Politics and Government

Minnesota Reps. Emmer, Phillips could make big moves in Washington this week

side by side photos of two men
MPR News reporter Mark Zdechlik is in Washington this week, keeping an eye on Tom Emmer’s run in the speaker race and a potential presidential bid from Dean Phillips.
Patrick Semansky | AP and Kevin Dietsch-Pool | Getty Images

House Republicans will try again this week to pick a speaker. And this time Minnesota U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer has thrown his hat into the ring.

Over the weekend, Emmer said on social media that he is seeking the nomination in an effort to bring the Republican conference together.

The House has been at a standstill since former speaker Kevin McCarthy was voted out almost three weeks ago. Since then, other candidates have tried and failed to become speaker.

There are eight other Republican candidates in the race, so it's a crowded field.

Emmer, currently the House majority whip, told colleagues in a letter this weekend that the GOP conference “remains at a crossroads and the deck is stacked against us.” He said he wouldn’t make promises to them he couldn’t fulfill. A House floor vote could come early in the week, but the first test will be in a private vote. 

And another Minnesota congressman could make news this week. Dean Phillips faces an end-of-week deadline to file for the New Hampshire primary ballot if he intends to seek the Democratic nomination for president. Phillips is reportedly setting the stage for an announcement in that state.

MPR News reporter Mark Zdechlik is in Washington covering this story for MPR News. He spoke with Cathy Wurzer on Morning Edition about what could happen in the week ahead. We’ll be watching Emmer’s run at speaker, and if Phillips makes a move this week, he’ll be on hand to cover that as well.

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