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"

Go deeper

20 Republican former U.S. attorneys endorse Biden, call Trump "a threat to the rule of law"

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Twenty Republican former U.S. Attorneys on Tuesday endorsed Joe Biden while saying that "President Trump's leadership is a threat to rule of law" in the U.S., the Washington Post reports.

What they're saying: In the letter, the former prosecutors criticize Trump's use of the Department of Justice, saying the president expects the DOJ to "to serve his personal and political interests."

  • "He has politicized the Justice Department, dictating its priorities along political lines and breaking down the barrier that prior administrations had maintained between political and prosecutorial decision-making," the letter says.
Updated 38 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse — The swing states where the pandemic is raging.
  2. Health: The coronavirus is starting to crush some hospitals — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Winter coronavirus threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes cable and satellite TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota COVID cases traced to 3 Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Unrest in Italy as restrictions grow across Europe.

Ted Cruz defends GOP's expected return to prioritizing national debt

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told "Axios on HBO" on Monday that he wishes reining in the national debt was a higher priority for President Trump.

Why it matters: Trump pledged during the 2016 campaign to reduce the national debt and eliminate it entirely within eight years, though he also deemed himself "the king of debt" and said there were some priorities that required spending. In the fiscal year that ended in September, the deficit reached a record $3.1 trillion.