Biography

Representative Louis J. Barletta proudly represents the people of Pennsylvania’s 11th Congressional District.  He began his fourth term on January 3, 2017.

Rep. Barletta was first sworn in on January 5, 2011. 

He currently serves on three House committees: the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, where he serves as the Chairman of the Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Subcommittee; the House Homeland Security Committee, where he serves on the Counterterrorism and Intelligence subcommittee; and the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, where he serves on both the Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee, and the Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee.    

In January 2014, Rep. Barletta was named a member of a special panel of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to focus on the use of and opportunities for public-private partnerships (P3s) across all modes of transportation, economic development, public buildings, and infrastructure.  

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

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, and again in November 2014 as well as November 2016.

Rep. Barletta and his wife Mary Grace live in Hazleton. They are the parents of four grown daughters: Kelly, April, Lindsey, and Grace, and have seven grandchildren: Gabriel Louis, Madeleine Grace, Julia Mae, Christopher Joseph, Reagan Marie, Jordan Louis, and Anabelle Marie.