Jan 11, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Freshmen Democrats in Trump country feel pressure over shutdown

The Capitol dome under a cloudy sky.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The government shutdown is taking a political toll on freshman House Democrats, who entered office in the early days of a near-record breaking lapse in federal funds, Politico reports.

Why it matters: Many of the new Democrats won in districts carried by President Trump in 2016, but perceptions of border security and the 3-week political stalemate are angering their new constituents. Freshman Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) said at a caucus meeting this week that Democrats "were losing the messaging war in her district."

  • Spanberger, whose district voted for Trump by a 6% margin in 2016, told Politico that if she's "getting comments and contact from my constituents expressing concern that the Democrats are not prioritizing security, then I think we can do better."

Other House Democrats are eyeing Trump's possible emergency declaration as a way out of the shutdown, The Hill reports.

  • Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.): "This might be the best of the bad lot in terms of the options left to us.”
  • Rep. Don Byer (D-Va.): "Right now it looks like the only way out that people are talking about. I’m eager to find another creative solution. I haven’t heard one.”

Go deeper: Shutdown, Day 21 — "Payday without pay"

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