Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

House Democrats Retract Ukraine Letter After Backlash

WASHINGTON—A group of 30 House Democrats retracted a letter they had sent to President Biden urging him to seek direct talks with Russia to end the war in Ukraine, following backlash within the Democratic Party and disavowals from some signatories.

The reversal Tuesday underscored the sensitivity of the issue on Capitol Hill, where Congress has approved more than $65 billion in aid for Kyiv since the Russian invasion, and Mr. Biden and party leaders have said that any peace talks or terms of a cease-fire should be driven by Ukraine’s government.

The letter, released Monday, was withdrawn in a statement from Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D., Wash.), the leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. She said it was drafted months ago and “unfortunately was released by staff without vetting.” Ms. Jayapal said she accepted responsibility as caucus leader.

The letter appeared to raise questions about whether progressive Democrats remained on board with current administration policy, and it came as some Republicans signaled they might pull back on Ukraine aid if they won the House majority in November, as most analysts predict.

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