As Congress reconvened this week following the Independence Day recess, Democratic House members faced a pressing agenda centered around President Joe Biden’s potential candidacy, with the atmosphere charged by growing concerns about his abilities. This follows increased scrutiny and doubts from lawmakers sparked by Biden’s performance in June’s debate.

Amidst this backdrop, Biden has actively worked to counter any speculation about withdrawing from the upcoming race. In a pivotal moment, just before what was referred to as a “come-to-Jesus” meeting on Tuesday, a smaller group of Democrats from key swing districts convened. The meeting was reportedly emotional, involving tears, reflecting the intense internal pressures and the critical decisions facing the party.

At a critical full caucus meeting of the Democrats, opinions were sharply divided, with intense emotional undertones marking the discussions. As described to Axios by one lawmaker who attended, the meeting was characterized as “intense.” Another participant conveyed a strong consensus among the group, indicating that it was “pretty much unanimous” that President Biden should step down. The emotional depth of the meeting was highlighted by the fact that there were tears from some attendees, which notably, were not in sympathy for Biden.

Some lawmakers defended Biden, while others questioned his ability to compete against former President Donald Trump, according to attendees. A House Democrat present at both meetings remarked, “Most of our caucus is still with him … meaning he’ll stay in. Which sucks for our country.”

After the contentious meeting on Tuesday, a lawmaker who had previously told Axios that the internal revolt was “over” reiterated this sentiment, stating that the meeting reinforced their viewpoint. “There were no surprises there,” the lawmaker noted, indicating that the discussions had not shifted the already established perspectives within the group.”

On Monday, Biden released a two-page letter that gave insight into his thinking as he responded to other party leaders who fear that he is jeopardizing their chances of keeping the White House, preserving a Senate majority, and winning back the U.S. House.

“This morning, I sent a letter to my fellow Democrats on Capitol Hill. In it, I shared my thoughts about this moment in our campaign. It’s time to come together, move forward as a unified party, and defeat Donald Trump,” Biden wrote. He added that he “declined” to step aside and argues it is time for the party drama “to end.”

“Now that you have returned from the July 4th recess, I want you to know that despite all the speculation in the press and elsewhere, I am firmly committed to staying in this race, to running this race to the end, and to beating Donald Trump,” Biden wrote. “I have had extensive conversations with the leadership of the party, elected officials, rank and file members, and most importantly, Democratic voters over these past 10 days or so. I have heard the concerns that people have – their good faith fears and worries about what is at stake in this election. I am not blind to them.”

“I can respond to all this by saying clearly and unequivocally: I wouldn’t be running again if I did not absolutely believe I was the best person to beat Donald Trump in 2024. We had a Democratic nomination process and the voters have spoken clearly and decisively,” the letter added.

Biden continued: “I received over 14 million votes, 87% of the votes cast across the entire nominating process. I have nearly 3,900 delegates, making me the presumptive nominee of our party by a wide margin. This was a process open to anyone who wanted to run. Only three people chose to challenge me. One fared so badly that he left the primaries to run as an independent. Another attacked me for being too old and was soundly defeated. The voters of the Democratic Party have voted. They have chosen me to be the nominee of the party.”

“Do we now just say this process didn’t matter? That the voters don’t have a say?” Biden asked.

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Disclaimer: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.