Four more Democrats in Congress call for Biden to step aside in the 2024 race

WASHINGTON — Four additional Democrats in Congress told their lawmaker colleagues during a phone call Sunday that they believe President Joe Biden should step aside to allow someone else to be the party’s nominee for president, according to multiple people on the call and familiar with the discussion.

The House Democrats who said Biden should drop out of the 2024 race were Reps. Adam Smith of Washington, Jerry Nadler of New York, Mark Takano of California and Joe Morelle of New York.

NBC News has reached out to the Biden campaign for comment.

The four lawmakers hold top positions on key House committees and bring the number of Democrats in Congress who have called for the president to reconsider his bid for president to nearly a dozen.

Smith is the top Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, with similar positions held by Nadler on the Judiciary Committee, Takano on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee and Morelle on the House Administration Committee.

The conversation took place during a call convened by House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., on Sunday afternoon. During the call, which lasted over an hour, Biden’s future as the leader of the party was heavily called into question, according to the sources.

Each lawmaker was given a chance to speak in order of seniority. Even those who did not explicitly call on Biden to bow out expressed concerns that he is not the strongest candidate to beat former President Donald Trump in November, additional sources said.

There was an overwhelming sense among lawmakers that Vice President Kamala Harris would be a better nominee than Biden, and that she would be the obvious choice to replace Biden should he exit the race.

Polling has indicated that concerns over Biden’s age have long been a top issue for voters, but the president’s widely panned debate performance on June 27 prompted conversations among lawmakers and donors about whether he was the best candidate to face Trump, 78, in the fall. Democrats in Congress have expressed their concerns both publicly and privately about Biden’s candidacy.

Biden, 81, sat for an interview on Friday with ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos, but it did little to quiet discussions among Democrats on Capitol Hill that he should exit the race.