A new speaker addresses the Republican split on abortion with one of his initial assessments.

A new speaker addresses the Republican split on abortion with one of his initial assessments.

Newly elected speaker Mike Johnson

He will soon be challenged to demonstrate his capability in handling a heated dispute within the GOP.

A majority of House Republicans support a measure in the food and agriculture funding bill that would prohibit nationwide delivery of abortion pills by mail. Some staunch conservatives have even promised to oppose any version of the bill that does not include this provision. However, a small group of moderate Republicans who are facing challenging reelection campaigns next year argue that federal restrictions on mifepristone, a commonly used abortion pill, are unacceptable.

The current situation puts Johnson’s promise to pass all 12 government spending bills and prevent a shutdown in jeopardy. The deadline for government funding is approaching in mid-November.

According to Representative, the bill will not survive if mifepristone remains included. However, if mifepristone is removed, the bill will still not pass.Kelly Armstrong

“We are unable to move on to the next issue until we have resolved the problem.”

Johnson informed GOP members that he desires to have the agriculture bill presented during the week of November 13. This leaves the new speaker with limited time to negotiate a settlement between moderate members and staunch social conservatives. Johnson’s actions in the next three weeks will reveal his approach to handling the challenges that led to the downfall of his predecessor, Kevin McCarthy. It will also determine if he intends to fulfill his commitments to safeguard vulnerable Republicans who played a crucial role in securing the GOP’s narrow majority.

Johnson’s office did not reply to inquiries for a statement.

Scalise, and the rest of the GOP leadership could not find the votes

The Republican party has repeatedly delayed passing the Agriculture Department and Food and Drug Administration funding bill since late July, despite it being typically easy to pass. In September, former Speaker McCarthy gave up after he and other GOP leaders, including Whip Scalise, were unable to secure enough votes.Tom Emmer

The abortion pill rider was a contentious issue that even high-ranking GOP members, such as and other prominent leaders, were unable to convince those who were against it.

Tom McClusky, a longtime opponent of abortion rights who serves as the director of government affairs for the group Catholic Vote, told POLITICO he and other conservative leaders have been meeting since the bill failed on the floor in September with Reps. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), Lori Chavez-DeRemer

The Republican representative from Oregon, along with some New York Republicans and other moderate individuals, were convinced to support the limitations on abortion pills. The groups presented the possibility of the Supreme Court overturning the FDA’s decision to permit the mailing of abortion pills as early as next year as one of their main arguments.

“We are reminding them that they campaigned on a pro-life stance,” stated McClusky. “You cannot claim to be pro-life while supporting widespread use of abortion drugs.”

McClusky maintained that these meetings have been productive.

“I would be quite surprised if the proposed removal of the abortion pill provision was suggested at this stage,” he stated. “Our focus should be on persuading those who are hesitant rather than giving in.”

However, it has been verified by POLITICO that there is sufficient dissent among Republicans in Biden’s district to hinder the approval of the legislation. This is assuming that all Democrats also vote against the bill due to its anti-abortion clauses, reduced funding, and other Republican additions.

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick

On Thursday, (R-Pa.) informed POLITICO that his stance on the bill remains unchanged since he voted against it last month.

“If there is any extreme provision included, then I will vote against the bill. It’s as straightforward as that,” he stated.

When questioned about the attempts of Republican leaders and anti-abortion organizations to change the minds of those who are hesitant, he chuckled and replied, “They’re gonna need a lot of luck.”

New York Reps. Marc Molinaro, Nick LaLota and Anthony D’Esposito

Everyone has confirmed their opposition, with some stating that the provision will not pass in the Senate and others believing that abortion policy should be determined by individual states.

D’Esposito stated that the language regarding the abortion pill is not feasible and he intends to collaborate with House leaders to ensure that the concerns of his constituents are addressed in this legislation.

Chavez-DeRemer’s office also said she will vote against the agriculture funding bill if the abortion pill measure remains.

Due to the small majority held by the Republicans in the House, these five members have the power to prevent the bill from being passed. Even if Johnson decides to remove the abortion pill constraints from the bill, he will likely face criticism from conservative groups.

Rep. Buddy Carter

Rep. (R-Ga.) stated to POLITICO on Thursday that he will only support the bill if it includes the abortion provision, and believes that many members of the Pro-Life Caucus would also do so.

“That will be one of Johnson’s initial trials,” he stated. “It will hold significance for many of us.”

Prior to being elected as speaker on Wednesday, Johnson wrote a letter to his fellow Republican colleagues stating his intention to form a working group to address their concerns with the agriculture funding bill. This includes addressing the contentious issue of the abortion pill measure, as well as the previous Agriculture Chair.Frank Lucas

Representative Lucas from Oklahoma and a group of Republican representatives from rural areas are against the bill because it includes significant reductions in important farm programs, which were requested by strict conservative Republicans. In the previous month, Lucas expressed his belief that the bill would cause harm and stated that he would oppose his far-right colleagues who he believed had too much control over the allocation of funds.

In an interview after playing a role in the defeat of the agriculture funding bill in September, Lucas stated that sometimes it is necessary to prevent the lesser issue from controlling the greater one.

Vulnerable GOP Reps. Don Bacon of Nebraska, Andrew Garbarino of New York and Juan Ciscomani

The Arizona representatives expressed their disapproval of the bill due to the significant reductions in funding for important programs, such as those for farmers and rural communities.

Despite Johnson’s efforts to reach agreement on the inclusion of the abortion pill provision in the Agriculture and FDA spending bill, there are still potential obstacles in the way. Throughout the summer and early fall, House Republicans have added contentious measures to almost every spending bill, which could impede access to abortion, restrict gender-affirming care for transgender individuals, and drastically reduce funding for HIV prevention, contraception, and global health programs.

McClusky stated that he and fellow opponents of abortion rights will be closely monitoring Johnson’s defense of these measures, specifically the “granddaddy” of them all, the Hyde amendment. This longstanding provision in the Labor-HHS spending bill restricts federal funding for abortions.

Some moderate Republicans, who wished to remain anonymous in order to discuss private conversations, stated that from their recent talks with Johnson, they gathered that he plans to prioritize protecting vulnerable members as speaker. This comes after these members were put in a difficult position by voting along party lines under McCarthy, which made them targets for criticism from Democrats.

However, influential organizations against abortion who backed Johnson’s election as speaker have stated that they anticipate him to fulfill their desires for national limitations on the practice.

“We are excited about Speaker Johnson’s election and anticipate collaborating with him to promote nationwide protections for unborn babies,” stated Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of SBA Pro-Life America.

Source: politico.com