Biden’s support on Capitol Hill hangs in the balance as Democrats meet in private

Jul 9, 2024, 10:40 AM | Updated: 10:54 pm

President Joe Biden attends a church service at Mt. Airy Church of God in Christ, Sunday, July 7, 2...

President Joe Biden attends a church service at Mt. Airy Church of God in Christ, Sunday, July 7, 2024, in Philadelphia (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)


Democrats on Capitol Hill met privately Tuesday at a crucial moment for President Joe Biden and their party, with tensions running high over the extraordinary question of whether to keep up support or urge him to step aside in light of health concerns.

Democratic House members met at party headquarters – no cellphones, no leaks — for what party leaders billed as just a “family” discussion. But one Democrat in the room said the mood was “dour” as congressmen discussed their party leader, who emphatically refuses to bow out and implored them in a Donald Trump.

Emerging from the closed-door meeting, Biden’s supporters were the most vocal, and one key Democrat reversed course to support the president. But as Senate Democrats prepared to meet next, Biden’s political future was the remarkable matter in question.

“He said he’s going to remain in, he’s our candidate, and we’re going to support him,” said Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, who over the weekend was among those privately saying Biden needed to step aside.

But dissent runs strong among many Democrats who worry that not only is the presidency in jeopardy but also their own down-ballot races for control of the House and Senate.

Rep. Steven Cohen, D-Tenn., was asked if Democrats were on the same page after the nearly two-hour session and responded, “We are not even in the same book.”

“He just has to step down because he can’t win,” said Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill.

Quigley said, “The fighting spirit and pride and courage that served the country so well four years ago, that helped Joe Biden win, will bring the ticket down this time.”

It’s a remarkable moment for the president and his party with Democrats in Congress seriously questioning Biden’s place at the top of the ticket, weeks before the Democratic National Convention to nominate him for a second term.

In the private House meeting Tuesday, there was a growing concern that Biden remaining in the race means that the election will center around his age issues instead of Trump, according to the person in the room.

Democrats also worry that Biden can’t be replaced because he’s so dug in and because of potential legal issues surrounding replacing a candidate so close to the election.

Republicans face their own history-making political situation, poised to nominate a former president who is the first ever to be convicted of a felony — in a hush money case — and who faces federal criminal indictments, including the effort to overturn the 2020 election he lost to Biden.

Senate Democrats, too, were meeting Tuesday as leaders, including Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state, say Biden needs to show Americans he can capably run for reelection at this critical moment for the country.

While at least six House Democrats have publicly called on Biden to end his candidacy, Senate Democrats have held their concerns closer to the vest. No Senate Democrat has publicly called for Biden to step side.

After a slow initial response to Biden’s dismal debate, the White House and campaign team are working more furiously now to end the drama in part by gathering the president’s most loyal supporters to speak out.

The president met virtually late Monday with the Congressional Black Caucus, whose members are core to Biden’s coalition, thanking them for having his back, and assuring them he would have theirs in a second term. He was also to meet with the Congressional Progressive Caucus and Congressional Hispanic Caucus, whose leaders have said publicly they are sticking with the president.

And other lawmakers, including Rep, Gregory Meeks, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said that the entire party caucus is united behind Biden as their nominee.


Associated Press writer Kevin Freking contributed to this report.

United States News

FILE - The marquee at a gun shop in Los Ranchos, N.M, flashes in protest of Gov. Michelle Lujan Gri...

Associated Press

Federal court won’t block New Mexico’s 7-day waiting period on gun purchases amid litigation

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that New Mexico can continue to enforce a new, seven-day waiting period on gun sales while a court challenge backed by the National Rifle Association moves forward. In a ruling Monday, Albuquerque-based U.S. District Court Judge James Browning denied the NRA’s request for a restraining […]

6 minutes ago

Associated Press

Clashes arise over the economic effects of Louisiana’s $3 billion-dollar coastal restoration project

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Proponents of a nearly $3 billion project to restore part of southeast Louisiana’s rapidly vanishing coastline released a study Tuesday touting the expected economic benefits of its construction, even as the project faces pushback and litigation from communities who fear the environment and their livelihoods will be severely affected. The Mid-Barataria […]

17 minutes ago

Associated Press

How employers are taking steps to safeguard workers from extreme heat

McKINNEY, Texas (AP) — At the start of every work day, construction worker Charles Smith puts on the essentials: hard hat. Safety glasses. A reflective vest. And a small, watch-like band for his wrist. But rather than track time, its purpose is to ensure he doesn’t overheat while working during sweltering summer days in Texas. […]

35 minutes ago

Associated Press

State election directors fear the Postal Service can’t handle expected crush of mail-in ballots

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — State election directors from across the country voiced serious concerns to a top U.S. Postal Service official Tuesday that the system won’t be able to handle an expected crush of mail-in ballots in the November election. Steven Carter, manager of election and government programs for the postal service, attempted to reassure the […]

46 minutes ago

South Central District Judge Bruce Romanick listens to arguments by attorneys during a hearing, Tue...

Associated Press

North Dakota judge will decide whether to throw out a challenge to the state’s abortion ban

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Attorneys argued Tuesday over whether a North Dakota judge should toss a lawsuit challenging the state’s abortion ban, with the state saying the plaintiffs’ case rests on hypotheticals, and the plaintiffs saying key issues remain to be resolved at a scheduled trial. State District Judge Bruce Romanick said he will rule […]

58 minutes ago

Associated Press

Editorial Roundup: United States

Excerpts from recent editorials in the United States and abroad: July 22 The Washington Post on what Kamala Harris needs to do to win the election With President Biden’s exit from the race, Democrats are quickly coalescing around Vice President Harris. Too quickly, arguably: Both she and the country would be better served by a […]

1 hour ago

Sponsored Articles


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.



Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

Biden’s support on Capitol Hill hangs in the balance as Democrats meet in private