Supporting Donald Trump through a bitterly contentious presidential campaign was a labor of love for Congressman Lou Barletta (R-PA 11th).
It may pay off with a Secretary of Labor position in the president-elect’s cabinet.
ABC27 has learned that Trump offered Barletta the job in a Tuesday afternoon meeting in Trump Tower in New York City. Barletta told ABC27 that he’d like to make a decision in the next day or two whether to accept the position.
Barletta, the former mayor of Hazleton who now represents several counties including parts of Dauphin, Perry and Cumberland, previously owned a line-painting company. That business ownership may make him an attractive pick for Secretary of Labor.
His other main qualification was his early endorsement of Trump. Barletta was one of the first congressman in the country to board the Trump train. He was a strong advocate and surrogate for Trump at rallies across the state, a state that shockingly went red for the first time since 1988.
“We were the reason that Donald Trump won,” said Representative Greg Rothman (R-Cumberland). “We put him over the top. Even if these recounts go through in Michigan and Wisconsin he still wins because of Pennsylvania. The Keystone State delivered for Donald Trump.”
And many political insiders think that payback requires Trump to give a key post to a Keystone Stater.
“Historically, that happens,” Rothman said. “You would expect that and I would expect that he will.”
Whether Barletta decides to become Secretary of Labor or not, his stock has clearly risen thanks to the Trump victory. For his constituents, it might be best that he keep his current job.
“He gets to be one of a handful of congressmen that has president Trump answer his phone when he calls,” Rothman said. “He’ll be able to be a leader in Congress. I think whatever Lou wants to do, he can do, and he’ll do it well.”