U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta touts his public record in Washington and Hazleton

WILKES-BARRE — Seeking his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Lou Barletta says he has already compiled a solid record of accomplishment.

 

Barletta, 58 of Hazleton, said in his “two short terms” in Congress he has:

 

• Reduced the interest loan rate for victims of the 2011 flooding.

 

• Exempted volunteer fire departments from the insurance requirements that were originally part of the Affordable Care Act.

 

• Eliminated millions of dollars in federal spending for buildings by consolidating and selling off excess property.

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Former Hazleton mayor Barletta out to save government money

Lou Barletta, R-11, has been a Congressman for four years, but he still economizes like he did as co-owner of a highway marking company and mayor in Hazleton.

“Hopefully, I can earn my pay and save the government some money,” Barletta said.

Last year after becoming chairman of the House Transportation Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management, Barletta looked for savings.

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Immigration, education tackled at candidate forum

Candidates speaking at the Carlisle Fire & Rescue Services building Thursday evening agreed on one thing: the United States’ government is broken. Each offered their ideas about how to begin fixing it.

Barletta and Ostrowski spoke next, tackling immigration and education early on. Barletta re-affirmed his belief that immigration reform is needed and that those in the country illegally should be deported. He also said he is working to save taxpayers money.

“I realized that Washington is broken in so many ways that they don’t realize what it’s like on our streets,” he said. “My short time in Washington I’ve been very frustrated by a lot of things going on, but I’ve stood up for everything that I believe in.”

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Barletta: Search for bipartisanship continues in Washington

Rep. Lou Barletta said his record on fighting the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is without question. He’s voted more than 50 times to “defund, derail, dismantle” President Obama’s signature law reforming health care.

But what Barletta wasn’t willing to do, he said, was shut down the government if the president didn’t repeal the law, as the more conservative wing of his party pressed for last year.

“It had no chance of passing – it had no chance – so why would we shut the government down to try to get the president to do something when it’s not going to happen?” Barletta asked during a campaign interview last week at The News-Item. “I wanted no part of it.”

What he did do is consult with a handful of like-minded House GOP members who then reached out to some House Democrats who also wanted to try something to stop the developing do-or-die scenario. The group, 10 or 12 at first, put leadership aside and began meeting secretly, Barletta said.

“We had no idea what was going to happen,” he said. “But we sat across the table and asked, ‘What can we do to stop this?'”

The group, which grew to 30 or 40, came to a consensus: its Republicans members would work to prevent a government shutdown if the Democrats would push to repeal the medical device tax from the ACA. They thought they had the votes to get it through the House, and the Senate.

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Obama Cancels Trip to Review Ebola Effort

WASHINGTON—The White House on Wednesday acknowledged shortcomings in the administration’s response to Ebola after a second Texas health-care worker was diagnosed with the virus.

Mr. Earnest said the U.S. isn’t currently considering a travel ban on flights originating from West Africa, where Ebola has become an epidemic. Rep. Lou Barletta (R., Pa.) was among the lawmakers on Wednesday who reiterated calls for such a ban.

“Unless we take the basic step of controlling access to this country, we are inviting trouble by simply asking travelers how they feel and taking their temperature,” Rep. Barletta said.

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Amid deepening concerns over Ebola, Rep. Lou Barletta calls for travel bans

Citing concerns for public health, Rep. Lou Barletta, on Wednesday joined the growing ranks of Republicans calling on the Obama Administration to restrict travel to and from countries affected by the Ebola outbreak.

On Wednesday, a second health care worker in Texas was diagnosed with Ebola.  The two medical employees in Dallas were infected after having treated Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola patient to die in the U.S., after he traveled to this country from Liberia.

Barletta, of the 11th congressional district, called for an immediate ban on inbound travelers from the West African countries affected by the deadly outbreak.

“To me it seems illogical to argue that stopping passengers from entering the United States makes it more difficult to contain the disease in Africa,” he said. “Medical supplies and personnel may still enter the affected nations, and if needed, the United States military could handle transport of people and material where necessary.”

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Barletta wants to see more bipartisan solutions in government

Congressman Lou Barletta (R-11) is about common-sense politics, and hopes more problems can be solved together.

Barletta visited Shippensburg Wednesday for a luncheon at Premier Events with various borough and township officials and representatives from various businesses and the public. Shippensburg Township Supervisor Steve Oldt hosted the luncheon.

 

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Barletta talks with students at national anthem program

A program about the 200th anniversary of “The Star-Spangled Banner” gave U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, R-11, an opportunity to talk about Islamic militias, immigration and other issues with students at MMI Preparatory School in Freeland on Thursday.

He called the Islamic State brutal, bloodthirsty radicals who want to fly their flag at the White House.

Their threat highlights why Barletta said visitors should be fingerprinted when they enter and leave the United States and face criminal penalties if they overstay visas, the access route for 40 percent of people living in the country illegally.

Drugs also cross the border illegally, Barletta said, while describing a visit to San Diego where he descended into a 2,500-foot tunnel that stretches across the border from Mexico to a garage that a cartel rented in the United States.

Mom-and-pop businesses create jobs, governments don’t, Barletta said when talking about employment, a subject that students raised in questions that they wrote and that history teacher Michael Scarlato asked on their behalf.

Barletta recalled how he and his wife started Interstate Road Marking with a $29 machine that striped parking lots and eventually put 60 people on their payroll.

His career led him to apply business practices to government, whether hiring people for Hazleton’s government based on their qualifications rather than their connections or telling federal agencies to rent smaller buildings, which saved $2.2 billion last year.

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Leaders celebrate Broad Street’s rebirth

9/26/2014

They stretched a big red ribbon across Broad Street near the intersection with Diamond Avenue.

Hazleton Mayor Joseph Yannuzzi and West Hazleton Mayor Frank Schmidt cut the ribbon, and the Hazleton Area High School Marching Band played “Rockin’ Down the Highway” by the Doobie Brothers as they marched from Hazleton into West Hazleton.

That’s how local officials marked the official completion of the $27.5 million Broad Street Corridor project Thursday morning.

Barletta noted he was running for mayor when the Broad Street Corridor project was planned, but its completion eclipsed his tenure as mayor. “I was sitting at home one day thinking how lucky I am I’m going to be the mayor of Hazleton and we are going to get a brand new downtown, and everyone is going to think I had something to do with it,” Barletta said. “I served one term, two terms, three terms — I don’t even get to cut the damn ribbon. But it was worth waiting for. We are all so proud to be able to drive through downtown Hazleton, for the people who were born and raised here, to call this home.”

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Class of 1964 remembers fallen war heroes

First came the flag bearers, then the bagpipers, then the riflemen — all marching along a new brick walkway flanked by flowers and benches, toward a monument to Hazleton’s hometown heroes, including two who never returned from Vietnam.

U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, R-11, presented flags from the Capitol in honor of the fallen Hazleton servicemen, whom he said “died defending our freedom.”

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