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The Brief: July 23, 2014

Story lines continue to spin out from Gov. Rick Perry's Monday announcement that he was activating up to 1,000 National Guard troops to back up existing DPS border operations.

DPS chief Steve McCraw outlines plans for the National Guard role securing the Texas border as Gov. Rick Perry, l, and Guard Adjutant General John Nichols listen on July 21, 2014.

The Big Conversation

Story lines continue to spin out from Gov. Rick Perry's Monday announcement that he was activating up to 1,000 National Guard troops to back up existing DPS border operations. Here's a roundup of what happened on Tuesday:

•    The Dallas Morning News reported that Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said federal officials are reviewing Perry's action. Earlier this month, Johnson called sending troops to the border "hugely expensive" and would be a temporary solution. But on Tuesday, he said federal personnel on the border would cooperate with Guard troops. “The governor feels as though it’s necessary,” Johnson said Tuesday, as reported by the News. “We’re reviewing the options just because we want to review all appropriate and lawful options when dealing with this.”

•    The Houston Chronicle has all the details on the Reconstruction-era law that puts some big limitations on Guard troops while on the border in support of law enforcement. "If anybody thinks National Guard is going to be at the border with rifles they're wrong," said U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, as told to the Chronicle. "They can provide intel support. They can be lookouts. But can they go out there and apprehend? Absolutely, under the law, they cannot do that."

•    The federal government, meanwhile, is announcing gains in their border security operations, reported the San Antonio Express-News. "During the first month of Operation Coyote, the Homeland Security Department's crackdown on border-related crime resulted in the arrests of 192 smugglers and their associates, the apprehension of 500 undocumented immigrants, and the seizure of nearly $600,000 in illicit profits from 288 bank accounts, officials said. They also netted guns and 28 vehicles."

•    Perry's announcement has had the effect of scaling back an annual conference involving leaders of states along the U.S. and Mexican sides of the border, reported the Tribune's Julián Aguilar. The "planned binational Border Governors Conference will be scaled back to only a dinner with the elected officials. Texas and the Mexican border state of Tamaulipas were selected to chair this year’s event, scheduled for late September. The original agenda included seven working groups on issues like border security, education, logistics and international crossings."

•   And in Washington, D.C., hope appeared to be dimming on an agreement to address the unaccompanied children crisis. Senate Democrats were poised to introduce a plan that shaves $1 billion off President Obama's $3.7 billion request in emergency funding, reported The New York Times. “Unfortunately, it looks like we’re on a track to do absolutely nothing,” said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. “That’s a tragedy, not just for us but for all of these children who are being lured to our borders.”

The Day Ahead

•    The House Select Committee on Economic Development Incentives meets at 10 a.m. in the Capitol Extension. (agenda)

•    The ninth annual Border Health Conference, sponsored by the Texas Medical Association’s Border Health Caucus, takes place in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, D.C. The morning long event features, among other topics, a panel on who bears responsibility for the cost of care for undocumented immigration.

Trib Must-Reads

Media Consortium Plans More Exit Polling in Texas, by Aman Batheja

Drinking Water Systems Draw Federal Concerns, by Neena Satija

Analysis: A Border Plan — and a Political One, by Ross Ramsey


New Questions on Health Law as Rulings on Subsidies Differ, The New York Times

Legal fees in House investigation of embattled regent total $500,000, The Dallas Morning News

Ivy Taylor becomes mayor, San Antonio Express-News

Border bill fits Rep. Henry Cuellar's history of bipartisanship, The Dallas Morning News

Flight carrying Guatemalan families reverses the tide, San Antonio Express-News

Kennedy: For Perry, border policy seems like a 2006 replay, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Ted Cruz Calls ‘True Blood’ A ‘Misogynist’ and ‘Profanity-Ridden’ Show For Cruz Bloodbath Episode, The Daily Beast

Quote to Note

“I try not to be perceived as being coy. I am preparing for the possibility of a presidential run. Yes, I think about it, and I know how to be prepared for it.”

— Gov. Rick Perry to the Washington Post on his 2016 plans

Today in TribTalk

Where are all the Latina Republicans?, by Linda Vega

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    The Texas Tribune Festival runs from Sept. 19-21 at the University of Texas at Austin. The next round of participants has now been announced, a list headed by Dan Patrick, state Rep. Sarah Davis and Houston ISD Superintendent Terry GrierAct now!

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Energy Environment Health care Politics Henry Cuellar John Cornyn Rick Perry Ted Cruz