After Israel Aid Vote, Pocan Seeks to Show Biden Liberal Dismay on Gaza

During a town hall-style meeting a short drive from her home in rural southwestern Wisconsin, Elizabeth Humphries asked her congressman how a 66-year-old woman like her could get the message to President Biden that she and her peers are deeply dissatisfied with his administration’s approach to Israel’s war in Gaza.

Representative Mark Pocan, the Democrat who has held the district’s seat in Congress since 2013, assured her that he was working to pass along those very concerns.

“We’re videotaping this to share with the White House,” he said, gesturing to the iPhone set up on a nearby tripod to capture the event with two dozen or so voters seated in a room in Dodgeville’s City Hall. “They can hear me say this ad nauseam, but you all saying this is, I think, very helpful.”

Days after Congress gave overwhelming bipartisan approval to a $95.3 billion aid package that includes $26 billion in security assistance to Israel, Mr. Pocan — one of 37 House Democrats to vote “no” on the money for Israel — returned to his home district this week to field questions from constituents like Ms. Humphries who share his reservations about American involvement in the conflict.

Elizabeth Humphries, from Mineral Point, Wis., supports President Biden but fears that his support for Israel’s campaign in Gaza will cost him the election, “which means we’re going to end up with Trump, which is a million times worse.” Credit…Narayan Mahon for The New York Times

At a time when young people of color on the left, particularly on college campuses, are commanding outsize attention across the country with vocal protests criticizing the Biden administration for backing Israel’s military offensive in Gaza, Mr. Pocan is determined to let Mr. Biden know that white rural voters in districts like his — another vital part of the president’s political coalition — are just as dismayed.

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