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Democrats withdraw letter urging Biden to rethink Ukraine war strategy & More Latest News



The Congressional Progressive Caucus has withdrawn a letter, signed by 30 House liberals and despatched to the White House on Monday, that urged President Biden to negotiate straight with Russia to carry an finish to the war in Ukraine.

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The withdrawal comes a day after the letter, led by Congressional Progressive Caucus chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), triggered fierce pushback from many Democrats, in addition to from Ukrainian officers, who argued that it was unrealistic to negotiate with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

They additionally apprehensive that the letter might create extra stress on Biden as he tries to maintain home assist for the war effort, at a time when the area is heading right into a doubtlessly troublesome winter and Republicans are threatening to lower assist to Ukraine in the event that they retake Congress.

On Tuesday, Jayapal mentioned the letter had been drafted a number of months in the past and “released by staff without vetting.” She additionally sought to distance Democrats from current feedback by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who prompt {that a} GOP-led House wouldn’t assist extra assist to Ukraine.

“As Chair of the Caucus, I accept responsibility for this,” Jayapal mentioned in a press release. “The proximity of these statements created the unfortunate appearance that Democrats, who have strongly and unanimously supported and voted for every package of military, strategic, and economic assistance to the Ukrainian people, are somehow aligned with Republicans who seek to pull the plug on American support for President Zelensky and the Ukrainian forces.”

Earlier, a number of of the letter’s signatories additionally walked again their assist for the letter, saying it was written months in the past. Late Monday, Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) appeared to commiserate with somebody important of the letter on Twitter.

“Hear you. First, this was written in July & I have no idea why it went out now. Bad timing,” Pocan tweeted.

“Timing in diplomacy is everything,” Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-Calif.), one of many letter’s different signatories, tweeted Tuesday morning. “I signed this letter on June 30, but a lot has changed since then. I wouldn’t sign it today. We have to continue supporting Ukraine economically and militarily to give them the leverage they need to end this war.”

In the unique letter to the White House, dated Oct. 24 and first reported by The Washington Post, the lawmakers known as on Biden to pursue a “proactive diplomatic push, redoubling efforts to seek a realistic framework for a cease fire.”

The liberal Democrats famous that the war’s disastrous penalties are more and more felt far past Ukraine, together with elevated meals and gasoline costs within the United States and spikes within the worth of wheat, fertilizer and gasoline which have created international meals shortages, not to point out the hazard of a nuclear assault by Moscow.

The letter was signed by a number of the best-known and most outspoken liberal Democrats in Congress, together with Reps. Jamie Raskin (Md.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Cori Bush (Mo.), Ro Khanna (Calif.) and Ilhan Omar (Minn.).

For now, their place stays a minority within the Democratic Party, which has overwhelmingly supported Biden’s denunciations of Russia and his spearheading of a worldwide coalition to funnel huge assist to Ukraine. Biden has framed the battle as a part of his broader view that the world is witnessing a historic confrontation between authoritarianism and democracy.

White House spokesman John Kirby mentioned Monday that the administration appreciated the lawmakers’ “very thoughtful concerns” however signaled no shift within the administration strategy on Ukraine.

“We’re not going to have conversations with the Russian leadership without the Ukrainians being represented,” Kirby mentioned throughout a briefing with reporters Monday. “Mr. Zelensky gets to determine — because it’s his country — what success looks like and when to negotiate.”

Privately, some administration officers questioned the timing of the letter, which got here two weeks earlier than midterm elections and one week after McCarthy mentioned the GOP might oppose extra assist to Ukraine.

Jayapal issued a press release Monday night “clarifying” the place the progressives outlined within the letter, stressing that they nonetheless supported Ukraine and Biden’s dedication to guarantee Ukraine is represented in any discussions about its future.

“Let me be clear: we are united as Democrats in our unequivocal commitment to supporting Ukraine in their fight for their democracy and freedom in the face of the illegal and outrageous Russian invasion,” Jayapal mentioned. “Diplomacy is an important tool that can save lives — but it is just one tool.”

Democrats weren’t made conscious that the letter could be issued Monday, together with those that had signed the letter over the summer season, in accordance to three congressional aides who spoke on the situation of anonymity to focus on delicate issues. One particular person shut to the progressive caucus, who spoke on the situation of anonymity to focus on non-public conversations, mentioned it was unusual to publicly launch a letter with solely 30 signatures out of the 220 Democrats within the House.

Many blamed Jayapal for the misstep, with a number of aides saying they believed this might tarnish her probabilities of successful a spot in Democratic management. Jayapal has made preliminary calls to her colleagues to specific curiosity in working for a management place, leaving the impression amongst some members that she would problem Rep. Katherine M. Clark (D-Mass.), who can also be a member of the progressive caucus, for a presumed No. 2 spot within the celebration.

Marianna Sotomayor contributed to this report.

Democrats withdraw letter urging Biden to rethink Ukraine war strategy

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Democrats withdraw letter urging Biden to rethink Ukraine war strategy

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Democrats withdraw letter urging Biden to rethink Ukraine war strategy

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