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The Evening Brief: July 19, 2013

Your evening reading: In Iowa for evangelical conference, Cruz stirs 2016 speculation; House and Senate to negotiate transportation funding deal; Dewhurst says he saw "bags of feces" confiscated at Capitol.

U.S. Sen Ted Cruz is welcomed at LaRue Tactical, a gun manufacturer in Leander, by founders Ellen LaRue, center, and Mark LaRue, right, on Feb. 19, 2013.


•    Ted Cruz to Iowa pastors: Belief 'is not sitting there quietly' (Des Moines Register): "In a fiery, Bible-quoting first speech during his first time in Iowa, Republican Ted Cruz called on evangelical conservatives to demand their GOP elected officials actually stand for the conservative principles they pretend to believe in. 'Belief, saying I believe in something, is not sitting there quietly doing the golf clap,' Cruz told hundreds of Iowa Christian conservative ministers this morning at a private conclave in Des Moines."

•    Iowa, meet Ted Cruz. Ted Cruz, Iowa. (The Washington Post): "They say you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. So it’s pretty important day for Ted Cruz in Iowa. The fiery Texas conservative senator is in the first-in-the-nation caucus state, where he’ll headline the Iowa GOP’s summer picnic and address a meeting of evangelical pastors. It’s his first appearance in Iowa since joining the Senate this year."

•    David Dewhurst Claims He Saw "Bags of Feces" at Capitol (The Texas Observer): "The state’s second-highest elected official, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, claimed to have seen bottles of urine and bags of feces. Dewhurst told Toby Marie Walker of the Waco Tea Party in a web-streamed interview that he 'walked over to where [DPS] was screening' and saw DPS personnel 'smelling' water bottles. 'They had urine in it,' he said. Dewhurst, a former CIA operative, also said he saw DPS setting aside bags of feces to throw away."

New in The Texas Tribune

•    House and Senate to Negotiate TxDOT Funding Compromise: "The Senate met briefly Friday to pave the way for negotiations to begin with the House over the details of a plan that would increase transportation funding by nearly $1 billion a year. The goal is for both chambers to pass the same measure next week."

•    For Davis, the Top Political Race Might Not Be for the Top Office: "The price of political celebrity is often the attention it draws from the opposing party. State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, raised her profile with a filibuster last month, and now she must decide whether to fight the Republicans at home in her own district or on a bigger stage."

•    Groups Work to Promote New Insurance Exchange: "Private organizations are working to educate Texans about coverage options through the federal health insurance exchange, a component of the federal Affordable Care Act that opens on Oct. 1."

•    Leave HB 5 to School Districts, Aycock Tells SBOE: "Lawmakers wanted flexibility for local school districts to 'have it their way' in implementing new high school curriculum requirements, House Public Education Chairman Jimmie Don Aycock told the State Board of Education on Friday."

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