Costello eyes the fu­ture for Congress

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Michael P. Rel­la­han mrel­la­han@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @Ch­escoCourtNews on Twit­ter To con­tact staff writer Michael P. Rel­la­han call 610-696-1544.

Newly re-elected U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello said Wed­nes­day he ex­pects the new Congress to undo the cur­rent struc­ture of the Af­ford­able Care Act — or “Oba­macare” — when it con­venes ses­sions next Jan­uary un­der Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

“It is not sol­vent as it stands right now,” Costello, R-6, of West Goshen, said of the pro­gram, which is deeply un­pop­u­lar with Repub­li­cans and played a role in Trump’s de­feat of Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton in Tues­day’s elec­tion. “How you go about re­form­ing that” will largely be up to Trump and the U.S. Se­nate GOP lead­er­ship, he said.

“It will not be able to be ig­nored,” Costello said.

The first-term con­gress­man won re-elec­tion over Demo­cratic chal­lenger Mike Par­rish on Tues­day, largely cruis­ing to a 15-point mar­gin of vic­tory in un­of­fi­cial polling. The 6th Dis­trict en­com­passes the north­ern and east­ern parts of Ch­ester County, as well as west­ern Mont­gomery County, cen­tral Berks County, and east­ern Le­banon County.

Costello drew a to­tal of 203,671 votes to Par­rish’s 151,800. He out­polled him 92,159 votes to 76,780 in Ch­ester, 45,995 votes to 36,015 in Mont­gomery, 49,709 votes to 31,015 votes in Berks, and 15,807 to 7,948 votes in Le­banon.

On Tues­day, Par­rish paid trib­ute to those he worked with on the cam­paign, his first, and promised to re­turn to the po­lit­i­cal field in the fu­ture.

“Although we didn’t win this par­tic­u­lar bat­tle, we have surely seeded the ground for fu­ture Demo­cratic vic­to­ries, par­tic­u­larly in Ch­ester County,” Par­rish said in a state­ment. “This loss is not the end of this fight, but rather the first salvo. While I con­grat­u­late Mr. Costello on his vic­tory, it is im­per­a­tive that we hold him ac­count­able.

“I hope that Mr. Costello will step-up, be the in­de­pen­dent voice he claims to be, and have the moral courage and in­tegrity to stand up to Don­ald Trump’s po­ten­tially dis­as­trous agenda, moral courage and in­tegrity that Mr. Costello has failed to ex­hibit to this point,” Par­rish said.

Costello had dis­tanced him­self from Trump dur­ing the cam­paign, but never came out and pub­licly op­posed the GOP stan­dard bearer, as some of his col­leagues in the House Repub­li­can Cau­cus had.

On Wed­nes­day, Costello said the other is­sues that he ex­pected the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives to take up start­ing next year are tax re­form and reg­u­la­tory re­form, both of which he said he be­lieves will help spur eco­nomic growth. Those were is­sues he spoke about dur­ing the cam­paign, con­tend­ing that bu­reau­cratic med­dling by the ad­min­is­tra­tion had stalled the pace of growth.

He also said that he thought Congress, led by Repub­li­cans in both cham­bers, would also take up clean en­ergy leg­is­la­tion in­volv­ing nat­u­ral gas and nu­clear power. He said he ex­pected pas­sage of the 21st Cen­tury Cures leg­is­la­tion that will ben­e­fit life science com­pa­nies and schools in the 6th Dis­trict. “That has a lot of im­por­tance in the re­gion, and is some­thing I am fo­cused on.”

Costello, 40, of West Goshen, is a grad­u­ate of Ursi­nus Col­lege and Vil­lanova Uni­ver­sity School of Law, and worked as a land use at­tor­ney. He has served as town­ship su­per­vi­sor in East Vin­cent, where he was born, and later as Ch­ester County Recorder of Deeds and county com­mis­sioner be­fore be­ing elected to Congress in 2014.

Par­rish, 54, of Wil­lis­town is a grad­u­ate of West Point Academy and Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity and the Whar­ton School of Eco­nomics, where he earned mas­ter’s de­grees in en­gi­neer­ing and eco­nomics. A small busi­ness­man, he served in the Army and is a colonel in the Army Re­serves.

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