“In my Oval Office, mi casa is su casa,” the longtime Delaware Democratic senator told Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer during their first meeting since he was projected as the general election winner.
His open invitation to them comes as Donald Trump stood in the White House briefing room a couple of hours earlier and falsely said of the election in which Mr Biden as 79.6m votes to his 73.7m: “I won.”
The president did not take reporters’ questions after making that unprecedented and false claim as his legal challenges of relatively close margins in key swing states continue to be thrown out by federal judges.
Mr Trump left that briefing to meet with state GOP leaders from Michigan, where he lost to Mr Biden; he reportedly wants those state officials and others to send their own Trump-friendly delegates to the formal Electoral College vote and hand him those states’ electoral votes – which would overturn what state election officials in each place have been certifying as the will of a majority of their voters.
A short time later, Mr Biden arrived at a Wilmington, Delaware, theatre for his meeting with the Democratic leaders wearing a black mask and Aviator sunglasses. He gave the assembled media a wave before heading inside.
Media cameras were allowed in for a very brief time, with Mr Biden seated on the far side of the room and the leaders spaced out around a square-shaped conference table.
It was difficult to hear what the president-elected said in the room set up to show him as getting to work planning for his presidency as Mr Trump tried to find a new path to victory.
“I'm going to need you,” he told Ms Pelosi and Mr Schumer. “I hope we're going to spend a lot of time together.”
With a coronavirus relief package likely their first order of business, and Mr Biden’s own legislative agenda, the trio will have plenty to discuss.
But those Oval Office meetings down the road might have to include Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell if Republicans are victorious in two Georgia runoff elections that could keep him in control of the upper chamber’s docket.
Should Democrats take a razor-slim majority, Mr Schumer would become majority leader – and face the huge decision of whether to kill the legislative filibusters. That would allow bills to be passed with 51 votes, rather than the 60 under existing rules.
Keeping the filibuster in place would mean Mr Biden would need around 10 Republicans to vote with Democrats to pass major bills.
Mr McConnell and Mr Biden cut several significant spending deals while the latter was then-President Barack Obama’s VP. But Mr McConnell made clear from early in the Obama administration that he viewed his job as blocking the 44th president’s legislative whims.
Mr McConnell has yet to speak with the incoming president.
For his part, Mr Biden appears to be giving the GOP leader cover, telling reporters the two will speak once the election is finally settled.