HAZLETON — U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta said he has learned much in his first two terms in Congress and he knows a lot of work still needs to be done.
Barletta, R-Hazleton, announced Thursday that he will seek a third term.
At this early point in the process, he has no opposition in his own party and no one has announced on the Democratic side.
Barletta, who will turn 58 on Jan. 28, said there remains unfinished business left to complete in Washington, including repealing the Affordable Care Act.
“In short, Obamacare is a bad law that is hurting our economy, forcing the cancellation of millions of insurance policies, killing jobs, and even threatening public safety,” Barletta said. “I will continue to oppose it.”
Barletta said another major objective is to work with his colleagues both on the GOP side and across the aisle to get the U.S. economy back on track.
“We have to provide opportunities for people,” he said. “We have to find common ground in Washington to get things accomplished for the people we represent.”
Barletta said he looks at Washington through the eyes of a mayor, having served in that capacity in Hazleton for years. “We have to focus on what will benefit the American people,” he said.
Barletta hopes to see a continued effort toward bipartisanship in Congress.
“We absolutely need to work together,” he said. “That’s the only way and the quickest way to get anything accomplished. I have seen a growing atmosphere of working together. We’re beginning to right the ship — steering it toward the right direction.”
As a former mayor, Barletta said his priorities are always local.
As chairman of the Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management Subcommittee, Barletta said he has helped save more than $700 million in taxpayer funds by applying the “common sense principles” he learned as a small-business owner and as a mayor to how Washington does business.
“I continue to defend American workers and small towns across this country by opposing any attempt to grant amnesty to those that are in this country illegally,” Barletta said.
He said he has received many letters and phone calls from constituents and their message has been clear — the people of my district are deeply concerned about the negative effects of Obamacare. He said recent pressure applied to the IRS by him and many of his colleagues prevented the agency from treating volunteer firefighters as employees for federal tax purposes.
“As a result, volunteer fire and rescue companies will not have to face crushing Obamacare costs for their volunteers,” he said.