WASHINGTON: Joe Biden’s faltering reelection bid received some much needed support Tuesday from senior Democrats, even as the party’s lawmakers fell short of a consensus on keeping the president as their 2024 White House nominee.

While the 81-year-old tries to shore up his international reputation in a speech at a NATO summit in Washington, his own party is in crisis mode weighing whether to jettison Biden before the November election.

The Democrat leader in the House of Representatives, Hakeem Jeffries, huddled with members who fear that Biden’s age -- exacerbated by his disastrous debate performance against Donald Trump -- could lose them their seats.

One participating lawmaker, speaking to US media on condition of anonymity, described the meeting as “intense,“ with another member saying the mood was “pretty much unanimous” that Biden should step down.

But in the party’s full caucus meeting later Tuesday there were signs that Biden has firmed up support, with several lawmakers walking past rows of reporters and declaring their allegiance to the president.

Jerry Nadler, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, backed Biden despite having reportedly said at the weekend that he should step aside.

“He said he’s going to remain in, he’s our candidate, and we’re all going to support him -- hopefully we’re all going to support him,“ Nadler told reporters.

In another notable win, the president spoke by phone with the influential Congressional Black Caucus late Monday and won their backing.

If the endorsements weren’t all enthusiastic, there appeared to be grudging acceptance that Biden is not going anywhere, at least for now.

After days of wrangling over an aging president and his capacity to defeat Trump, the White House insisted Biden was committed to serving a second full term -- and that questions over his candidacy were settled.

“We do want to turn the page,“ press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. “We want to get to the other side of this.”

- ‘He has to step down’ -

Most top Democrats -- like Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who reiterated Tuesday that “I’m with Joe” -- have rallied behind Biden, even as the party remains divided over a debate performance watched by some 51 million Americans.

Stubborn resistance remained Tuesday, with New Jersey congresswoman Mikie Sherrill becoming the seventh Democratic lawmaker to openly call on Biden to not seek reelection.

“He just has to step down,“ House Democrat Mike Quigley told CNN as he headed into Tuesday’s meeting.

“The fighting spirit and pride and courage that served the country so well four years ago, helped Joe Biden win, will bring the ticket down this time.”

Concerns about Biden’s health have upended the party less than four months before the vote.

Biden stepped up his fightback this week, saying he would stay in the race and daring Democratic critics to challenge him at the party convention in August.

The oldest-ever US president has dismissed his debate performance, in which he stumbled over words and stood with mouth agape, as a “bad night” caused by a cold and jetlag from arduous foreign travel.

Biden’s personal doctor said Monday the president was seen by a specialist in Parkinson’s disease purely as part of normal neurological examinations during his annual medical.

The president will address fellow NATO leaders in a speech closely watched both domestically and by international allies who fear a return of the isolationist Trump.

But Biden’s attempted relaunch failed to convince The New York Times.

In a scathing editorial, it said Democrats “need to tell him that he is embarrassing himself and endangering his legacy.”