Cami Mondeaux writes for the Washington Examiner about the challenges facing congressional Democrats this week.

Democratic lawmakers will return to Washington, D.C., on Monday amid the continued fallout from President Joe Biden’s debate performance, which has prompted some members of his own party to urge him to withdraw from the race altogether. 

Democrats are in for what could be a contentious week as they dodge attacks from their Republican colleagues regarding Biden’s age and mental acuity while also facing intraparty disagreement about whether the president should step aside. A small but growing list of Democrats have publicly called on Biden to withdraw, while others have said they don’t believe he’ll win in November. 

Democrats view this week as a make-or-break moment for Biden, 81, to prove he’s up for the job after his unsteady debate performance against former President Donald Trump left the party and the public questioning his mental acuity. While a 22-minute sit-down with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos Friday failed to quiet the backlash, Biden will have another shot this week as he hosts NATO leaders in Washington, D.C., and will hold his first press conference since the June 27 debate.

“I think the focus has to be on the president using this week to do the things necessary in an unscripted way in order to answer the questions that voters have,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) told CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday. “And if that doesn’t happen, then obviously the president has a decision to make.”

Murphy added: “The clock is ticking. This is going to be a really important and vital week.”

House Democratic leaders already began the discussion virtually on Sunday afternoon when Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) spoke to senior leaders. On the private call, several Democrats made the case for Biden to stand down, including Reps. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Adam Smith (D-WA), Mark Takano (D-CA), and Joe Morelle (D-NY), according to multiple reports.

Biden’s candidacy is also bound to come up in person during the House Democrats’ weekly closed-door meeting on Tuesday.