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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. (Al Drago/Bloomberg)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) pushed back against the GOP suggestion that the United States has given a "blank check" of humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine, insisting that support for the Eastern European country defending itself from Russia remains strong in Washington.

"I believe the support for Ukraine and their courage … will not stop," she said Monday at a joint news conference in Zagreb, Croatia, with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic. "It is bipartisan, bicameral and it starts in the White House with our president."

She added: "We have never given a blank check to Ukraine."

Last week, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) signaled that if Republicans win the House in the midterm elections, they would cut back aid to Ukraine despite the geopolitical and moral imperatives of aiding the nation in its fight against Russia and Vladimir Putin.

Pelosi also said Iran is making "a big mistake" by assisting Russia in its war against Ukraine.

U.S. officials have said that Russia has purchased scores of drones from Iran and that Iranian forces are helping hit infrastructure, civilians and military targets across Ukraine.

"I think Iran is making a big mistake," Pelosi said. "If you're concerned about Iran, you should be concerned about Iran supplying Russia with this technology."

She added, "Iran has upped the ante."

Pelosi is in Zagreb, Croatia, representing the United States at the First Parliamentary Summit of the International Crimea Platform, where bilateral meetings will focus on Russia's aggression against Ukraine since the invasion in February as well as its illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014.

She expressed the United States' unwavering support for Ukraine.

"As Speaker, it is my privilege to join our European allies and other partners from around the globe in Croatia to deliver an unmistakable statement of our solidarity with the Ukrainian people," she said in a statement late Sunday. "Vladimir Putin is waging an unprovoked, all-out assault on Ukraine: from the ongoing occupation of Crimea to his attempt to annex additional territories to his desperate and escalating targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure."

"This week, America joins our democratic partners to reaffirm the country's pledge to stand with the Ukrainian people in their fight for freedom and to hold Russia accountable — until victory is won."

Pelosi also met Monday with Gordan Jandrokovic, speaker of the Croatian parliament, and she is scheduled to deliver remarks Tuesday.

McCarthy, who could become House speaker in January, signaled last week that the GOP will probably oppose more aid to Ukraine in its war with Russia if it wins the House majority.

"I think people are gonna be sitting in a recession, and they're not going to write a blank check to Ukraine," he told Punchbowl News. "They just won't do it."

The majority of congressional Republicans and Democrats have previously united in authorizing billions of dollars in U.S. military and humanitarian assistance to Kyiv as a geopolitical and moral stand against Putin's aggression, but McCarthy indicated that could change next year.

Eleven Republican senators and 57 House GOP members opposed the legislation, arguing that more needs to be done to account for how the money is spent and to trace weapons and equipment sent to the battlefield.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) pushed back on the growing isolationist view in the GOP, insisting that if Republicans win the majority in the Senate next month, they will be steadfast in their support of Ukraine. He also alluded to Iran and its role.

"A Republican majority in the Senate will focus its oversight on ensuring timely delivery of needed weapons and greater allied assistance to Ukraine, rebuilding and modernizing our military capabilities, standing up to terrorist states like Iran, and shoring up our defenses in Asia to deter Chinese aggression," he said in a statement Friday.

Pelosi highlighted Ukraine's success in limiting Russia's invasion under Democratic leadership due in part to support from the United States — something she said will need continued support from the U.S. to be maintained.

"Working with historic speed, strength and unity, the United States and our allies have imposed devastating consequences on Russia and delivered game-changing aid to Ukraine," she said. "Our ironclad solidarity with the heroes of Ukraine has been decisive so far, and it will be even more crucial as winter approaches."

Pelosi made a surprise visit to Kyiv in May, where she told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that the U.S. is committed to "be there for you until the fight is done." The visit came two days after President Biden unveiled a sweeping $33 billion spending package that provided military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

"We are on a frontier of freedom, and your fight is a fight for everyone," Pelosi told Zelenskyy, while leading Democratic lawmakers on the first official congressional delegation there since the war began.

Months later, Pelosi led a congressional delegation to Taiwan, where she said that the United States' solidarity with Taiwan was "crucial," a visit that angered China and roiled the U.S. relationship with the Asian nation.

There is "a struggle between autocracy and democracy in the world" right now, Pelosi said at an August news conference.

"Indeed, we take this trip at a time when the world faces a choice between autocracy and democracy," she wrote in a Post column. "As Russia wages its premeditated, illegal war against Ukraine, killing thousands of innocents — even children — it is essential that America and our allies make clear that we never give in to autocrats."

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