Barletta: I’m from congress, I’m here to help

SUNBURY— U.S. Congressman Lou Barletta (R-11th, Hazleton) visited some Sunbury businesses and a fire company Friday as part of his “Main Street Tours.” Barletta said he wants to hear what people have to say.

He said, “People are so concerned about the economy, especially when I toured the downtown areas, and some of these businesses in small towns were family owned businesses’ that have been passed down from one generation to the next. Many of them are under a lot of stress right now feeling that they may be the one that will close the doors because of the economy.”

Cong. Barletta also addressed the bill he created to protect volunteer firefighters and emergency responders from being classified as ‘employers’ under the Affordable Care Act. “Volunteer fire fighters may fall under the employer mandate, meaning that the fire companies would have to provide health insurance to the volunteers or pay a fine. That would close fire houses all across the country.”

The bill named the Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act, passed the house with a unanimous vote but was stopped in the Senate by democratic Senator Harry Reid. Barletta says he will not give up on this issue and that he will “find another way to exempt volunteer firefighters.” (Sarah Lagerman)

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