Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-Texas) has said that defunding the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could be an option if the Biden administration dismisses a court ruling that suspended approval of the abortion pill mifepristone.
Gonzales, who sits on the Appropriations Committee, said House Republicans might decide to use the “power of the purse” to hold the administration accountable.
“It’s very dangerous when you have the administration, the Biden administration, coming out and saying they may not uphold a ruling,” Gonzales said during an interview for CNN’s “State of the Union” on April 9.
“As an appropriator on the House Republican side, I look at it, the House Republicans have the power of the purse.
“And if the administration wants to not lead this ruling, not live up to this ruling, then we’re going to have a problem. And it may come to a point where House Republicans on the appropriation side have to defund FDA programs that don’t make sense.”
Gonzales, the father of six children who calls himself a “prolific pro-lifer,” emphasized that it is important not to undermine court decisions.
“I think it’s important that we have to get back and allow our institutions to lead. We can’t undermine them when we don’t agree with things that are there, whether it’s on the state level,” he explained.
As an example, he pointed to how marijuana is legal in California and other places but not in Texas.
“If those are the kind of things that your community wants, then work it through your state, work it through the federal level,” he added. “But we have to uphold our institutions. It’s dangerous when we erode them.”
On April 7, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a Trump appointee in Texas, signed an injunction directing the FDA to stay mifepristone’s approval.
“The Court does not second-guess FDA’s decision-making lightly,” reads the judge’s decision Friday. “But here, FDA acquiesced on its legitimate safety concerns—in violation of its statutory duty—based on plainly unsound reasoning and studies that did not support its conclusions.”
By Frank Fang