House OKs Barletta amendment for SHINE-like programs

U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta on Thursday successfully offered an amendment to the Student Success Act, which requires localities to document what they are doing to implement before-school, after-school or summer programs for children.

“We already know after-school programs help keep kids safe, improve academic performance and help working families across America,” Barletta, R-11, Hazleton, said on the House floor. “The benefits of these programs span all aspects of our communities.”

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Lou Barletta: Obama Keystone XL veto is triumph of politics over common sense

Rep. Lou Barletta on Tuesday issued harsh criticism of President Obama’s veto of legislation that would have immediately authorized construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

“President Obama’s veto is a triumph of politics over common sense,” said Barletta, a Republican who represents the 11th congressional district. “His own State Department completed five reviews, totaling more than 22,000 pages, and concluded that the Keystone XL Pipeline is a project that will create jobs, and actually improve safety and the environment.”

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War measure aimed at ISIS up for debate

The Obama administrations resolution authorizing military force, including boots on the ground, to defeat ISIS is will be debated when Congress is back in session Tuesday, and already both sides of the aisle are gearing up for a fight — with Democrats looking to restrict the president’s ability to widen a war, and the Republicans looking to increase presidential war power.

“I welcome the president’s resolution and eagerly await the debate and vote,” said Lou Barletta, R-11, Hazleton. “While the details are still in flux, I anticipate that I will support the United States moving forward to fight the growing threat that is the Islamic State.

“I am disturbed, however, that this administration is consistently behind the curve when it comes to confronting the threats that face our country,” he said.

 

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Rep. Lou Barletta: Protect security, preserve U.S. jobs

When the White House criticized the federal ruling blocking the president’s executive amnesty, the press secretary said, “The Supreme Court and Congress have made clear that the federal government can set priorities in enforcing our immigration laws.”

In that simple sentence lies the problem with this administration. This president — or any other — does not embody the entire federal government. The Constitution also empowers two other branches: the judiciary and the legislature. This nation long ago rejected a mon­archical form of government.

Granting amnesty to millions of undocumented immigrants makes it impossible to process applicants and screen out those who might be a threat to this country. Likewise, the mass influx of newly legalized workers introduces new competition for legal workers who are already finding it difficult to find a job.

The United States has immigration laws for two basic reasons: to protect national security and to preserve American jobs. President Obama’s unlawful executive actions violate both of those principles.

In short, the Texas judge’s ruling is correct, and the lawsuit brought by 26 states — a majority — should be allowed to proceed.

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Local politicos weigh in on Obama’s budget

Barletta, of Hazleton, called the president “reckless” for boosting spending while failing to ensure reform to Social Security and Medicare to avoid their oncoming deficits. He agreed with the concept, if not the specifics, of the president’s push for more money for roads, bridges and other infrastructure and middle class tax relief, he said.

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Lou Barletta pushes fingerprint immigration bill

Rep. Lou Barletta is pushing a bill that would use fingerprint technology to keep track of foreign visitors who overstay their visas.

The 11th congressional district Republican, who serves in the House Homeland Security Committee, on Wednesday gave his approval to the Secure Our Borders First Act, which would implement a biometric exit system, specifically fingerprinting. The system would allow immigration authorities to track people who arrive in the United States on a visa, allowing authorities to determine if and when they depart.

“We know that about 40 percent of all people who are in this country illegally did not cross what we think of as a traditional border,”  said Barletta, who this week was named to the Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee.  “They arrive in this country on a visa, the visa expires, and they simply never go home.  What this means is that if your state is home to an international airport, you effectively live in a border state.”

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U.S. Republicans told to have their say, be ready to compromise

Congressional Republican leaders tried to hammer home a simple message to restive conservatives at a policy retreat this week: Have your say, but be prepared to make some compromises if you want to pass substantial legislation.

But some House members said they would still push bills that reflect their conservative principles and not concern themselves with what the Senate can achieve.

“That shouldn’t stop us from fighting for what we want,” said Representative Lou Barletta of Pennsylvania. He co-authored an amendment to the Department of Homeland Security funding bill, approved by the House on Wednesday, that blocks spending on Obama’s executive immigration actions.

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Volunteer firefighters protect us – we need to protect them from Obamacare: Lou Barletta

Very few people choose to become volunteer firefighters or emergency responders in order to receive health care benefits.

As volunteer members of their departments, they likely get their health care coverage through another job, or pay for it themselves.

In fact, if you asked them what the fringe benefits of being volunteers actually are, they would likely tell you that they get satisfaction from helping their communities, and protecting lives and property.

So on the very first day of the new 114th Congress, I introduced my bill for a second time.  I am proud to say that it once again has received unanimous approval  – and is now headed for the Senate for a return engagement.

This is much too important of a public safety issue to be left to the whims and changing machinery of a lumbering IRS bureaucracy far removed from our home towns.

As the Senate takes up the measure, I urge all Senators to recognize how essential volunteer fire companies are to the fabric of our lives.

We owe an unpayable debt of gratitude to the men and women who protect our lives, homes, and businesses at great risk to themselves.

The least we can do is give them certainty – rock solid assurance – that their work as emergency responders will not be shut down by a misguided provision of a poorly crafted health care law.

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HOUSE VOTES TO BLOCK EXECUTIVE AMNESTY

The House approved a Department of Homeland Security appropriations package Wednesday that lawmakers say will block President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

The $39.7 billion DHS appropriations bill to fund the department through fiscal year 2015 passed 236 – 191.

A series of amendments to the bill — aimed at blocking Obama’s executive actions — passed in advance of its final approval.

The amendment spearheaded by Reps. Robert Aderholt (R-AL), Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), and Lou Barletta (R-PA) — intended to block any and all funding for President Obama’s executive amnesty announced on November 20, 2014, future similar policies, and the so-called Morton memos — passed 237 – 190. All Democrats present and seven Republicans voted against the measure.

“The president cannot rule by imperial fiat, because under the Constitution, Congress controls the purse strings,” Barletta said recently of the amendment. “He cannot circumvent the legislature and make up his own laws if Congress refuses to fund them.”

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Defund immigration amnesty program, Lou Barletta tells the House

Rep. Lou Barletta on Tuesday spoke on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in support of a key amendment that would defund President Obama’s executive amnesty program for undocumented immigrants.

The amendment, co-authored by the Pennsylvania Republican, would strip out funding for the executive amnesty program in the Department of Homeland Security’s appropriations bill.

“The amendment says that the president’s policies have no basis in law and are not grounded in the Constitution,” Barletta said as he addressed the House. “And we prevent anyone who receives such executive amnesty from being awarded any federal benefits.”

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