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The Evening Brief: March 14, 2013

Your evening reading: at CPAC, Perry calls Medicaid expansion "coercion"; El Paso lawmaker arrested on DWI charge; Democrat scolds Cruz at gun hearing

In his Jan. 29, 2013, State of the State speech, Gov. Rick Perry avoided hot-topic issues like abortion, immigration and gun control and focused instead on infrastructure, budget reform and education.

New in The Texas Tribune

•    At CPAC, Perry Zings GOP, Calls Medicaid Expansion "Fiscal Coercion": "Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday called the Medicaid expansion piece of federal health reform 'fiscal coercion,' and blamed conservatives who have embraced it for folding 'in the face of federal bribery and mounting pressure.'"

•    Perry Asks Congressional Delegation to Fight for Medicaid Flexibility: "Ahead of his Thursday speech before the Conservative Political Action Conference, Gov. Rick Perry has sent a letter to members of Texas' congressional delegation asking them to fight for flexibility for the state's Medicaid program."

•    El Paso Legislator Arrested on DWI Charge: "State Rep. Naomi Gonzalez, D-El Paso, was arrested by Austin police on suspicion of driving while intoxicated and booked into Travis County Jail early Thursday morning, according to Travis County public records."

•    Riddle's Facebook Post Angers Breast-Feeding Moms: "A Facebook update state Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball, posted on Tuesday suggesting that mothers should be 'modest' while breast-feeding their babies in public has nearly 1,000 comments — most of them outraged."

•    Beyoncé Music Removed From Bush Video: "The video released Wednesday announcing George P. Bush's run for Texas land commissioner originally featured music from Beyoncé, a prominent supporter of President Obama's. As of Thursday morning, that music was gone."


•    Dianne Feinstein, Ted Cruz trade barbs over gun ban (Politico): "The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a hugely controversial ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips, but the measure faces nearly certain defeat on the Senate floor. The proposal, authored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), bans 157 different models of assault weapons, as well as magazines containing more than 10 bullets. … Feinstein got into a tense exchange with GOP Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas), who pointedly challenged her on whether the bill complied with the Second Amendment or would be struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court. 'I am not a sixth grader,' Feinstein bristled. 'Congress is in the business of making the law. The Supreme Court interprets the law. If they strike down the law, they strike down the law.'"

•    Sen. Ted Cruz "encouraged" by meeting with president; John Cornyn, not so much (The Dallas Morning News): "Republican Sen. Ted Cruz said he was 'hopeful' President Barack Obama’s meeting with Senate Republicans this afternoon would be a positive step for lawmakers. Republican Whip John Cornyn seemed unconvinced the meeting did any good."

•    All in the family: George P. Bush returns to ancestral turf for cash (Houston Chronicle): "What Hyannis Port is to the Kennedys, Greenwich is to the Bushes. And now the fourth-generation flag-bearer for one of the nation’s most powerful political families is about to make his debut in the fertile stomping grounds of his grandfather and great-grandfather. George P. Bush, who this week filed paperwork to run for land commissioner in his home state of Texas, often used as a steppingstone for higher office, has chosen Greenwich for one of his first major fundraisers, Hearst Connecticut Newspapers has learned."

•    Poe says Census Bureau survey questions are too personal (Houston Chronicle): "One Texas congressman says Americans shouldn’t be forced into providing the government with personal information about their daily lives. Rep. Ted Poe proposed legislation on Wednesday to make the American Community Survey voluntary as Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., proposed a Senate version of the bill."

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Politics Rick Perry Ted Cruz