Biden racks up congressional endorsements

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHarris faces pressure to define policy proposals Biden campaign rips 'Medicare for All,' calls on Dems to protect Affordable Care Act Harris voices support for Puerto Rico protesters: 'I stand with them' MORE received endorsements from several Democratic senators shortly after he announced his 2020 presidential campaign on Thursday.

Sens. Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsDemocrats pledge to fight Trump detention policy during trip to border Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand Senate Democrats skipping Pence's border trip MORE (D-Del.) and Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyDemocrats pledge to fight Trump detention policy during trip to border Democrats grill USDA official on relocation plans that gut research staff Trump's new labor chief alarms Democrats, unions MORE Jr. (D-Pa.) were among the first to back Biden's bid.

“Joe Biden doesn’t just talk about making our county more just, he delivers results," Coons said in a statement.

Casey said in a tweet that he was "proud to endorse my friend, Joe Biden, for President."

Casey added in a statement that "America needs" Biden to be the next president, according to The Associated Press.

“At this make-or-break moment for the middle class, our children and our workers, America needs Vice President Joe Biden to be its next President," he said.

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Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperFighting the opioid epidemic: Congress can't just pass laws, but must also push to enforce them Overnight Energy: Scientists flee USDA as research agencies move to Kansas City area | Watchdog finds EPA skirted rules to put industry reps on boards | New rule to limit ability to appeal pollution permits Watchdog finds EPA skirted rules when appointing industry leaders to science boards MORE (D), the other senator from Delaware, later endorsed the former vice president.

"In 1982, it was then-Senator Joe Biden who first encouraged me to run for the U.S. House of Representatives. Today, I could not be more proud to endorse my friend Joe as he launches his campaign to be the next President of the United States," Carper said in a statement.

"Joe has spent his career championing policies that help all Americans. He is a tested, experienced leader with a proven track record of getting things done for our country," Carper added.

Democratic Sen. Doug Jones (Ala.) also said in a tweet that Biden can "bring people together" and "find common ground while standing up for what he believes is right."

Biden, who was born in Pennsylvania and has lived the majority of his life in Delaware, announced early Thursday that he would seek the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.

"If we give Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpLiz Cheney: 'Send her back' chant 'inappropriate' but not about race, gender Booker: Trump is 'worse than a racist' Top Democrat insists country hasn't moved on from Mueller MORE eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation — who we are — and I cannot stand by and watch that happen," Biden said in a video message.

"Everything that has made America America is at stake," Biden added. "That’s why today I'm announcing my candidacy for president of the United States."

Biden joins a crowded field of more than 20 vying for the Democratic nomination, but he enters the race with an early edge, leading several early polls and having strong national name recognition.

In the House, Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.) endorsed Biden early Thursday, saying he “is exactly what America needs right now.”

“He has the experience, the knowledge, the relationships, the gravitas and the integrity to put our country on the right track,” Suozzi said. “Americans are ready for someone in the White House who will directly address the issues and problems they and their families face and do something about solving them. Joe Biden has the ability to do that and that is why I am proud to endorse him for President.”

-- Cristina Marcos contributed to this report, which was updated at 11:21 a.m.