Update: Barletta told reporters he is staying in Congress after Trump picked CKE Restaurants CEO Andy Puzder as Labor Secretary, saying “it was a tremendous honor.”
The Pennsylvania Republican was an early backer of Trump’s, at a time when few members of Congress were supporting the incoming president. And he was a key surrogate for the brash businessman in Keystone State, which went red in the presidential election for the first time since 1988.
Republican state Rep. Greg Rothman, who represents part of Barletta’s House district in the state Assembly, told Harrisburg ABC affiliate ABC 27 News that Barletta’s appointment is payback for helping to deliver Pennsylvania for Trump.
“Historically, that happens,” Rothman said. “You would expect that and I would expect that he will.”
“We were the reason that Donald Trump won,” he added. “We put him over the top.”
Barletta serves as chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management.
He also sits on the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training as well as the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions.
Pennsylvania’s 11th District has historically been an area with a heavy industrial lean and has recently been a hub of Pennsylvania’s fracking boom.