Louis Barletta

Louis Barletta

PENNSYLVANIA's 11th DISTRICT

TOMORROW: Barletta to Participate in “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” Radio Event

2017/06/27

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) tomorrow will once again participate in the annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” Radio Row event, hosted by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).  Barletta, a national leader in the effort to combat illegal immigration, will join radio hosts from across the country to discuss the problem of illegal immigration and efforts underway to combat it.

“We have immigration laws in this country for two main reasons: to protect national security and preserve American jobs,” Barletta said.  “I have dealt firsthand with the consequences of the federal government’s failure to enforce our immigration laws.  When I was mayor of Hazleton, our city was overrun by illegal immigrants who brought with them gangs, drugs, identify theft, fraud, and other crimes.  I always heard that we have to have compassion for the person who comes here illegally, but no one speaks up for the victims of these crimes.  I had to sit with people who lost loved ones who were victims, and I have compassion for them.  I will always fight for the rule of law and stand up for the American people and legal immigrants it is supposed to protect.

Barletta has been leading the push against illegal immigration since his time as mayor of Hazleton more than a decade ago.  At that time, he was the first mayor in the country to draft, introduce, and sign into law an ordinance cracking down against businesses that knowingly hired illegal aliens and landlords who knowingly harbored them.  He has since become a national figure in the fight against illegal immigration, which he has continued to lead as a member of Congress.

Barletta has co-sponsored and sponsored a number of bills to secure our borders, including construction of the border wall, enforce our immigration laws, and fix our faulty visa system.  This Congress, Barletta has introduced:

  • Mobilizing Against Sanctuary Cities Act, to withhold federal funding to sanctuary cities.
  • Visa Overstay Enforcement Act, to increase penalties for overstaying visas.
  • Defense of Legal Workers Act, to clarify that illegal immigrants granted amnesty by executive action cannot be issued work permits.
  • Verify First Act, to protect health care tax credits from going to illegal immigrants and individuals who commit fraud.  This bill passed the House on June 13, 2017.

WHO: Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11)

WHAT: Hold Their Feet to the Fire Radio Row

WHEN: Tomorrow, Wednesday, June 28, 2017, from 7:50-11:00 a.m.

WHERE: Phoenix Park Hotel, 520 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

WHY: Barletta will join radio hosts from across the country to discuss the problem of illegal immigration and efforts he is leading in Congress to combat it.

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Barletta Successfully Amends FAA Bill in Committee

2017/06/27

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today successfully added two amendments to a major piece of aviation legislation in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.  Barletta’s first amendment boosts Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding to help airports deal with the backlog of needed infrastructure projects.  The second amendment requires a study of retroreflective paint on runways to determine safety and cost benefits.  The amendments occurred during a committee markup of the 21st Century AIRR Act, H.R. 2997.  At the time of this press release, the committee was still considering H.R. 2997.

Barletta’s AIP amendment restores the program to the same funding level as in Fiscal Year 2011 ($3.52 billion) and increases the amount by two percent in each subsequent year.  In Pennsylvania alone, airports have identified $700 million in critical infrastructure projects.  Nationally, airports require $20 billion each year worth of improvements.  Barletta’s amendment represents a much-needed funding increase for these projects.  The bipartisan amendment, offered with Congressmen Daniel Lipinski (D-IL) and Sam Graves (R-MO), passed the committee by a unanimous vote. 

“For years, the airports in and around my district have talked about projects that they want to move forward with but could not fund,” Barletta said.  “I am sure that every member of this committee has heard similar feedback from their local airports.  I am pleased that we will finally be able to put a dent in the infrastructure backlog.” 

Harrisburg International Airport, for example, is currently in the design phase for a project rehabilitating its only runway.  The three-phase plan is expected to be completed in 2018 at a total projected cost of approximately $24.5 million.  Due to intense competition for scarce AIP funding for airport projects nationally, Barletta’s increase will make it more likely that Harrisburg’s plans can be completed as proposed. 

Tim Edwards, Executive Director of the Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority, which is the owner and operator of Harrisburg International Airport, Capital City Airport, Franklin County Regional Airport, and Gettysburg Regional Airport, offered support for Barletta’s amendment.

“The Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority fully supports Congressman Barletta’s amendment to increase AIP funding,” Edwards said.  “The additional funds are vital for the continued investment in our nation’s airport infrastructure.  We are grateful for Congressman Barletta’s continued support of America’s aviation industry.”

The second Barletta amendment requires a study of the use of beaded retroreflective paint on airport runways.  Barletta, who founded a successful line painting business with his wife, noted that painted lines are expected to last approximately six months, while thermoplastic lines – applied onto surfaces using heat – should last two years.  The language was included as a larger block of amendments that were unanimously adopted by voice vote.

“Given the important role these markings play in guiding pilots and ensuring the safety of passengers, I think it is only right that we examine their resiliency and effectiveness,” Barletta said.

The overall aviation legislation, which is still under consideration in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, establishes an independent, not-for-profit corporation outside of the federal government to modernize America’s air traffic control system and provide air traffic services.  The bill reauthorizes the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), provides reforms to our aviation system, and upholds the FAA’s role as the nation’s aviation safety regulator. 

Under the bill, the federally-chartered air traffic control corporation will be governed by a board representing the aviation system’s users and the public interest.  The comprehensive reauthorization bill also streamlines the FAA’s aviation equipment and aircraft certification processes, provides additional improvements for consumers, addresses aviation safety issues, gives the FAA more tools for the safe integration of unmanned aircraft systems, and provides for airport infrastructure improvements across the country.

The committee is expected to finish its markup later this evening.

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Barletta Comments on SCOTUS Decision to Reinstate & Review Trump Immigration Executive Order

2017/06/26

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today released the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s decision to review two lower court rulings blocking President Donald J. Trump’s executive order temporarily suspending travel to the United States from six countries with strong connections to terrorism.  The Supreme Court will hear arguments on the executive order during its next term starting in October.  In the meantime, much of the executive order will take effect.

“The president has a duty to protect the American people, and his executive order ensures that we have the time and capability to accurately determine the background of people seeking access to this country,” Barletta said.  “From my seat on the House Homeland Security Committee, I have listened to numerous national security experts testify that we simply cannot accurately screen refugees from the countries in question because we have no information from their home countries to verify their identities.  By claiming that the president’s executive order attempted to accomplish anything other than protecting the American people, the two lower court’s rulings placed ideology in front of national security.  The Supreme Court’s decision recognizes the president’s constitutional authority to secure our borders and uphold our immigration system.”

The president’s executive order temporarily suspended immigration for 90 days from Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, and Sudan, all of which the Obama Administration identified as hotbeds of terrorism.  The order also suspended the refugee program for 120 days, explicitly exempting individuals with green cards and visas, and removed all preferences for religious minorities. 

The Supreme Court’s decision allows much of the executive order to take effect, except in cases where an individual has a “bona fide relationship with any person or entity in the United States,” including individuals with family, jobs, or schooling in the U.S. 

Barletta agreed with Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch, who argued that the entire executive order should have been reinstated. 

“While I am pleased that the Supreme Court has allowed much of the order to take effect, I agree with Justices Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch that the government’s interest in protecting our national security outweighs the tiny percentage of travelers who would experience minor inconveniences while the new policies are enacted,” Barletta said.  “We know that ISIS has expressed their intent to use our refugee program to sneak their fighters and sympathizers into our country because they know our security measures are lacking.  We should not allow them any opening to do this.”

Barletta today also signed on to a letter, with 57 of his House colleagues, requesting that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recuse herself from participation in the Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project case – one of the two cases concerning the president’s executive order – due to repeated public comments she made criticizing both candidate and President Trump.

“As an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, you are required to recuse yourself in cases in which your ‘impartiality might reasonably be questioned,’ and where you have ‘a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party,’” the letter states.  “The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit rested its decision in Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project on President Trump’s campaign statements.  The case places the personal credibility of President Trump directly at issue.  Given your repeated public criticism of both candidate and President Trump, the statute is triggered and your recusal in Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project is required by law.”

The letter to Justice Ginsburg can be read here.

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House Passes Bill to Improve Career & Technical Education

2017/06/22

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today voted for, and the House unanimously passed, bipartisan legislation to help prepare Americans to enter the workforce with the skills they need to compete for high-skilled, in-demand jobs.  The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, H.R. 2353, strengthens and reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which provides federal support to state and local career and technical education (CTE) programs.  The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

“If we want to maintain our position as a global leader and truly compete in the world economy, then our workforce must be able to set the pace,” Barletta said.  “I often hear from local employers who say they have jobs, but cannot find the workers to fill them.  This legislation will provide much-needed resources to equip students with the skills they will need to fill good-paying jobs.”

CTE programs offer students the opportunity to gain the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to compete for jobs in a broad range of fields, such as health care and technology.  However, because federal law has not been updated in more than a decade, our workforce development programs no longer reflect the realities and challenges facing students and workers.  H.R. 2353 improves how government invests in the American workforce and strengthens American competitiveness and jobs training. 

Specifically, the legislation will: 

  • Deliver states more flexibility to use federal resources in response to changing education and economic needs.
  • Ensure career and technical education prepares all students, including historically disadvantaged and vulnerable students, for success in high-skill, high-wage occupations and careers in nontraditional fields.
  • Improve alignment with in-demand jobs by supporting innovative learning opportunities, building better community partnerships, and encouraging stronger engagement with employers.
  • Enhance career and technical education through increased focus on employability skills, work-based learning opportunities, and meaningful credentialing so students are prepared to enter the workforce poised for success.
  • Streamline performance measures to ensure career and technical education programs deliver results for students and taxpayers.
  • Reduce administrative burdens and simplify the process for states to apply for federal resources.
  • Reward success and innovation by directing federal resources to replicate promising practices that best serve students and employers.
  • Provide parents, students, and stakeholders a voice in setting performance goals and evaluating the effectiveness of state and local programs.
  • Empower state and local leaders to develop plans that improve the quality of career and technical education and take into account unique ‎local and state needs.

As part of his commitment to closing the skills gap and supporting CTE programs, in May, Barletta participated in a press conference at Luzerne County Community College (LCCC) with state Sen. John Yudichak (D-Carbon/Luzerne) and representatives from higher education and workforce development advocacy groups to discuss the importance of reauthorizing the Perkins Act.  Barletta then toured LCCC and met with students learning various trade skills.

“Learning trade skills offered by community colleges like LCCC is a pathway forward for our country right now,” Barletta said.  “Reauthorizing the Perkins Act ensures programs like these can continue to help our students meet the demands of job opportunities available to them here in Pennsylvania and across the country.”

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Barletta Touts Benefits of Job Corps during Congressional Hearing

2017/06/22

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today highlighted the success of the Keystone Job Corps Center in Drums, Pennsylvania during a House Education and the Workforce Committee hearing, “Student Safety in the Job Corps Program,” about improving safety and security at Job Corps centers across the nation.  Barletta, the Republican Chairman of the Job Corps Caucus, said that the Keystone Center’s partnerships with local organizations and businesses have helped to foster a safe and secure environment while benefitting both students and the community.

“When I was mayor, I met the students from the Keystone Job Corps Center and witnessed the work they did for our community,” Barletta said.  “They helped to build the sidewalks around City Hall and designed the trash receptacles during the downtown beautification project.  I’ve also had numerous Job Corps students intern in my Hazleton district office.  Job Corps allows young adults to get involved in our community, which benefits everyone.”

Barletta noted that Job Corps students perform a number of community services, such as helping fire departments perform smoke alarm tests in neighborhoods, volunteering with the United Way and Habitat for Humanity, and preparing meals for community events.  Barletta said that management officials at the Keystone Center told him that these community partnerships have helped to increase students’ safety, security, and sense of community.

“Teaching students to live in a community, and be part of one, fosters a sense of self-value that lends itself to a sense of accountability to others,” Barletta said.  “I am proud to represent Keystone, and I believe that every Job Corps Center has the responsibility to be a good neighbor.”

Barletta questioned Jeff Barton, Academy Director at the Earle C. Clements Job Corps Academy in Kentucky, about how Job Corps students’ engagement with their local community helps to reduce violence and increase safety.  Barton said that students at the Earle C. Clements Job Corps Center participate in similar activities as the students at the Keystone Center, and highlighted the Job Corps’ “Youth to Youth” anti-bullying initiative.

“[The Youth-to-Youth initiative] encourages students to get out in the community, work with local school systems, and work with local residents to send a message that there are other ways to solve problems besides bullying, hazing, and fighting,” Barton said.  “Students across the country have expressed coping skills to deal with problems other than violence or argument.  We are going to continue with those types of initiatives moving forward.”

The Job Corps program was enacted as part of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 and most recently reauthorized in 2014 as part of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.  That bill contained provisions similar to Barletta’s America Works Act, H.R. 497, to encourage states and localities to prioritize federal spending on education and training.

Job Corps is designed to provide young people with the skills necessary to obtain and hold jobs, enter the armed forces, or enroll in continuing education.  The 124,000 Job Corps centers across the country serve more than 60,000 participants, who must be ages 16 to 24, low income, and facing barriers to employment and education.

Click here to view video of the hearing.

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Barletta Reintroduces Bill to Modernize School Cafeterias

2017/06/22

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today reintroduced his legislation to provide healthy and nutritious meals to students.  The School Food Modernization Act would help local schools replace outdated kitchen equipment and improve infrastructure.  The legislation is bipartisan, with Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA) serving as the lead co-sponsor, and Rep. Glenn “G.T.” Thompson (R-PA) is also a co-sponsor.

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.

“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.”

“We have made important strides encouraging more nutritious food for our students, but too often school kitchen equipment is outdated, making it difficult to adequately prepare healthy options,” Rep. DeSaulnier said.  “Research shows that there is a statically significant increase in test scores among students who consume healthier meals.  It is time we put our money where our mouths are, and give our schools the resources needed to serve healthier options that promote greater academic achievement.”

“As Chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition, I know that 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. “Our food service professionals work tirelessly to ensure that America’s students are receiving nutritious, quality meals during the school day and we must equip them with the tools they need to do just that.”

The bill:

  • Allows schools to participate in a loan assistance program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help them acquire new kitchen equipment and build new infrastructure.  Schools would be eligible for federal guarantees up to 80 percent of the loan.
  • Provides targeted grant assistance to give school administrators and food service directors seed money for less extensive infrastructure upgrades or purchases of high-quality, durable kitchen equipment such as commercial ovens, steamers, and stoves. 
  • Strengthens training and provides technical assistance to school food service personnel, many of whom need additional skills and expertise to prepare healthier meals. 
  • Increases Congressional oversight by requiring reports on the use of workforce training funds and the progress of the programs authorized within this bill.

Last Congress, Barletta successfully included part of his bill in the Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act, which passed the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) introduced companion legislation in the Senate.  Fifty organizations sent a letter to Representatives Barletta and DeSaulnier and Senators Collins and Heitkamp in support of their bill.

In May of 2016, Barletta was honored as the lone member of the House of Representatives to receive the 2016 Congressional Voice for Children Award from the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA), in part due to his leadership on this issue.

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Barletta Backs Bills to Improve Foster Care System

2017/06/21

Barletta recently hosted Tasha Jenkins, a former foster youth, in his Washington office for Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Day.

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) yesterday voted for, and the U.S. House of Representatives passed, a slate of bills aimed at strengthening families and reforming the foster care system.

“For too many children, the dream of a permanent home can seem so far out of reach,” Barletta said.  “These bills send the message that every child should have the chance to be a kid in the safety of a loving family.”

In May, Barletta, a member of the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth, participated in Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Day by hosting Tasha Jenkins, a foster care alumnae, in his Washington, D.C. office.  Jenkins, who recently graduated from Bloomsburg University, spent part of the day attending congressional hearings with Barletta and meeting with his staff, and shared her personal story of growing up in the foster care system.

“Tasha’s powerful personal story about growing up in the foster care system really opened my eyes to the issues that thousands of foster youth face every day,” Barletta said.  “I’m thankful to have gotten to know her and hear her about her experiences.  It’s incredibly important that we continue to support solutions to improve foster care and find supportive families for the more than 400,000 young people in the system.”

The House passed five bills addressing the foster care system:

The Improving Services for Older Youth in Foster Care Act, H.R. 2847, maximizes the availability of support for older foster youth making the transition to adulthood by updating the Chafee Foster Care program, which provides assistance to youth who have aged out of foster care, from age 21 to 23.

The Reducing Barriers for Relative Foster Parents Act, H.R. 2866, helps states identify ways to make it easier to place more children with relatives, rather than with foster parents.

The Modernizing the Interstate Placement of Children in Foster Care Act, H.R. 2742, reduces the time and cost of placing foster children across state lines with a family member, foster parent, or adoptive parent by requiring states to implement the National Electronic Interstate Compact Enterprise (NEICE) system for exchanging information.

The Partnership Grants to Strengthen Families Affected by Parental Substance Abuse Act, H.R. 2834, strengthens regional partnership grants to more effectively help communities address the impacts of substance abuse on families.

The Supporting Families in Substance Abuse Treatment Act, H.R. 2857, allows children to remain with a parent who is in a residential-based family substance abuse treatment facility to support parent-child bonding and reduce substance abuse relapses.

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SHINE Highlighted as Success at Congressional Hearing

2017/06/20

Rep. Barletta and his dog, Reilly, visiting with students from the SHINE afterschool program.

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) recently joined with national experts on workforce development to highlight the success of the SHINE, or “Schools and Homes in Education,” afterschool program during a House Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development hearing.  The hearing focused on the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which was signed into law during the 113th Congress and contained provisions similar to Barletta’s America Works Act, H.R. 497, to encourage states and localities to prioritize federal spending on education and training.  Barletta discussed the role afterschool programs, like SHINE, play in helping students to succeed in school and develop the skills necessary to land jobs.

Louis M. Dubin, Chairman of the Maryland Governor’s Workforce Development Board and the main expert witness at the hearing, applauded SHINE’s efforts to connect students with technical and career experts.  SHINE is a successful educational program in Carbon, Luzerne, and Schuylkill counties that Barletta has championed.

“Congressman Barletta, the SHINE afterschool program in your district is an example of a rural afterschool partnership that is preparing our students for the future,” Dubin said.  “Partnering with the Carbon Career and Technical Institute and the Lehigh Carbon Community College, SHINE provides an innovative educational model by teaming technical experts with academic teachers and through hands on career projects connects students to math/science with a real world application.”

Barletta echoed Dubin’s praise, stating that, given its record of proven success, SHINE could be a model for other afterschool programs across the country.  Barletta stated that one of SHINE’s many strengths is connecting students with career and technical experts so that they are exposed to job opportunities at an early age.

“We all know that we must bridge the skills gap to help more of our constituents realize good-paying jobs and help our local businesses thrive,” Barletta said.  “This is good for our communities, and it’s good for America.  But I believe we must also work to remove the stigma that’s associated with non-traditional, technical careers.  Studies show that educating students about their options at a young age is central to this goal.”

Dubin pointed out that afterschool programs, such as SHINE, help students develop “soft skills,” or the personal attributes necessary to land and maintain jobs – something that Barletta said he often hears from employers in his district. 

“I had a local employer approach me just a couple of weeks ago and said he had 100 good-paying jobs, but cannot find people to fill them,” Barletta said.  “In fact, his biggest hurdle he said was getting people to pass the drug test.  And I hear this more and more often, and it is discouraging when there are so many people unemployed.  There are so many jobs that are available, and we know what we’ve got to do to teach the skills.  But I think somewhere we’ve got to go back to teach basic skills, like showing up to work on time.”

Dubin said that Maryland spends “considerable resources” helping students to develop soft skills, often called “employability skills,” which include punctuality, dependability, maintaining a positive attitude, and communication skills, among other attributes.

“Soft skills are important,” Dubin said.  “Not everyone had the advantage of growing up with people around them that taught them the things you need to be successful.  And so I’m also a big proponent of soft skills training, and we see those big success stories all the time because that little element of soft skills gives someone the ability to go and do an interview and get a job.”

Barletta has been consistently recognized for his work on behalf of afterschool programs, such as SHINE.  Last Congress, Barletta was instrumental in saving the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program, which provides nearly 50 percent of SHINE’s funding.  As a result of his leadership in saving federal funding for afterschool programs, Barletta was the only House member to receive the 2016 Congressional Voice for Children Award from the National Parent Teacher Association. He was also named an “Afterschool Hero” by the Afterschool Alliance, and earlier this year, the Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool/Youth Development Network named Barletta an Afterschool Champion for his commitment, dedication, and outstanding work on learning programs.

Click here to watch Congressman Barletta’s exchange with Mr. Dubin during the hearing.

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BARLETTA BULLETIN 6.19.17

2017/06/19

Tragedy struck this week when a gunman opened fire at the Republican baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, wounding five people, including my colleague, Congressman Steve Scalise, two members of the Capitol Police, and both a current and former congressional aide.  This is the first year since I came to Congress in 2011 that I did not play in the Congressional Baseball Game.  I am still sickened by this horrific and senseless tragedy.  I commend the Capitol Police for their quick action in the face of danger.  Specifically, I thank Special Agents David Bailey and Crystal Griner for their courage to run toward the gunfire, saving lives and preventing a potential massacre.  These men and women, along with the first responders, are truly heroes – not just this past Wednesday, but every day.

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Barletta Announces Grant for Rare Earth Elements Pilot Program near Hazleton

2017/06/15

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today announced that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded grant funding for a pilot program to extract Rare Earth Elements (REEs) from soil overburden from Jeddo Coal Company’s anthracite mining operation in Hazleton, Pennsylvania.  The possibility of future, large-scale REEs production from anthracite coal could boost job creation and economic growth in northeastern Pennsylvania and present an opportunity for the U.S. to move away from its reliance on China for these minerals.

Barletta was the first member of Congress to send a letter in support of this pilot program.

“The Department of Energy’s studies have shown that the Appalachian coal fields throughout northeastern Pennsylvania contain some of the highest concentrations of Rare Earth Elements,” Barletta said.  “These elements are critical components of everyday electronics and equipment used in the health care, transportation, and defense industries.  With our abundance of anthracite, we have the potential to create and support good-paying jobs, not just in the coal industry, but in manufacturing and related industries that rely on these elements.”

REEs are a set of 17 metals found in the Earth’s crust.  Due to their unique chemical properties, REEs are used in the production of various high-tech products, including cell phones and computers, and are instrumental in U.S. defense weapons systems.  According to the American Chemistry Council, REEs support more than $329 billion of economic output in North America.

The U.S. gets 100 percent of its REEs supply from China, which currently produces more than 85 percent of the world’s REEs.

“It is critical for our national security that we turn to a domestic source of these minerals,” Barletta said.  “Our military should not have to rely on China or any other country for the resources necessary to keep us safe, especially when those resources are readily available right here in Pennsylvania.”

DOE awarded the $1 million grant to a consortium comprised of Penn State University, Texas Mineral Resources Corporation, Inventure Renewables, and K Technologies through the department’s “Production of Salable Rare Earth Element Materials from Coal and Coal By-Products” funding opportunity announcement. 

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Rep. Barletta Questions Witness during Job Corps Hearing

2017-06-22 18:40:52


Rep. Barletta Highlights SHINE in Congressional Hearing

2017-06-19 18:34:14


Rep. Barletta speaks on Verify First Act

2017-06-13 18:18:33


Barletta Questions Sec. Kelly on DHS Budget During Hearing

2017-06-07 17:56:55


Rep. Barletta Manages Consideration of HR 2548 - the FEMA Reauthorization Act of 2017

2017-05-24 16:17:22


Rep. Barletta Questions Witnesses at Border & Maritime Security Subcommittee Hearing

2017-05-23 20:15:43


Rep. Barletta Manages the Disaster Declaration Improvement Act (H.R. 1665) on House Floor

2017-05-03 18:24:46


Rep. Barletta Chairs T&I Hearing on Disaster Preparedness

2017-04-27 16:43:06


Rep. Barletta Questions Witnesses at Highways & Transit Subcommittee Hearing

2017-04-05 18:22:13


Rep. Barletta Discusses Disaster SAVE Act on House Floor

2017-03-27 22:02:26


Rep. Barletta - T & I Subcommittee Hearing Questions

2017-03-16 22:14:27


Rep. Barletta - Education Workforce Committee Hearing on Healthcare Reforms

2017-03-01 21:02:03


The Disaster Simplified Assistance Value Enhancement Act

2017-02-28 20:18:43


Barletta - Homeland Security Committee with Gen. John Kelly

2017-02-07 18:29:55


Barletta Pushes Infrastructure Investment in Transportation Hearing

2017-02-01 16:30:20


House Passes Barletta Bill to Enhance Fusion Centers, Improve Public Safety Communication

2017-01-31 20:12:41


Barletta Manages House Floor on Urban Search & Rescue

2016-12-07 20:25:55


Barletta - T&I

2016-09-14 19:08:05


Barletta T&I Subcommittee 7 6 16

2016-07-06 16:36:32


Barletta on the Floor Regarding Russian Energy

2016-06-16 15:53:19


Contact Information

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Serving With

Mike Kelly

PENNSYLVANIA's 3rd DISTRICT

Scott Perry

PENNSYLVANIA's 4th DISTRICT

Glenn Thompson

PENNSYLVANIA's 5th DISTRICT

Ryan Costello

PENNSYLVANIA's 6th DISTRICT

Patrick Meehan

PENNSYLVANIA's 7th DISTRICT

Brian Fitzpatrick

PENNSYLVANIA's 8th DISTRICT

Bill Shuster

PENNSYLVANIA's 9th DISTRICT

Tom Marino

PENNSYLVANIA's 10th DISTRICT

Keith Rothfus

PENNSYLVANIA's 12th DISTRICT

Charlie Dent

PENNSYLVANIA's 15th DISTRICT

Lloyd Smucker

PENNSYLVANIA's 16th DISTRICT

Tim Murphy

PENNSYLVANIA's 18th DISTRICT

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