May 22, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Scoop ... Protests wear on House Dems

Photo illustration of the capitol dome with images of campus protests next to it

Photo Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios. Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Getty Images

The progressive movement's intense, zero-sum focus on the war in Gaza since Oct. 7 is wearing on some of its Capitol Hill allies, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The tension played out this month when Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) floated a statement in support of pro-Palestinian campus protesters.

  • The proposal, which has not been previously reported, faced pushback from several senior members of the caucus, multiple sources familiar with the discussions told Axios. Ultimately, the statement did not go out.

Zoom out: Raucous pro-Palestinian protests have, for many lawmakers, come to represent a nuisance that highlights chaos and conflict on their side.

  • Others see legislative hobby horses they have long championed — such as health care or climate action — becoming overshadowed.
  • Some progressive lawmakers fume they have taken many of the steps their grassroots allies have demanded only to still be heckled.

The other side: One senior House progressive said left-wing groups "feel this is a way they can make a difference and save lives now" and "they know that might make it hard on Dems, but their job isn't to make it easy on us."

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