan, and requires the secretary of defense to seek Congressional approval for any further spending on the embarrassingly inept ‘train and equip’ program intended to combat ISIS. The bill also empowers base commanders to permit military personnel to carry personal firearms in the wake of the recruitment center shooting in Chattanooga. And finally, it makes clear that there will not be another round of closings under the Base Realignment and Closing Act.
“I am pleased to support the defense authorization.”Read More
115 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Representative Louis J. Barletta proudly represents his hometown of Hazleton and the people of Pennsylvania’s 11th Congressional District. He began his second term on January 3, 2013.
Representative Barletta was first sworn in on January 5, 2011. He immediately started serving on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which plays a critical role in the economic development of and job growth in Northeastern and South Central Pennsylvania, and the Education and Workforce Committee, which focuses on how our nation can improve its educational system so we have competitive, qualified workers in the future.
He remains on these committees during his second term in office. Additionally, Rep. Barletta was appointed Chairman of the Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Subcommittee on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
Also for his second term, Rep. Barletta was assigned to the Committee on Homeland Security, which was established in 2002 to provide congressional oversight for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and better protect the American people against a possible terrorist attack. The committee has jurisdiction over Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS), and the U.S. Coast Guard; border security programs including efforts to achieve operational control of the border; and border smuggling and trafficking of drugs, humans, currency, weapons and other illicit materials. The committee also has jurisdiction over the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), counterterrorism efforts, cybersecurity, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and airport security, and more.
Illegal immigration is a very important subject for Representative Barletta, who first tackled the problem when he was mayor of Hazleton, Pennsylvania. Lou Barletta was the first mayor in the country to introduce and sign into law local ordinances cracking down against businesses that knowingly hire illegal aliens. He has since become a national figure in the fight against illegal immigration.
During his first term in Congress, Representative Barletta formed the 112th Class Immigration Reform Caucus, which brings together members of the historic 2011-12 “freshmen” class. Representative Barletta chairs this caucus as it examines solutions to the country’s illegal immigration problems.
Also during his first term, Representative Barletta used his position on the Small Business Committee to fight to reduce the interest rate charged on certain Small Business Administration disaster recovery loans after massive flooding devastated the 11th District in September 2011.
Born and raised in Hazleton, Representative Barletta majored in elementary education as a student at Bloomsburg State College (now Bloomsburg University). He left school to try out for a Major League Baseball team, but was released when the team’s management discovered he couldn’t hit a curve ball.
After he returned to Northeastern Pennsylvania, he and his wife Mary Grace started a business together. For $29.95, the Barlettas formed a line-painting business. Through hard work and perseverance, they grew that business into the largest of its kind in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania within five years. They eventually grew it to be the sixth-largest business of its kind in the entire nation.
As a small business owner, Representative Barletta saw how government regulation and taxes could affect the bottom line. Even though he had very little interest in politics, he decided to run for a slot on Hazleton City Council. He was first elected to council in 1998, then was elected mayor in 2000.
Despite inheriting a massive budget shortfall, he was able to turn around the City of Hazleton with tough, fiscally responsible decisions. This turnaround earned statewide praise and recognition.
In addition, his leadership on the issue of illegal immigration in Hazleton garnered national attention. By ever-increasing margins of victory, Representative Barletta was elected mayor three times.
In September 2004, Representative Barletta was appointed by the White House to serve on the United Nation Advisory Committee of Local Authorities as the representative of the United States of America.
In November 2010, Representative Barletta was elected to Congress on his third attempt. He was re-elected in November 2012.
Lou and Mary Grace are the parents of four daughters: Kelly, April, Lindsey, and Grace. They also have one grandson, Gabriel Louis; and one granddaughter, Madeleine Grace.
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Lifting ban on U.S. oil exports would lessen Russia's influence in world markets. Weaken political tool for Putin. http://t.co/NlW5azXVSS
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Planned Parenthood videos show we need to know the truth. Voted today to form a select committee to investigate. http://t.co/L7LLYelv40
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Today I voted to overturn the 40-year-old ban on exporting our own crude oil, and I was happy to see it passed the House on a bipartisan vote.
For the 10th time, President Obama has actually signed a bill that makes dramatic changes to his signature health care law, which is a clear
I truly hope that the Senate does take action to crack down on cities that are sanctuaries for illegal immigrants, such as San Francisco, where
Today I supported legislation that will protect homebuyers and sellers who experience difficulties in using new forms during the disclosure process
While we have already voted to stop the taxpayer funding of this abortion mill, we ought to be looking into their practices of selling the body