A top House Republican urged conservatives to "demand" of national GOP leaders that they hew to socially conservative principles.

House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (Ind.) put the pressure on national leaders to not write off social conservatives' concerns, especially if they retake control of the House and/or Senate after this fall's elections.

Conservatives "must demand that leaders of the Republican Party" stand strong on social issues, Pence said at the Values Voter Summit in Washington.

Pence, a potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate, urged voters to make sure the party stands strong against abortion rights and in favor of traditional values in an election cycle in which economic issues have driven the narrative.

Not all members of the GOP leadership in the House, at least, seem to be on board, though.

Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.), the top Republican on the Budget committee, suggested Monday that members of the party should "agree to disagree" on social issues.

"We will agree to disagree on those issues," Ryan said Monday on CNBC. "But let's rally around the tallest pole in our tent: fiscal conservatism, economic liberty."

Republicans have tended to avoid talking about social issues this election cycle, fueled by the tough economic situation facing the U.S.

Thirty-two percent of registered voters said the economy was their most important issue, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll released on Wednesday, and 28 percent said job loss was the most important problem facing the country.

By contrast, 1 percent of registered voters said "moral values" was the top problem, and another 1 percent named "religious values" as the top problem.

Updated 1:25 p.m.