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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.”

Go deeper

Nov 30, 2021 - Axios Atlanta

Georgia's new districts, explained

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Since last week felt like a small tsunami of news, we’re revisiting a story that will affect Georgians for the next decade: the new congressional maps that passed along party lines.

What’s next: Gov. Brian Kemp has not yet signed these into law. Multiple organizations have promised to sue as soon as he does.

Here’s the skinny on the proposed changes affecting metro Atlanta:

The lawmakers playing up infrastructure the most

Expand chart
Data: Quorum; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Both of the Democrats' vulnerable Arizona senators have been some of the most active lawmakers in hyping "infrastructure" in their press releases, newsletters, tweets and Facebook posts.

Why it matters: Democrats are hopeful their successes on roads, bridges — and, possibly, expanding the social safety net — will lessen losses they're expecting in the 2022 midterms. The social media activity has been tracked since President Biden signed the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package into law.

Senate Republicans shrug off debt default deadline

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testifies before House members Wednesday. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senate Republicans are feeling far more relaxed about the impending Dec. 15 federal debt-default deadline this time around, with many suggesting the real drop-dead date isn't until January.

Why it matters: Their attitude toward the deadline set by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is distinctively different from the hair-on-fire rhetoric before the initial Oct. 18 date. But a Congress discounting the advice of a Treasury secretary is risky financial practice — and has the potential to affect markets itself.