Rep. Barletta Reports Trump Is Considering Him for Labor Secretary

Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Pa., talks with reporters after a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, in New York. (
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Congressman Lou Barletta tells reporters his meeting with President-elect Donald Trump is related to the position of secretary of labor in incoming administration.

Barletta told reporters, “We talked about Secretary of Labor and it’s something I’m going to consider.”

The Pennsylvania congressman is a member of Trump’s Presidential Transition Team Executive Committee.

Barletta told reporters that the meeting was “great” and that they “had a good conversation.”

“We talked about many issues concerning the country and talked about the President-Elect’s ideas moving forward,” he said.

When reporters asked what his pitch to Trump for the position was, Barletta said:

We talked.  I’ve worked with the President-Elect throughout the campaign.  He knows my background and, as a member of the Executive Transition Team, we talked about the importance of his ideas and moving them forward in Congress and making sure that the transition goes well, as a member of that team.  We talked about that, as I said, and some other things.

One reporter asked the congressman what policy initiatives Trump spoke about with him. Barletta responded, “His infrastructure plan is obviously very important to him. And again, making sure there’s a smooth transition and the role that I could play either in Congress or as a part of his cabinet.”

Elaine Chao, former labor secretary and wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, was named on Tuesday as Trump’s intended choice for transportation secretary. Chao served as secretary of labor from 2001 to 2009 under then President George W. Bush.

Barletta serves on the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and Education and the Workforce Committee. The third time was the charm as he was first elected to congress in 2010, his third attempt. He has made the issue of illegal immigration one of his top focuses.

Before going into politics he started a small business with his wife. In 1998 he ran for, and won a seat on, his local Hazleton City Council and was elected mayor just two years later.

Private sector executive Andrew Puzder and attorney Peter Kirsanow could also be in the running according to Politico. Puzder is chief executive at CKE Restaurants. Kirsanow served under the President George W. Bush Administration on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and has been reappointed for a third six-year term on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights that expires in December 2019. Kirsanow met with Trump last Sunday.

The New York Times lists lawyer Victoria A. Lipnic as a possibility for the job. Lipnic has served as a commissioner on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission since 2010. She was nominated by President Barack Obama.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana 


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