An Open Letter to Mitch McConnell

DEEPHAVEN, MN – Today I released the following open letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. I’ve had enough. Something must be done.

Leader McConnell:

While you’ve been in Congress much longer than I, we both took the same oath: “I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

While your job is to lead the Republican majority in the Senate, that oath demands that you put your country before your party — particularly in times of crisis. Now is such a time.

All around the world — including in Moscow — foreign enemies of the United States are preparing to undermine our elections and disrupt our democracy. This is a well-known fact. And yet, you have not taken up a single bill passed by the House majority to strengthen our voting systems and ensure the integrity of our elections. Nor have you passed any legislation of your own.

It is very difficult for the average American to understand why you would stand in the way of taking any action whatsoever in the face of such an obvious foreign threat. That is, unless you believe you and your party will benefit from such interference. Imagine the reaction of our Founding Fathers. Imagine the reaction of Ronald Reagan, for that matter.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the only example of abdicating your oath. Our country just experienced two mass shootings in the span of just 24 hours, at least one of which is confirmed to have been carried out by another white supremacist who specifically targeted immigrants. That brings us to 251 mass shootings this year — and it’s only August.

If these had been incidents of foreign terrorism, there is no doubt that you would have rightly taken swift and aggressive action to ensure they never happened again. And yet, in the face of a national crisis of domestic terrorism and gun violence, you have done nothing. The House has already passed two bills to strengthen our background check system and close the Charleston loophole. It is only a beginning, and we stand ready to do more. Huge majorities of Americans agree with us — including Republicans, and gun owners of all political perspectives. Only you and the NRA stand in the way.

Like me, and all who have the great honor of serving in Congress, one day our actions, and inactions, will be left to the history books. It is not too late to ensure that your legacy was one of courage in a time of need, and bold action in a time of dysfunction.

For the sake of our country and future, I hope you choose principle over party and the common interest over special interests – before it’s too late.


Dean Phillips

Member of Congress

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