Phillips, Problem Solvers Lead Break-Through Compromise To Deliver Needed Aid To American Families And Small Businesses

December 21, 2020
Press Release
Rep. Phillips calls for more aid for firefighters, police, first responders and state and local governments ahead of a long winter

Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) praised the passage of a bipartisan emergency relief package to help American families and small businesses struggling during the most devastating public health emergency in modern American history. 

Last week, Phillips and Problem Solvers Caucus (PSC) members from the House of Representatives joined a bipartisan group of Senators – including Mitt Romney (R-UT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) – to release a framework for the compromise passed today. This is the culmination of months of work, led by the PSC Co-Chairs, Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Tom Reed (R-NY), along with Reps. Dean Phillips and Dusty Johnson (R-SD), who released a “March to Common Ground” framework in September and have pushed leaders from both parties to cast partisan politics aside and come together for the American people.

“After making it my personal mission for over four months, I’m pleased that emergency relief is finally on its way to American workers, families and small businesses,” Rep. Phillips said. “I’m particularly proud of the bipartisan ‘Tiger Team’ working group of the PSC, which worked together to inspire a breakthrough in stalled negotiations and played an integral role in delivering much needed aid to Americans at the precipice. Restoring Americans’ trust in government requires members of Congress to place the needs of people above personal priorities, and we need more to take that pledge and fulfill the promise. America is great because we’ve always found the common ground necessary to serve our nation’s best interests. As our country emerges from the worst health and economic crisis of our lifetimes, I'm committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure we can meet the moment.”

The package, while far from perfect, includes important provisions that will be a lifeline to many in need over the holidays:

  • COVID-19 testing, tracing, and vaccine distribution
  • Nutrition assistance
  • Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit
  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds for small businesses and targeted support for theaters, concert venues, and non-profits with the ability for these funds to be tax exempt
  • Paid Sick Leave and Employee Retention Tax Credit
  • Education and Child Care support
  • Rental assistance, eviction moratorium, and Low Income Housing Tax Credit
  • Opioid support
  • Broadband

As with any compromise, there are many parts of the deal that the Congressman believes should have been improved, including:

  • Enhanced unemployment for those who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic
  • Stimulus checks, with much more than $600 going to people in need, and none for those who are secure
  • Targeted aid for restaurants, gyms, and businesses that rely on public gathering

Finally, the Congressman is dismayed in what was left out of the compromise. Rep. Phillips is committed to renewing the fight for:

  • State and local aid, which our schools, firefighters, police, and other first responders so desperately need in order to continue serving our communities
  • The spirit of working together and placing people over party