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Jeffries plans to relay Dem concerns to Biden

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House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries has told lawmakers in private meetings that he’ll relay concerns regarding the president’s electability to Joe Biden, according to two people familiar with the situation, as more Democrats call for him to step aside.

Jeffries has convened listening sessions in recent days with rattled members of the caucus, including a Wednesday meeting with members of the centrist New Democrat Coalition to discuss how having Biden at the top of the ticket could impact incumbents in battleground districts. Meanwhile, Speaker emerita Nancy Pelosi, whom rank-and-file Democrats have sought out for advice, has been having her own private conversations with Democrats to listen to their concerns, according to two people familiar with those discussions.

It’s still not clear when Jeffries will speak with the president. Asked Wednesday about his plans to talk with Biden, Jeffries sidestepped and said the “comprehensive conversations with the House Democratic Caucus” will be “the focus of our activity today, tomorrow and we’ll see where we go from there.”

CNN first reported Jeffries’ conversations.

Some key Democrats who have won tough races have started to urge Biden to get out of the race. Rep. Pat Ryan (D-N.Y.), who represents a purple district, became the eighth House Democrat to publicly call for Biden to step aside on Wednesday, writing in an op-ed: “for the good of our country, for the future of our kids and grandkids, I am asking Joe Biden to step aside in the upcoming election and deliver on his promise to be a ‘bridge’ to a new generation of leaders.”

Pelosi earlier Wednesday had raised eyebrows in the caucus by saying on Morning Joe that Biden ultimately had to make the decision on whether he would continue his reelection bid, despite the president repeatedly saying he would stay in the race. Many in the caucus have looked to direction from her, Jeffries and other leaders on how to proceed as lawmakers panic over Biden’s electoral prospects.

The news of Jeffries’ outreach comes after Biden’s high-profile interview last Friday with ABC, where he declined to answer a hypothetical about staying in the race if top Democrats told him they’re concerned about losing the House and the Senate with him at the top of the ticket.

“I’m not gonna answer that question. It’s not gonna happen,” Biden responded at the time.

Mia McCarthy contributed to this report.

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