Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.), who is mounting a long-shot bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, will return to the Capitol this week to vote in favor of Speaker Mike Johnson’s (R-La.) plan to avert a government shutdown, he confirmed to The Hill on Monday.
Phillips’s intention to support the proposal is a significant development for Johnson, who will need help from Democrats to get his stopgap bill over the finish line as several conservatives line up against it — though it remains to be seen whether any will join Phillips.
At least eight Republicans have said they plan to vote against the legislation when it comes to the floor.
Phillips’s plan also marks a break with President Biden, whom the Minnesota Democrat is challenging for the party’s nod for president. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre in a statement called Johnson’s plan an “unserious proposal” and a “recipe for more Republican chaos and more shutdowns — full stop.”
The newly minted Speaker unveiled a two-step continuing resolution over the weekend that would extend funding at current levels for some programs and agencies until mid-January and the rest through early February. It also extends authorization for Farm Bill programs and authorities until Sept. 30.
“I’ll be voting yes,” Phillips told The Hill by text message.
NBC News was the first to report Phillips’s decision.
Phillips also told The Hill he would be willing to vote for the rule to advance Johnson’s stopgap proposal if Democratic votes are needed.
“If Democrat votes are necessary, I’d surely be among them,” the congressman and presidential candidate said.
Johnson’s stopgap plan has come under fire from lawmakers in both parties: Conservatives have spoken out about the lack of spending cuts, while liberals are bashing the unconventional two-step approach to the continuing resolution. Democrats are also denouncing the absence of aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan in the legislation.
Johnson will need some hodgepodge of support from Democrats and Republicans to get his proposal through the chamber before Friday evening’s deadline or risk a shutdown.
Phillips officially announced his 2024 presidential campaign late last month, mounting a last-minute challenge to Biden after months of calling for a competitive Democratic primary.
—Updated at 1:54 p.m.