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The Evening Brief: Sept. 23, 2013

Your evening reading: Cruz clashes with Reid as Obamacare fight heats up; Cornyn won't block House spending bill; report says illegal immigration may be rising in Texas

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz speaks at National Instruments in Austin on Aug. 22, 2013.


•    Harry Reid, Ted Cruz battle as long week begins in Senate (Politico): "A pivotal period for the Senate got off to a nasty start on Monday, with Majority Leader Harry Reid ripping conservatives as 'anarchists' and 'fanatics' and Republican Ted Cruz initially blocking the Nevada Democrat from moving to consideration of noncontroversial nominees. Cruz came back to the floor two hours later to ask that the Senate unanimously approve the House-passed spending bill that defunds Obamacare without voting on any amendments, which prompted an objection from Reid. Cruz then asked that a future attempt by Reid to later strike the defunding language be subject to a more onerous 60-vote threshold rather than a majority vote. Reid objected to that too."

•    Sen. John Cornyn pledges to support bill to defund Obamacare (The Dallas Morning News): "Sen. John Cornyn pledged Monday to support the House bill that defunds Obamacare — a bill that critics say threatens a government shutdown. 'I intend to support the House bill that defunds Obamacare and will vote against a bill that funds it,' Cornyn announced in a tweet."

•    Mitch McConnell won’t back Ted Cruz Obamacare tactic (Politico): "Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will not join an effort in the Senate to block a House-passed spending bill that defunds Obamacare, a spokesman for McConnell said Monday. 'Sen. McConnell supports the House Republicans’ bill and will not vote to block it, since it defunds Obamacare and funds the government without increasing spending by a penny. He will also vote against any amendment that attempts to add Obamacare funding back into the House Republicans’ bill,' said Don Stewart, a spokesman for the Republican senator."

•    Haley Barbour: No doubt Perry’s running (The Run): "Former Mississippi governor and Republican National Committee chairman Haley Barbour said there isn’t any doubt in his mind that Rick Perry is running for president again. 'Perry will run again,' Barbour told The RUN in a recent interview. 'I don’t think there’s any question about it.'"

•    Xerox signs $100M deal to manage TxDot toll roads (The Associated Press): "Texas has signed a 5-year, approximately $100 million contract with Xerox to manage toll-road operations statewide. Xerox announced Monday that it will open a customer service operations center in Austin to process more than 8 million monthly toll transactions while managing 750,000-plus accounts."

New in The Texas Tribune

•    Study: Texas Isn't Seeing Dip in Undocumented Immigration Figures: "Data from the Pew Research Center indicates that of the six states with the largest number of unauthorized immigrants, Texas was the only one that didn’t witness the significant dip in population figures that took place a few years ago."

•    Callegari Won't Seek Re-election in 2014: "Katy Republican Bill Callegari said Monday he won't seek another term in the Texas House, bringing to 12 the number of state representatives who won't be up for re-election in 2014."

•    Among Corpus Christi’s Hispanic Majority, Few Were Born in Mexico: "A new report shows that among the 60 metro areas in the United States with the largest Hispanic populations, Corpus Christi has the smallest percentage of Hispanics who are foreign-born at 8 percent."

•    Democrats Need More Than One Candidate to Make a Ticket in 2014: "Democrats are looking for candidates who might fill out their 2014 ticket, including San Antonio state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, who is thinking about it — with reservations. In the context of the 2014 election, she is a natural recruit for the ticket that could be headed by state Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth."

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