Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), on Tuesday withdrew a letter from 30 Democrats calling on President Joe Biden to negotiate with Russia to end the conflict in Ukraine.
The group of 30 House progressives, led by Jayapal, released the letter asking Biden to provide a “more proactive diplomatic push” to negotiate an end to the conflict with Russia. The proposal would tie military and financial aid to Ukraine.
“If there is a way to end the war while preserving a free and independent Ukraine, it is America’s responsibility to pursue all diplomatic avenues to support such a solution that is acceptable to the Ukrainian people.” , the House leftists wrote in the letter to Biden.
Left-wing Democrats have warned that the only “alternative to diplomacy is a protracted war, with both its certainties and its catastrophic and unknowable risks”.
As Neil Munro of Breitbart News reported, the signatories represented many progressive icons, including:
The Oct. 24 letter was signed by progressives who have significant numbers of anti-war leftist voters in their constituencies. They include progressive President Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Mark Pocan (D-WI).
The letter was also signed by the six members of the progressive “Squad” of Democrats: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), Rep. representative Rashida. Tlaib, (D-MI), Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO).
The letter was also signed by more than 10 members of the Congressional Black Caucus. Signatories include Bush, Pressley, Bowman, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI), Rep. Yvette Clark (D-NY), Rep. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ), and Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN).
However, after facing a swift backlash from House Democrats, even some signatories such as Reps. Mark Pocan (D-WI) Mark Takano (D-CA) and Sara Jacobs (D-CA) appeared to distance themselves from the letter.
Some progressives blamed bad timing for the letter, as the letter was originally written on August 1.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), CCP whip and signatory of the letter, said: “Once you have signed a letter, it is up to the original writers and unfortunately not all of them will hold people aware.
Other signatories and aides blamed the CCP for posting it, with House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) saying Republicans won’t provide a ‘blank check’ to aid to Ukraine.
“An amateur hour from the CPC for not anticipating this,” said a lawmaker who signed the letter.
“It’s just a disaster. The CPC just needs to clean up,” said a Hill staffer.
Now, as the CPC remains embroiled in confusion and turmoil, Jayapal announced that she had retracted the letter to Biden, accusing CPC staff:
The letter was written several months ago, but was unfortunately posted by staff without verification. As caucus chair, I take responsibility for that. Due to the timing, our message is mistaken by some to be equivalent to Republican Leader McCarthy’s recent statement threatening to end aid to Ukraine if Republicans take over. The proximity of these statements has given the unfortunate impression that the Democrats, who have firmly and unanimously supported and voted for every program of military, strategic and economic assistance to the Ukrainian people, are somehow aligned with the Republicans who seek to put end to American support. for President Zelensky and Ukrainian forces.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Every war ends with diplomacy, and this one too after the Ukrainian victory. The letter sent yesterday, while reaffirming this basic principle, was confused with the GOP’s opposition to supporting Ukrainians’ just defense of their national sovereignty. As such it is a distraction at this time and we are withdrawing the letter.
Former President Donald Trump has called for peace talks to end the conflict between Russia and Ukraine to address the credible risk of nuclear war between the West and Russia.
“We must demand the immediate negotiation of a peaceful end to the war in Ukraine. or we will end up in World War III,” Trump said at a rally in Arizona in mid-October.
Trump added, “We’ll never have had a war like this and it’s all because of stupid people who have no idea. And it is also because of the type of weaponry available today. We have never had weapons like this, the destructive capability of weapons, modern weapons. I know more than anyone about it because I rebuilt our army.
Trump’s call for diplomacy was echoed by Admiral Mike Mullen, a former Pentagon chief of staff, who said, “The sooner the better as far as I’m concerned.”
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.