Pence calls for the US to continue to support Ukraine 'until peace is restored' after Kevin McCarthy suggests GOP will slow aid

Mike Pence
Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the Heritage Foundation.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
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  • Mike Pence declared that Republicans should not abandon Ukraine as it continues to fight Russia.

  • The former vice president's words come as Republican lawmakers express unease about passing more aid.

  • Pence's said American support must remain "until Russia relents and until peace is restored."

Former Vice President Mike Pence declared that the US should not back away from supporting Ukraine in its war against Russia just a day after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said that a Republican-led House would not issue a "free blank check."

"We must continue to provide Ukraine with the resources to defend themselves," Pence said during a speech about the future of conservatism at the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank. "We must continue to bring economic pressure of the most powerful economy in the world on Russia. And we must continue to provide the generosity, compassion, and prayers of the American people until Russia relents and until peace is restored."

Pence even echoed an FDR phrase that President Joe Biden has also used, calling the US an "arsenal of democracy" amid Russia's war.

McCarthy's comments signaled a tectonic shift away from the robust and bipartisan US support for Ukraine over nearly eight months, coming from the man who is in line to be speaker of the House should Republicans retake the chamber this November.

"I think people are gonna be sitting in a recession and they're not going to write a blank check to Ukraine," McCarthy told Punchbowl News in an interview published on Tuesday. "They just won't do it. … It's not a free blank check."

The California Republican's words underline the growing tension that has bubbled up within the Republican Party as billions in aid and arms flows overseas. Once just the purview of further-right lawmakers such as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, 11 GOP senators voted against a $40 billion aid package in May.

Depending on how key midterm races shake out, the GOP could add even more Ukraine-skeptic lawmakers to their ranks. Like former President Donald Trump, author JD Vance, who is locked in a tight Ohio Senate race, and similar hopefuls prefer a more isolationist US foreign policy than the neoconservatism that defined George W. Bush's White House.

Pence, who is widely viewed to be considering a 2024 presidential run, aligned himself with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who just last month declared that the "vast majority" of the GOP remains transfixed on Ukraine beating Russia.

"There are a few voices on the right that seem to oppose the war, but the vast majority of us, certainly including myself, think defeating the Russians in Ukraine is high-priority," McConnell told Defense News in September.

Read the original article on Business Insider