Representative Jeff Fortenberry, who has introduced legislation on the issue, acknowledged hesitation by some fellow Republicans to take on the incendiary issue. But he said a delay could give Republicans time to recast the issue as a question of religious freedom rather than women's rights.
"We'll keep trying to appropriately frame the debate about this core American principle," Fortenberry said.
Representative Pete Sessions, who heads the House Republican campaign committee, said party leaders are not backing off. "We're not hesitant to do anything," Sessions said. "The successful rain dance has a lot to do with timing."
House Republicans have taken a cautious approach after the Senate, mostly on party lines, rejected a measure that would have allowed employers with moral objections to opt out of birth control coverage and other services.