By: Scott Staruch

Pennsylvania’s newest representatives have more than a few things in common and myriad ideas they will bring to Congress.

Pennsylvania’s newest members of Congress are not that far apart, when compared geographically, personally or by their goals in Congress. With adjacent districts in southeast Pennsylvania, Congressman-elect Brendan Boyle will be representing PA’s 13th Congressional District and Congressman-elect Ryan Costello the 6th.

Boyle heads to Washington after serving in the Pennsylvania Legislature since 2009; and, Costello will be stepping down from his post as chairman of the Chester County Board of Commissioners to serve residents in Berks, Chester, Lebanon and Montgomery Counties.

Changing trends

Separated by just five months in age, Congressmen-elect Boyle (37) and Costello (38) help bring the average age of the 58 new members of the U.S. House of Representatives down to 50.

And rest assured both Boyle and Costello will have our next generation in mind when they get to D.C. This year, they each celebrated the birth of their first child, understandably marking both men’s proudest accomplishment of the year.

Here’s a short Q&A with Congressmen-elect Boyle and Costello.

Q: What is your proudest accomplishment(s) of 2014?

Boyle: Without question I think my proudest moment of 2014 is the birth of my daughter in early January. (I remember driving from the hospital with my hospital band still on to a campaign event the next day not having slept in about 48 hours.) As exciting as 2014 has been on a professional level with the successful election, it absolutely takes a back seat to the experience of being a new parent.

Costello: Helping to raise a happy, healthy newborn boy during his first year with my wife. As a county commissioner, opening Phases 2 and 3 of Chester Valley Trail, completing Vista 2025, a public-private partnership which enacted a 10-year economic development strategy in Chester County; maintaining our Triple-A bond rating; passing our county budget with no tax increase; hitting 25 percent open space preservation in the county; adopting our Public Transportation Plan. Our county was recently recognized by Movoto Real Estate as the 4th Best County in the Country.

Q: What are a few of your top policy goals and/or issues you’d like to work on in Washington?

Boyle: One issue that I would like to address is college affordability. As a country we have not been able to adequately address the rapidly rising cost of higher education, which has led to an explosion in student loan debt that is holding back an entire generation from getting married, buying homes and other actions that will propel long-term consumer demand. It is in our economic best interest as a nation to find workable policy solutions to this problem.

Costello: Enacting six-year Transportation Bill that will help to address the long-term public safety and economic development needs of our country, and southeastern Pa. Reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and Higher Education Act with an emphasis on more local control over curriculum. Simplifying our tax code and reducing tax rates.

Fostering a more civil, bi-partisan atmosphere so we can address the long-term needs of our country in a productive fashion. Work to find ways to lower healthcare costs for our families and seniors.

Q: What actions do you think Congress could take over the next year to spur job creation and improve America’s business climate?

Boyle: One action Congress can take right now is the passage of comprehensive legislation to address the structural infrastructure funding deficit that our nation is facing. Long-term investment in our roads, bridges and mass transit would not only promote the ease with which companies do business by reducing obstacles to commerce such as traffic congestion, but would create tens of thousands of jobs, providing valuable stimulus to our national economy.

Costello: Simplify tax code and reduce rates to spur investment. Make permanent many of the tax “extenders” to reduce the guesswork for businesses long-term planning. Eliminate the medical device tax, which detrimentally impacts investment in startup medical and biopharmaceutical companies in this region. Robust oversight and review of all proposed executive agency regulations to determine the true cost of regulation versus purported benefit.

Reform Dodd-Frank so that community banks are not inhibited from responsibility lending to our small businesses. Focus on a national energy policy that will enable a more sustainable, predictable production of energy resources so that such costs for businesses and families aren’t as volatile or expensive as in years past.

Keep learning

While both new members of Congress don’t have official websites just yet, you can get to know them further at their respective campaign websites: and