- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 8, 2016

Rep. Lou Barletta said Thursday that he had declined an offer to serve in Donald Trump’s administration, saying he could do more on a greater variety of fronts working in the House to advance the president-elect’s agenda.

The Pennsylvania Republican was early supporter of Mr. Trump and currently serves as a member of the transition team’s executive committee. He said that he was under consideration for labor secretary.

Mr. Barletta released a statement as reports surfaced that Mr. Trump had selected Andy Puzder, the CEO of the company that owns the Hardee’s and Carls Jr. fast-food franchises, to run the Labor Department.

“It was a tremendous honor for President-elect Trump to ask me to consider taking a place in his administration,” he said in the statement. “After much thought, prayer, and discussion with my family and close friends, I decided today to remain in Congress, and I withdrew from consideration for Secretary of Labor.”

Mr. Barletta, a frequent visitor to the transition team offices, said that because of his close relationship with the incoming administration he would be a greater asset in Congress.

“I will have an opportunity in the House of Representatives to accomplish more on a variety of issues that I have cared about for so long, including immigration policy, transportation infrastructure, and jobs,” he said. “Having helped the campaign with the development of those policies, coupled with serving on key committees in Congress and having a direct pipeline to the White House, I will be better positioned than ever to serve the people of the 11th District.”

• S.A. Miller can be reached at smiller@washingtontimes.com.

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