Democratic leaders in the US House of Representatives are reconvening to discuss Joe Biden’s future

Receive the US Election Countdown newsletter for free

The top Democrat in the US House of Representatives will meet with his leadership team to “determine the next step” amid growing calls on Capitol Hill for Joe Biden to end his re-election campaign against Donald Trump.

Hakeem Jeffries, the party’s leader in the House of Representatives, told reporters on Thursday that he planned to speak with every one of the more than 200 Democrats in the House before talking to his top team to chart a path forward as the party reels from a crisis over Biden’s candidacy.

“This week, we as Democrats in the House of Representatives have engaged in conversations with each other. Those conversations have been candid, comprehensive, and clear, and they continue,” Jeffries said.

Jeffries has faced growing calls within his caucus to have the 81-year-old Biden step aside amid concerns that the president is ill-equipped to defeat Trump in November and serve another four years in the White House.

On Thursday, Michigan lawmaker Hillary Scholten became the latest Democrat in Congress to call on Biden to end his re-election campaign.

“For the good of our democracy, I believe it is time for him to withdraw from the presidential race and allow a new leader to emerge,” Scholten said.

New York Congressman Ritchie Torres on Thursday held back from explicitly calling on Biden to resign, but wrote on X: “The narrative that the President has had just one poor debate performance reflects an ongoing pattern of denial and self-deception.”

More than a dozen lawmakers have so far explicitly called on Biden to step aside, while many others have expressed concerns about his candidacy.

On Wednesday, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Biden needed to make a decision about his future “quickly,” while actor George Clooney, a major Democratic supporter and Hollywood donor, called on the president to also withdraw from the race.

Give your opinion

Joe Biden vs. Donald Trump: tell us how the 2024 US elections will affect you

Many lawmakers are also concerned that Biden could influence congressional elections and destroy the Democratic Party’s chance to regain control of the House of Representatives.

But Jeffries insisted Thursday that he remained optimistic about the party’s chances at the ballot box and his own chances of becoming the next House speaker. He said, “The Democrats in the House of Representatives will regain control of the House of Representatives on November 5th.”

Democratic donors told the Financial Times on Wednesday that funding for the party’s election campaign is now “drying up” because Biden remains on the ticket.

“We have yet to speak to anyone in the Senate, on the donor side or in the House of Representatives who would not like to see another nominee,” said Democratic donor and investor Jeff Walker, a member of the Leadership Now Project who has called on Biden to end his campaign.

Lawmakers’ growing concerns come nearly two weeks after Biden’s disastrous performance in the debate against Trump sent panic through the Democratic Party, with influential donors and party officials worried that the president was unfit to run for reelection and serve another four-year term.

The White House and Biden’s campaign have insisted that the president is committed to his re-election campaign, defeating Trump and serving another term in the White House.

The behind-the-scenes negotiations on Capitol Hill come hours before Biden is scheduled to address the world’s press at a news conference to conclude this week’s NATO summit in Washington.

Additional reporting by Alex Rogers in Washington

Leave a Comment