Obama health care law survives second Supreme Court fight

The Supreme Court sent a clear message Thursday that President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act is here to stay, rejecting a major challenge that would have imperiled the landmark law and health insurance for millions of Americans.

U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Hazleton, embodied the Republican party’s disapproval in a statement Thursday, condemning the court’s decision and throwing his support behind “a market based approach.”

 

“Obamacare has been a deeply flawed and poorly drafted law since its inception,” Barletta said. “I disagree with this ruling, but we must move forward.”

 

House Speaker John Boehner, of Ohio, said Republicans will continue efforts to repeal the law and replace it with “patient-centered solutions.”

 

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BARLETTA COSPONSORS BILL TO BLOCK NEW BUILDING FOR AMNESTY PLANS

Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today co-sponsored legislation to prohibit the Obama Administration from leasing a new $7.8 million, 11-story building near Washington, DC, which is being planned to house thousands of new government employees to process the president’s illegal executive actions on immigration. Barletta introduced the “No Office Space for Executive Amnesty Act” along with Rep. Brian Babin (TX-36) and Rep. John Ratcliffe (TX-04).

“Although federal judges have blocked President Obama’s unlawful executive amnesty for the time being, it is still important that we do all that we can to prevent its implementation. The president is trying to introduce five million more competitors into an already-tight job market at a time when 20 million Americans cannot find work,” said Barletta, who is Chairman of the Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Subcommittee of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

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Guest Editorial: National military cemeteries should remain places of honor

In 1997, with the nation still reeling following the Oklahoma City bombing, many were rightly concerned that convicted terrorist Timothy McVeigh — a Gulf War veteran — would be buried with honors in a military cemetery. To address those fears, Congress passed a law prohibiting those convicted of capital crimes from being buried in Veterans Affairs (VA) National Cemeteries or Arlington National Cemetery. Unfortunately, that law has not always been followed, resulting in the hallowed ground of national military cemeteries to be tainted by the burial of murderers convicted of the most heinous crimes imaginable.

The Bertie’s Respect for National Cemeteries Act addresses George Emery Siple and other cases like his. The legislation:

  • Requires Veterans Affairs National Cemeteries and Arlington Cemetery to take every reasonable action to ensure that a veteran is eligible to be buried, including searching public criminal records.
  • Clarifies Congress’s original intent by providing the Department of Veterans Affairs the explicit authority to remove veterans convicted of capital crimes that were wrongly buried after 1997.
  • Specifically provides for the removal of George Emery Siple from Indiantown Gap National Cemetery.

Our brave men and women in uniform have sacrificed so that all Americans may remain free, and they should be afforded every right, privilege, and honor they have earned. The cemeteries we reserve for them should not be sullied by those who have been convicted of horrific violent crimes.

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DOT on truck size and weight: We need more data

MAP-21 directed USDOT to study the issues associated with trucks operating within and in excess of current size and weight limits and assess the impacts on safety, pavement and bridge deterioration, enforcement and shifts to other modes of transport, such as rail.

Rep. Lou Barletta, (R-Pa.) has long argued that any study undertaken should include an examination of the impact of larger and heavier trucks on local roads and bridges, rather than just interstates and primary roads. “As a former mayor, I know first-hand how much of a toll trucks take on roads and bridges and the impact that has on budgets that are already strapped,” he said. “The fact that there wasn’t enough information to make a recommendation after a study to increase truck size and weight limit is good news for every city, town and county.”

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Don’t let trade cheaters off the hook

The American steel industry is under attack from a surge of unfairly traded imports across a wide range of products from a variety of countries, many of whom continue to disrupt world markets by subsidizing the production of steel products and dumping those products in the U.S. market. U.S. trade remedy laws are the only means by which the steel industry can mitigate the harm from unfair imports and help prevent more plants from being idled and more workers from losing their jobs.

 

On behalf of the American steel industry, I would like to thank U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, a Republican from Hazleton, for his tenacious support of steel producers and our workers by co-sponsoring the American Trade Enforcement Effectiveness Act, which would improve the effectiveness of our trade laws, and for signing letters to House leadership on trade enforcement.

Thomas J. Gibson

Washington, D.C.

Gibson is the president and CEO of the American Iron and Steel Institute.

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PA-11: Barletta Endorses Santorum’s Presidential Campaign

Former Senator and Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has announced the endorsement of Congressman Lou Barletta for his 2016 presidential campaign.

“I am proud to endorse Rick Santorum for President. Senator Santorum is one of our nation’s most passionate and effective voices for hardworking American families. He understands that we need policies in Washington that put the American worker first, not big government or big money,” said Barletta. “I am looking forward to working with the Santorum campaign.”

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Bill aims to keep convicted veterans from being ‘buried next to true American heroes’ after Harrisburg murder

Thirty years after being convicted of killing a woman, George Emery Siple was given a full military burial in an Indiantown Gap National Cemetery. Now the woman’s family is working to keep other convicted veterans from being buried in military cemeteries.

On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Hazleton, unveiled “Bertie’s Respect for National Cemeteries Act.” The bill, inspired by Siple’s murder of Bertha “Bertie” Smith in Harrisburg in 1969, seeks to accomplish a number of objectives.

“Our national military cemeteries are hallowed grounds and they ought to be treated that way,” Barletta said. “Our VA National Cemetery is a place of honor and I don’t think it’s too much to say that murderers should not be buried next to true American heroes.”

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Barletta, co-sponsors promote efficiency in GSA reform bill

With passage of the Public Buildings Reform and Savings Act of 2015 Act, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee leaders opened the door to saving billions of taxpayer dollars via federal office space and real estate reforms.

House Resolution 2322 provides an overhaul of the General Services Administration (GSA), allowing the agency to improve consolidations, reduce space and take advantage of office space leasing opportunities to save money. Additionally, the law provides for enhanced security at federal buildings.

Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) was lead sponsor of the legislation as chairman of the Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management Subcommittee.

“As members of Congress, we have been entrusted with spending the taxpayers’ money, so we must always be willing to find new ways to achieve savings,” Barletta said. “We should approach leasing and renovation decisions the way private businesses would — with the bottom line in mind…There’s a window of opportunity that the private sector is capitalizing on and it’s time the federal government did the same.”

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House sides with Barletta, Perry: No undocumented immigrants in military

In case you missed it, the U.S. House of Representatives last night agreed to remove language from the 2016 defense bill that could have permitted children of undocumented immigrants to serve in the armed forces.

Pennsylvania Republicans Lou Barletta and Scott Perry were supporters of the amendment and had last week signed a letter urging House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions to remove the measure from the nearly $612 billion National Defense Authorization Act. The proposal would have impacted undocumented immigrants who benefit from President Obama’s amnesty program, potentially making them eligible to enlist in the U.S. military.

“Our nation’s defense is not the appropriate arena for a discussion of immigration policy,” said Barletta, who is recovering from a cardiac procedure. “Worse than that, allowing illegal immigrants to serve in the military represents a serious national security risk.”

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