Congressman Ryan A. Costello was elected to serve the people of the Sixth District of Pennsylvania in November 2014. As a freshman member, he serves on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, as well as the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs.
Ryan is a life-long resident of Chester County, where he lives with his wife, Christine, and their son, Ryan Jr. A graduate of Owen J. Roberts High School in Pottstown, Ryan earned his undergraduate degree from Ursinus College in Collegeville and his J.D. from the Villanova University School of Law.
Prior to winning election to Congress, Ryan served the residents of Chester County as the Recorder of Deeds and on the Board of Commissioners. He was selected chairman of the Board of Commissioners in 2013. While still in law school, Ryan won a seat on the East Vincent Township Board of Supervisors, serving as Chairman for four years.
Since arriving in Congress in January 2015, Ryan has made an immediate impact in several areas, including returning control over education policy to parents and teachers, rolling back job-killing taxes on Pennsylvania’s life sciences innovators, and fighting for Pennsylvania workers and families to keep and maintain quality health coverage. In addition, in his first year in office, Ryan re-established the House Land Conservation Caucus to promote the preservation and protection of our country’s scenic open spaces and supported efforts to extend and make permanent the conservation easement tax incentive.
The son of two Pennsylvania public school teachers, Ryan places a high value on giving local educators the support and flexibility needed to prepare all students for a lifetime of success. From Day One, he has worked to reduce the power Washington bureaucrats have in our classrooms and roll back one-size-fits-all standardized-testing mandates. He was instrumental in the enactment of the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which overhauled the flawed No Child Left Behind Act, eliminated duplicative and costly standardized testing requirements, and restored decision-making over curriculum and instruction to parents, teachers, and administrators. As a member of the Congressional Career and Technical Education Caucus and the Republican co-Chair of the 21st Century Skills Caucus, Ryan is committed to working across the aisle to find commonsense solutions to ensure our students have the financial aid and in-demand skills needed to achieve successful careers in the modern job market.
Serving on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Ryan has been a tireless advocate for our nation’s veterans and their families. To help our veterans get the medical care, education benefits, and other services they’ve earned, Ryan introduced legislation aimed at restoring accountability at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (H.R. 1038, the Ensuring VA Employee Accountability Act, which passed the House with unanimous support on May 18, 2015) and creating a more veteran-friendly process for filing claims and receiving assistance (H.R. 3936, the VET Act, which Ryan introduced on November 5, 2015).
Another priority during his first term has been building a safe and reliable transportation network that creates jobs and protects economic opportunity. Ryan helped enact a fully-paid, 5-year transportation funding package that will bring more than $770 million back to Pennsylvania for bridges, roads, and passenger and freight rail improvements. This effort, also known as the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, streamlined the project-approval process and included a provision Ryan authored to allow short-line railroads to compete for federal grants to improve safety at road crossings.
Renowned national political commentator Stuart Rothenberg described Ryan as “a pragmatic conservative” while Reading Eagle columnist Ron Southwick noted Ryan’s enthusiasm for the job, predicting that the freshman lawmaker would be engaged and not simply “an anonymous lawmaker who merely keeps a seat warm.”