30 House Dems Break From Biden, Join GOP Calls For Peace In Ukraine

Democrats in Congress have broken with Joe Biden over Ukraine, and are instead echoing calls from their Republican colleagues that would see the United States act as a peace mediator rather than a cosigner of escalation.

The Biden administration learned of the Democrat defections, which Fox News reports are led by progressive Rep. Pramila Jayapal, when it received a letter signed by “thirty progressive members of the House of Representatives” yesterday. Signatories include Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

In the letter, the Democrats call on Biden to pursue “direct engagement” with Russia to broker a peace deal, which Fox News notes amounts to “flaunting the current policy of the Biden White House” in Ukraine.

Biden and his allies have largely advocated a “blank check” approach, in which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would receive a virtually unlimited amount of support in exchange for fighting the Russians indefinitely. Top neoconservative Republicans, including former Secretary of State and possible presidential candidate Mike Pompeo, have advocated for this approach.

These 30 House Democrats, apparently, have soured on the idea.

“We agree with the Administration’s perspective that it is not America’s place to pressure Ukraine’s government regarding sovereign decisions, and with the principle you have enunciated that there should be ‘nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine,'” the group conceded, before voicing their objection.

“But as legislators responsible for the expenditure of tens of billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars in military assistance in the conflict, we believe such involvement in this war also creates a responsibility for the United States to seriously explore all possible avenues, including direct engagement with Russia, to reduce harm and support Ukraine in achieving a peaceful settlement,” the progressives explained.

At least one high profile Democrat publicly opposed the letter, and one of the signatories questioned why it was released publicly.

Rep. Jake Auchincloss described it as “an olive branch to a war criminal” and urged harsher sanctions against Russia to support Ukraine.

In tweets that have apparently since been deleted, Rep. Mark Pocan – who signed the document – complained of the “bad timing” behind the release and noted it was signed months ago.

“This was written in July & I have no idea why it went out now. Bad timing,” wrote Pocan, according to Fox News. “Second, it was trying to get to a cease-fire & diplomacy as others were banging war drums, not criticizing Biden. Third, I’ve supported the efforts & will continue. Over-analyzed by some.”

Regardless of its timing and designated impact, the release of the letter now seems to represent the first major fracture in a Democratic Party that has been vociferously pro-war since the conflict began in February.

Indeed, the overwhelming majority of American politicians on both sides of the aisle have supported the war without question, with only a small number of pro-Trump Republicans questioning the integrity of the Ukrainian regime and the necessity of American intervention in the distant region.

Rep. Paul Gosar, for example, has seized on conservative unease around spending billions on Ukraine to call for a “total foreign aid moratorium” as part of a set of America First policies designed to protect American citizens.

This news and commentary by Tom Pappert originally appeared on Valiant News.


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