Ryan visits Chesco to boost Costello

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Speaker touts local Congressional candidates

Scott Johnson, President of J-Tech, tells Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan (left) about how hard U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello (right) has worked for local constituents.

Scott Johnson, President of J-Tech, tells Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan (left) about how hard U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello (right) has worked for local constituents, during a tour of his Chester Springs facility, Thursday.

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times

CHESTER SPRINGS — Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) made a strong pitch Thursday for the reelection of local Congressman Ryan Costello (R-6), citing Costello’s hard work on a transportation bill as an example of why the freshman should be returned to Washington, D.C. for a second term.

Ryan spoke at J-Tech, local company that manufactures various highway repair and safety devices and vehicles to highlight Costello’s role in passing the five-year infrastructure bill that meant some $700 million in federal highway funding for Pennsylvania.

The Speaker — a former GOP Vice Presidential nominee and now seen by many as a likely candidate for president in 2020 — is in the middle of a national tour in support of key Congressional candidates, and was headed immediately after this event to another in Lancaster, in support of Lloyd Smucker, the Republican candidate in the 16th District.

He made a powerful argument for Costello’s return to the Congress.

“The reason I‘m here is that I want to celebrate and thank Ryan Costello for being a really good, hard-working conscientious congressman,” Ryan told a gathering of about 75 J-Tech employees and local media. “What’s important about getting this country moving ahead is that we have good people in Congress who will fight for their constituents to make life better for those of us who live in this country.”

Paul Ryan speaks with J-Tech employees following an event with U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello, Thursday.

Paul Ryan speaks with J-Tech employees following an event with U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello, Thursday.

The Speaker cited Ryan’s late push to make the transportation bill happen as just one reason to want to keep him working in Washington.

“One of the things that Ryan Costello has already done is that he helped get over the finish line, a transportation bill — a five-year transportation bill — the likes of which we have not seen since the mid-1990s.”

Costello said he felt that the legislation was crucial — and crafted to have the maximum impact on average citizens. He spoke a bit about how the bill crafted.

“Let’s do what works,”Costello said, citing the basic philosophy of the bill. “Let’s listen to feedback to make sure that we’re putting funding where it makes a critical difference in the lives of ordinary Americans.  And that’s what we went about doing.”

As a member of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Ryan said Costello played a key role in shaping the five-year bill and helping to get support from colleagues. He then touted the House GOP’s new agenda — “A Better Way” — pulling out a pamphlet detailing his party’s plan to get the economy moving again.

“Instead of just complaining, instead of pointing fingers, we decided we would offer solutions,” Ryan said of the new program. “We would take the principles that built this country, that made it strong and prosperous in the first place and apply them to the problems of today.”

The plan, Ryan said, covers fighting poverty, increasing safety, stripping down federal regulation, and revising the tax code, he said.

Costello’s Democratic opponent, Mike Parrish took issue with Ryan’s endorsement following the event, suggesting that Costello had fallen short of the needs of his district.

While I am happy to see transportation money flow into our community, due to the failure of career politicians, like my opponent, it is far from enough,” Parrish said in a statement.  “Don’t be deceived by my opponent’s smoke and mirrors. Mr. Costello is not the champion for infrastructure investment that he pretends to be. The truth is that our infrastructure is woefully underfunded and crumbling before our eyes. The transportation bill my opponent is asking us to celebrate represents the minimum that needs to be done, not a bold investment in our future.  We cannot applaud career politicians for doing the bare minimum.”

Parrish, a veteran and a Malvern businessman, suggested his opponent had failed to make the grade.

“In the military, we recognize those who do their job well, and Mr. Costello has failed on that front,” Parrish said. “If we continue to make only the minimum investment, we will continue to see minimal returns.  We can do better.  In Congress, I will be the leader we need and fight to increase investment in our national infrastructure to grow the economy, create jobs and help businesses big and small.”   

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