Some Senate Democrats are planning a meeting to discuss Biden next week

WASHINGTON —  Some key House and Senate Democrats are planning meetings next week where they’re expected to discuss the path forward for President Joe Biden.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., will convene a virtual meeting with Democratic committee ranking members on Sunday, three sources told NBC News. The meeting is expected to focus on President Biden, one of the sources said, as he faces calls to step aside as the party’s nominee.

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., meanwhile, is organizing a group of Democratic senators to meet next week to discuss what to do amid concerns about Biden’s electability and the potential for a drag on down-ballot races for the House and Senate, four sources familiar with the outreach told NBC News on Friday.

Though two House Democrats have publicly called for Biden to drop out of the 2024 race following a devastating debate performance last week, and others have privately echoed those calls, senators have so far held their fire on Biden’s future.

Warner’s office declined to comment on the meeting and Jeffries’ did not respond to a request for comment.

The House committee leaders’ meeting, set for 2 p.m. Sunday., is not part of any regularly scheduled gathering of ranking members. It comes a day before House lawmakers are slated to return to Washington following the Fourth of July recess. 

Last weekend on MSNBC, Jeffries called Biden’s debate performance “underwhelming” and a “setback” but said it sets up a “comeback” for the president. But Jeffries has been fairly quiet about Biden in recent days and very little has leaked from his conference call with top House Democratic leaders before the July 4 holiday.

Members of Congress have been away from Washington on recess since before Biden’s debate with former President Donald Trump and both chambers will return on Monday evening.

Biden and the White House have insisted that he will stay in the race, with the president telling supporters at a rally in Wisconsin on Friday that he is running and will beat Trump in November.

When reached for comment on the Warner-organized meeting, a Biden campaign aide referred to the president’s rally in Wisconsin, specifically his remarks about staying in the race.

Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., said in an interview with NBC News on Friday that Warner had not reached out to him, saying he “would not be part of” any conversation about urging Biden to step aside.

Asked if he was still confident Biden could beat Trump in November, Fetterman said: “Yes! He’s the one person who has beaten Trump before.”

“I can’t think of a single situation where panicking or freaking out has made a situation better,” Fetterman added. “For God’s sake, some Democrats: Get a spine! Grow a pair! One or the other.”

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