It's been a chaotic two days for the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC).
On Monday, the House Progressives apparently upset a large base of congressional Democrats with their public letter challenging President Joe Biden's handling of Ukraine and subsequently urging the White House to engage in "direct" diplomacy with Russia, in hopes of ending the ongoing eight-month war between the neighboring countries.
And on Tuesday, after enduring public — and perhaps private — backlash from Democrats and left-leaning media, the House Progressives have reportedly withdrawn their request to the Biden White House.
According to The Hill, the House Progressives had been working on their bold political stance since the summer, but waited to craft a public notice until a sizable number of total Democrats signed on for the call to action.
"They waited to get about 30 [people] and released," one anonymous source texted The Hill on Tuesday, without going into greater detail about the sensitivity of internal negotiations. "Didn't consider election timing."
Another House aide shared a similar account to The Hill, saying the letter to President Biden was originally "circulated for signatures" in June. But "we aren't sure why it was released now."
The memo to Biden featured CPC Chairwoman Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., as the lead signatory.
The letter offered initial praise to the Biden White House for supporting Ukraine's self-defense efforts against Russia.
However, the Progressives also demanded "vigorous" diplomatic efforts in support of a negotiated settlement and ceasefire, through "direct talks with Russia."
And that included certain measures to protect a "free and independent" Ukraine, according to reports.
"We urge you to pair the military and economic support the United States has provided to Ukraine with a proactive diplomatic push, redoubling efforts to seek a realistic framework for a ceasefire," wrote Jayapal.
The timing of Monday's memo release came just 15 days before the midterms on Nov. 8.
As such, The Hill reports a number of anonymous Democratic Party sources slammed the House Progressives' efforts to potentially splinter the political party so close to the midterms.
One public criticism of the House Progressives' memo, however, came from inside that group.
Fellow CPC member, Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., who did not sign the memo, criticized the move in a Monday tweet, saying, "The way to end a war? Win it quickly. How is it won quickly? By giving Ukraine the weapons to defeat Russia."
Shortly after that tweet, Congressman Gallego told The Hill that most of the 30 members supporting the Ukraine memo likely did not fully understand the "consequences" of their actions.
"And also the timing seems weird too," Gallego added.
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