Written by 03:49 Politics

Top House Democrats Privately Say Biden Must Go as Allies Insist He Must Do More

President Biden’s base of support among key Democrats on Capitol Hill began to crumble on Sunday as a half-dozen top members of the House privately told colleagues he should withdraw from the presidential race amid growing concerns about his age and ability to win re-election.

During a virtual private meeting, the House Democrats — all senior members of powerful committees — discussed how to use their collective influence to convince Mr. Biden he had little chance of defeating former President Donald J. Trump, according to five people familiar with the confidential discussion, including three who were present, all of whom insisted on anonymity to discuss it.

The consensus during the session, which was convened by Representative Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat of New York and the minority leader, was that a change at the top of the ticket was needed to preserve the party’s chances of holding the White House and prevailing in the fight for control of Congress, the people said.

Among those saying explicitly that Mr. Biden should end his candidacy were Representatives Jerrold Nadler of New York, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee; Adam Smith of Washington, the ranking member of the Armed Services Committee; Mark Takano of California, the ranking Democrat on the Veterans Affairs Committee; and Joseph D. Morelle of New York, the top Democrat on the committee on House Administration.

A fifth Democrat, Representative Jim Himes of Connecticut, the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, also expressed uncertainty about Mr. Biden’s path forward. A sixth, Representative Susan Wild of Pennsylvania, the ranking member of the Ethics Committee, said in a statement following the session that she had “expressed the same concerns that Americans across the country are grappling with, about President Biden’s electability,” adding that the “difficult process” Democrats are going through to determine the best path forward should be done in a confidential way.

Several participants in the meeting declined to comment on the confidential discussion. One attendee, Representative Don Beyer of Virginia, issued a statement afterward declaring, “I support President Biden.” Another, Representative Richard E. Neal of Massachusetts, the top Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, called Mr. Biden a “visionary leader” on social media, adding: “Let’s keep it going.”

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Last modified: 8 July 2024
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