Nov 5, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Dems plan repair blitz

Rep.  Susan Wild is seen on the steps of the Capitol.
Rep. Susan Wild. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Congressional Democrats are heading home for their Veterans Day recess convinced Tuesday's losses prove they have a PR problem as much as policy trouble.

Why it matters: The National Republican Campaign Committee — emboldened by its string of wins this week — released a new list of Democratic targets on Wednesday. Democrats are casting about for an answer.

  • Rep. Susan Wild (D-Pa.), a front-line Democrat, told Axios she has a "big target on my back" from Republican opposition, yet Democrats aren’t “particularly good self-promoters.”
  • She talked about a close friend who thought President Trump was responsible for the child tax credit she was receiving in her bank account through a direct deposit from the federal government.
  • “Somebody else said to me, like when that direct deposit hits, it should be followed by ‘Biden gave you this,’ or something like that.”

Rep. Andy Kim (D-N.J.) said he learned lessons from the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package enacted in March.

  • It taught him "things I think I can do better in terms of trying to connect those dots” for the public.

The never-ending legislative process to pass President Biden’s twin spending bills has inhibited both the White House and its congressional supporters from selling their attributes.

  • One member said the protracted process will let him tell his constituents next week about his effort to reign in spending.
  • Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) will tout the fact that he and other moderates brought down the size of the $1.75 trillion social safety net expansion as an appeal to more conservative members of his district.
  • “One of the things I want to talk about is my role … in trying to moderate this bill,” he said. “And it has been moderated: It's not $3.5 trillion.”
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