The GOP letter drew a sharp response from abortion-rights advocates, in part because it criticized past failures to comply with the law.

"We do not anticipate that this situation will occur again, but in light of this history, we ask that you provide detailed information outlining what steps you are taking to ensure that no more public funds are used to pay for elective abortion in D.C.," the letter said.

In addition to stressing the importance of acting "immediately to respect and faithfully implement the law," the letter asked for "detailed information about abortion funding in the District during the period in which the D.C. Hyde amendment was not in place."

The letter requested a response from Gray by May 6 and was led by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchKoch groups: Don't renew expired tax breaks in government funding bill Hatch tweets link to 'invisible' glasses after getting spotted removing pair that wasn't there DHS giving ‘active defense’ cyber tools to private sector, secretary says MORE (R-Utah). A total of 10 senators and 84 House members signed the letter.