- President-elect Donald Trump met with Congressman Lou Barletta (R-Pa.) on Tuesday to discuss the possibility of Barletta serving as Trump's Secretary of Labor, according to a report from Politico.
- In Congress, Barletta currently serves as a member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, where he has opposed several of the Obama administration's labor measures, including the DOL's new fiduciary rule and the proposed change to overtime laws under FLSA. The latter was enjoined by a federal judge last week.
- Like Trump, Barletta has frequently spoken on immigration issues. Politico reports that he signed on to an amicus brief to the Supreme Court challenging President Obama's extension of deferred action to undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and expansion of defferred action to undocumented children. Barletta has also criticized "sanctuary cities" and supported punishments against them for violating federal laws.
It's another clue for observers as to what's in store for the Labor Dept. under a Trump administration. It would be easy to assume that Barletta, given his past public stances, would pursue the rollback of key pro-labor initiatives made in the past eight years. The first to go may very well be the overtime rule, given its already precarious position in the wake of a federal court's injunction.
Barletta's stance against illegal immigration to seems to mirror Trump's own campaign rhetoric, and his policies would presumably impact those industries who rely on immigrant workers to fill important skill gaps, including the tech sector. There's been much discussion about the fate of the H-1B visa program in 2017, and the current DOL secretary choices do not indicate that the program will continue unaltered.
At this point in time, however, Barletta is one of a handful of potential picks for the DOL leadership. We'll continue to provide updates on this ongoing story as they are made available.