House Progressives Withdraw Ukraine Letter After Backlash

From a story on by Andrew Solender headlined “House progressives withdraw Ukraine letter after backlash”:

The Congressional Progressive Caucus on Tuesday announced it is withdrawing a letter to President Biden calling on him to couple military aid to Ukraine with a “proactive diplomatic push” to end hostilities with Russia.

Why it matters: The letter appeared to indicate that some on the Democratic Party’s left flank were advocating a softening of U.S. policy towards the war in Ukraine, though several members who signed on now say that’s not their position.

The letter was signed by 30 lawmakers including some surprising names, such as Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.).

It was first reported by the Washington Post, with the Progressive Caucus concurrently blasting out a press release.

Driving the news: Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal, echoing the claims of some signees, said the letter was drafted “several months ago” and “unfortunately was released by staff without vetting.”

“As Chair of the Caucus, I accept responsibility for this,” Jayapal wrote, calling the letter a “distraction” because it was conflated with conservative objections to Ukraine aid.

“Nothing could be further from the truth. Every war ends with diplomacy, and this one will too after Ukrainian victory,” Jayapal said.

The backdrop: The letter spurred swift rebukes from fellow Democrats, both privately and in public.

“The suggestion that we make concessions on behalf of Ukraine is presumptuous, out of touch, and would only embolden Putin,” tweeted Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.).

Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D-Mass.) called the letter an “olive branch to a war criminal who’s losing his war.”

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