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The Brief: Oct. 18, 2013

Undaunted by his failed effort to defund Obamacare, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has already picked another fight with the White House.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz speaking at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., on March 16, 2013.

The Big Conversation

Undaunted by his failed effort to defund Obamacare, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has already picked another fight with the White House.

As The Washington Post reports, Cruz this week took aim at the Federal Communications Commission, blocking the confirmation of Tom Wheeler, the president's nominee to chair the agency.

Cruz, whose effort to dismantle the president's health care law ended in a bruising political defeat for Republicans this week, blocked the vote over concerns that Wheeler would require more disclosures about the donors who fund campaign ads on TV.

"Yes, the Senator is holding the nominee until he gets answers to his questions regarding Mr. Wheeler’s views on whether the FCC has the authority or intent to implement the requirements of the failed Congressional DISCLOSE Act," Cruz spokesman Sean Rushton said in a statement.

According to The Hill, Senate Democrats could override the hold, but they would need 60 votes, which would take time to wrangle.

News of Cruz's latest clash with the White House came the same day he told ABC News that he wouldn't rule out another bid to link government funding to defunding Obamacare when the next deadline approaches in January.

"I would do anything, and I will continue to do anything I can, to stop the train wreck that is Obamacare," Cruz said.

Republican officials, however, appear eager to forestall any attempts by Cruz or other Republicans to wage a similar battle next year.

As Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told National Review on Thursday: "A government shutdown is off the table. We’re not going to do it."


•    Ted Cruz Failed To Disclose Ties To Caribbean Holding Company (Time): "Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz potentially violated ethics rules by failing to publicly disclose his financial relationship with a Caribbean-based holding company during the 2012 campaign, a review of financial disclosure and company documents by TIME shows. The relationship originated with a $6,000 investment Cruz made more than a decade ago in a Jamaican private equity firm founded by his college roommate."

•    Wendy Davis campaign disavows robocall using her name (The Associated Press): "When the recorded phone message asked Gene Malish if he supported Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis last week, he pushed the button indicating yes, and he kept pushing buttons until he'd given $500. Then the 83-year-old saw his credit card statement and realized the money hadn't gone to the Fort Worth senator's campaign, but to a group called the Foundation for Justice for All. … A tagline on the group's website says it is focused on 'forward thinking social advocacy.' But Bo Delp, Davis' communication director, urged supporters to stay away from the group, saying the group was not connected to Davis' campaign."

•    After Shutdown, Immigration Reform Push Picks Up (The Texas Tribune): "With the federal government fully operational and the debt ceiling debate on hold until next year, proponents of immigration reform on Thursday resumed their campaign blitz and called on leaders to address the issue before the year ends. The push came after President Barack Obama on Thursday reasserted his belief that Congress can tackle immigration reform after taking on the budget."

Quote to Note: "I can just say that I thought the Civil War was over, and I thought the South had lost and I didn’t expect this kind of uprising at this time. But I see it. I have lived with it. And now I know it’s still alive." — U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Dallas, to The Dallas Morning News on congressional Republicans' hostility toward the president


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Politics Ted Cruz