After Inspiring Bipartisan Breakthrough on COVID Relief, Phillips Casts Leadership Vote

January 3, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Dean Phillips (MN-03) maintained his previously-announced support for Speaker Pelosi after a bipartisan COVID-19 relief package was signed into law this week. Phillips released this statement following the leadership vote:

“In a conversation with Speaker Pelosi this November, I reiterated that my support for her leadership bid would not be contingent on a plum committee assignment or personal priorities, but rather on the passage of emergency relief for American families, workers, and small businesses,” said Phillips. “After making it my personal mission for more than four months, I am proud to have helped inspire bipartisan breakthrough and relieved that we delivered meaningful aid to Americans in need over the holidays. The work is far from over, and I will partner with Democrats, Republicans, and independents in Congress to ensure we meet future moments. As I begin my second term, our nation is in serious need of repair and we must begin the healing in our neighborhoods and in the halls of Congress.”

ICYMI: All Things Considered, National Public Radio, December 17, 2020

[04:59] RACHEL MARTIN: Congressman Phillips, you told Speaker Pelosi last month that your support for her was dependent on getting a deal done. Why did it have to come to that?

REP. DEAN PHILLIPS (D, MN): Well, Rachel, as a freshman member of Congress, our political capital that we've accrued is limited. I decided I would spend every penny of it to fulfill my core mission, which is to help people. I saw a photo a couple weeks ago, like many of your listeners, of thousands of cars lined up in Dallas, Texas, at a food bank. I learned that 40% of those families had never needed a food handout before in their lives. And I made the decision after seeing that photo and similar ones from my own hometown of Minneapolis that I would speak with the speaker and let her know that it was the single most important issue to me, that being on any certain committee or having a certain bill passed was in second place compared to the most important mission. And it still is the truth. If we get this bill through the Congress, I will vote for her. If we do not, I will seek new leadership because that is the responsibility of leadership.

MARTIN: And it sounds like both of you.

REP. DUSTY JOHNSON (R, SD): And, Rachel...

MARTIN: Go ahead.

JOHNSON: Can I just - yeah, let me just note about what - the remarkable thing that Dean Phillips just said. I mean, so many people come to Washington, D.C., and they are interested in accruing titles and fancy office space and in accruing power. Dean Phillips - and, frankly, this is true of all of the Problem Solvers, whether we are conservatives like myself or liberals on the other side - Dean Phillips was willing to set aside all of that and attempt to do good for the American people. That's remarkable.