by Heidi M Przybyla, USA TODAY, April 10, 2017
WASHINGTON — Reps. Leonard Lance of New Jersey and Ryan Costello of Pennsylvania appear to be the only swing-district Republicans who voted for their party’s bill to replace Obamacare who will directly face constituents over the April recess, according to a USA TODAY analysis of scheduled town halls compiled by Townhallproject.com.
Fourteen Republicans from competitive congressional districts sit on the three congressional committees that voted last month for their party’s controversial health care plan before GOP leaders pulled the bill from the House floor because it lacked support to pass. The lack of town hall meetings in key swing districts during a spring break that lasts until April 23 underscores the party’s precarious political position on health care and peaking civic activism by progressives.
Costello and Lance had both voted for the bill in committee but opposed the final bill, saying changes made by House leaders made it more likely the bill would raise costs and reduce coverage for their constituents.
The migration away from public forums has been going on for months, despite complaints from constituents and local media. There have been roughly 30 recent newspaper editorials slamming lawmakers for avoiding town halls and calling on members to face their voters, not only in bluer portions of the country like New York but also in critical battlegrounds like Pennsylvania’s 6th and 7th districts, represented by Reps. Pat Meehan and Costello.
Costello’s office screened participants for his Saturday town hall through the online reservation site Eventbrite and forbid videotaping, leading the local Democratic Party chair to call the event “staged.” …
keep reading at USA TODAY
By Bill Rettew Jr., Daily Local News, 4/08/17
WEST CHESTER >> Tempers are flaring less than 24 hours before a town hall meeting scheduled by U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello.
Costello, R-6, will meet with constituents Saturday afternoon in the 200-seat Courtroom 1 at the historic courthouse. Demand outpaced ticket availability and several people were shut out.
Some constituents have complained that they don’t have enough access to their second term congressman, while he says he’s listening – but still gets a negative response.
“We are in an environment where no matter what I do, a small group of folks is always going to criticize me no matter what I do,” Costello said. “A few people used to protest me to have a town hall and now I guess they’re going to protest me now that I’m having a town hall.”
“Congressman Costello’s so-called town hall is nothing but a farce,” said Brian J. McGinnis, chairman of the Chester County Democratic Committee, in a press release attacking the event. “We pay his salary and benefits. The least he can do is pay the good people of the 6th Congressional District some respect by answering questions for more than an hour.”
Costello said he had made prior plans and passed on attending a recent town hall at Phoenixville High school that attracted about 350 people. Many voters were dismayed that the rep didn’t show….
keep reading at Daily Local News. See the same writer’s report after the event in “Ryan Costello talks to constituents at town hall,” Daily Local News, 4/8/17
letter from Tom Buglio, Daily Local News, 4/6/17
The country is divided on so many issues, guns being a perfect example. As someone who advocates for gun violence reduction, it has been a real struggle to find any common ground with gun rights advocates. I was hoping that keeping guns out of the hands of those with mental problems could be one of those areas; especially after the tragic and highly publicized shootings such as Aurora, Newtown and Tucson. All three are examples of someone with a mental illness using a firearm with tragic consequences. Surely, we can all agree that people who are mentally unstable, unbalanced, or with a full blown diagnosis of mental illness should not have access to a gun?
US Reps Costello and Meehan apparently do not think so.
President Bush signed a bill after the Virginia Tech tragedy where 32 people were gunned down by a mentally disturbed student in 2007, that required all federal agencies, including the VA, to submit names of people in their care to the National Instant Background Check (NICS) prohibited list when deemed too dangerous to own a gun.
This week’s successful vote on HR1181 – Vet’s 2nd Amendment Protection Act, will effectively cancel this law, and demonstrates once again that our Republican Congress does the bidding of the NRA, to the detriment of the safety of the Veterans and their families. This bill will restore gun rights to 170,000 Vets who may pose a serious danger to themselves and others. Let’s look at the facts:
*20 Vets commit suicide every day
*15,000 Vets who have severe PTSD will get their gun rights restored (DLN 3/23/17)
*19,000 Vets who have schizophrenia will get their gun rights restored (DLN 3/23/17)
*Vets have up to a 61% higher risk of suicide than the general public
*14 retired admirals and generals, including David Petraeus, sent a letter to Congress urging them against this bill Continue reading
By Fran Maye, Daily Local News, 3/23/17
WEST CHESTER >> With chants like “Hey Hey, Ho Ho, we need to see Costello,” and “Keep it, keep it, people really need it,” more than 100 people gathered outside the office of U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello, R-6, Thursday at noon to protest the proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
“We are asking Ryan Costello to be a stand-up guy and vote no to TrumpCare,” said Paula Terrell of North Coventry Township. “It will affect my (insurance) premiums and the premiums of our senior citizens.”…
keep reading at Daily Local News
n.b. A Quinnipiac University Poll released yesterday shows that 56% of US voters disapprove of the “TrumpCare” plan with only 17% in favor and 26% undecided. 46% say they would be less likely to vote for a US Senator or representative who votes for the current Republican plan, 19% more likely, and 29% say it wouldn’t matter.