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The Brief: Aug. 1, 2014

Ted Cruz has become the latest D.C.-based practitioner of the Pottery Barn rule: He broke the border bill, and now, possibly more than any other single person, he owns it.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas thanks Republican delegates in Fort Worth on June 6, 2014.

The Big Conversation

Ted Cruz has become the latest D.C.-based practitioner of the Pottery Barn rule: he broke the border bill, and now, possibly more than any other single person, he owns it.

From Robert Costa of the Washington Post:

The beginning of the collapse of House Speaker John A. Boehner’s border bill came Wednesday evening, when Texas Sen. Ted Cruz gathered more than a dozen House Republicans at his office in the Dirksen building on Capitol Hill.

It was there, as Boehner (R-Ohio) held his own meetings on the other side of Constitution Avenue, that Cruz heard that the speaker didn’t have enough votes — and realized that if his House allies held firm, he could rupture the fragile coalition supporting the measure.

Around the room — amid the boxes of pizza and cans of Dr Pepper, a Texas favorite — were longtime Cruz confidants...

A first-term senator wielding such influence in the House is both unusual and a testament to the ongoing tumult within the Republican Party. Sensing a desire by many in the House to follow an unyielding conservative, Cruz has gladly taken on that role, bolstering his national profile ahead of a potential 2016 presidential campaign.

And from Manu Raju of Politico:

“The message is that Ted Cruz and a handful of Republicans have hijacked the party,” said Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.).

Asked how it fell apart, King said: “Because of Ted Cruz.”

But while much of the reporting Thursday focused on Cruz again undercutting Boehner, The Dallas Morning News' Todd Gillman wrote that Cruz still has the public support of members of the Texas GOP congressional delegation:

Hours before Boehner pulled the bill, House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Dallas, said he didn’t see any problem with Cruz’s actions.

“We’ve got to be faithful to the things that people want and need and expect from conservative Republicans and we’ll be fine,” said Sessions, who planned to visit the border in McAllen late Thursday and on Friday with Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Midland.

As to whether Cruz was being disruptive, he added, “I think we can make our own decisions over here.”

Rep. Kenny Marchant, R-Coppell, likewise refrained from criticizing Cruz.

The Day Ahead

•    In an address to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) at 1:45 p.m. in Dallas, GOP gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott will lay out a proposal for occupational licensing reform.

•    The University of Texas Students of the World chapter hosts a living memorial to honor the victims of the 1966 UT Tower shootings. The event begins at the Littlefield Fountain on the UT campus at 11:30 a.m.

Trib Must-Reads

After 48 Years, Whitman's Unborn Victim Gets a Headstone, by Reeve Hamilton

Pipeline Proposal Revives Eminent Domain Debate, by Jim Malewitz

A Longshot for Speaker, With Money to Spend, by Ross Ramsey

Villalba Urges GOP to Woo Hispanics, by Eli Okun


Area facility for immigrant women and children opens, San Antonio Express-News

Success of previous Texas border surge not so clear, Austin American-Statesman

Nevada, not Texas, gets first nod from Tesla, Austin American-Statesman

Private wind coverage cost is 70 percent of average Coastal Bend residential home policy, Corpus Christi Caller-Times

Does it matter how a condemned man dies?, GQ

Rebellion Inside G.O.P. Scuttles Vote on Border Bill, The New York Times

Ted Cruz to attend influential Iowa bash on Saturday, Des Moines Register

Quote to Note

“Look, we have only had two father and son acts in presidential history so far, and to my knowledge John Quincy Adams didn’t talk about his father.”

— Presidential historian Timothy Naftali on what makes the decision of former President George W. Bush to write a biography of his father, former President George H.W. Bush, unique

Today in TribTalk

What history can teach us about the border crisis, by Jerry Patterson

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    The Texas Tribune Festival runs from Sept. 19-21 at the University of Texas at Austin.

Bonus event! Skip the line and join us at legendary Franklin Barbecue for an intimate dinner and a lively discussion about the upcoming election with Chris Hayes of MSNBC. This event is not included in the regular Festival badge and requires an extra ticket. Barbecue and beer are included with the ticket price of $250.

Purchase your ticket when you register, but hurry as space is extremely limited. Tickets on sale now.

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Explore related story topics

Energy Environment Politics Greg Abbott Kenny E. Marchant Mike Conaway Pete Sessions Ted Cruz Todd Hunter