Feb 21, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Progressive Caucus loses another pro-Israel member

Rep. Ritchie Torres, wearing a blue suit, white shirt and orange tie.

Rep. Ritchie Torres. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images.

Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.), one of the most vocally pro-Israel Democrats in the House, has left the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The departure marks the second time since the Oct. 7 attack the group has lost a member with dissenting beliefs on the Israel-Hamas war.

State of play: Torres, who has publicly fallen out with other Progressive Caucus members over their criticism of Israel, was quietly removed from the group's website between early December and mid-January.

  • His departure was confirmed to Axios by a House Democrat and another source familiar with the matter. It was first reported by The Intercept.
  • Spokespeople for Torres and the Progressive Caucus did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

The backdrop: Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.) left the group in November after voting to censure anti-Israel Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and for an Israel aid bill that included IRS cuts.

What we're hearing: Several House Democrats told Axios that Torres' departure was a long time coming. "Shocked he was ever in the CPC," said one.

  • Torres "has been real pro-Israel, and being from the Bronx, that's a good place for him to be," said another, adding, "I think he's ... had it with [the] Squad."

Go deeper: Inside the Democrats' growing divide over the Israel-Hamas war

Go deeper