Thirty members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus have signed a letter to Joe Biden calling for him to seek a negotiated peace in Ukraine. All thirty previously voted to arm Ukraine. However, many of the signatories have faced backlashes from their base. Particularly Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other members of “The Squad.”
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.” 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.
In May, President Zelensky, despite deadlocked negotiations, reiterated that the war “will only
definitively end through diplomacy,” and had previously explained that “any mentally healthy
person always chooses the diplomatic path, because he or she knows: even if it is difficult, it can
prevent the loss of thousands, tens of thousands…and maybe even millions of lives.”
In conclusion, we urge you to make vigorous diplomatic efforts in support of a negotiated
settlement and ceasefire, engage in direct talks with Russia, explore prospects for a new
European security arrangement acceptable to all parties that will allow for a sovereign and
independent Ukraine, and, in coordination with our Ukrainian partners, seek a rapid end to the
conflict and reiterate this goal as America’s chief priority.
All six members of “The Squad,” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Cori Bush, Rashida Tlaib, Jamaal Bowman, and Ayanna Pressley signed.
Some antiwar groups on the left endorsed the letter. However, many high profile left-wing personalities attacked it. DailyKos founder Markos Moulitsas stated, “These 30 House progressives are now making common cause with Lauren Boebert, Marjorie Taylor Green, JD Vance, and the rest of the MAGA crowd. You’d think that would give them *some* pause. Which Ukrainians do these ‘progressives’ want abandoned to mass murder and rape, in their attempt to prop up a flailing Russia? The only way to end this war is to help deliver a decisive Ukrainians victory.”