Costello eyes the future for Congress
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.