"The Brief: Ted Cruz and John Cornyn are taking opposite stances on health bill" was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.
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What you need to know
Senate Republicans released a 142-page plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, ahead of a vote expected to take place next week. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn is for it. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz is against it (for now). Here's what you need to know:
• Though Cruz said he was a 'no' on the bill right now, he left the door open to compromises. "Currently, for a variety of reasons, we are not ready to vote for this bill, but we are open to negotiation and obtaining more information before it is brought to the floor," Cruz said in a joint statement with several other Republican senators who were opposed to the bill.
• The bill's unveiling came after weeks of closed-door negotiations and criticism over transparency. On the Senate floor Thursday, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn defended the bill and the process against angry Democrats, telling one, "It's been made clear to us that you don't want to participate in the process."
• The repeal eliminates the mandates for companies and individuals, while cutting taxes and Medicaid. The Senate's bill, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, does keep some of the Affordable Care Act's more popular measures — including barring providers from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions.
Other stories we're watching today:
• The Texas Supreme Court may rule this morning on a case out of Houston on same-sex marriage benefits. For updates, follow Texas Tribune reporter Alexa Ura.
• You asked, we answered: Why don’t local police departments pay for rape kit testing? There's no universal rule — funding for rape kit testing differs in each state and every city.
• From Ross Ramsey: When he was attorney general, Greg Abbott spent a lot of time suing a higher government. Now, Texas cities are taking a page out of his book.
• California has banned state-funded travel to Texas. The state's attorney general cited a new Texas law on Thursday that would allow child welfare providers to deny adoptions to parents based on "sincerely held religious beliefs."
• Gov. Greg Abbott is plotting an aggressive approach to the upcoming special session this summer.
News from home
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What we're reading
Links below lead to outside websites; we've noted paywall content with $.
Senate GOP brings Obamacare repeal bill out of the shadows, Politico
A Tick Bite Could Make You Allergic to Meat—and It's Spreading, National Geographic
Marq Vincent Perez indicted in mosque case, Victoria Advocate
UTRGV provost takes top job in New York, The Brownsville Herald
Energy Secretary Rick Perry distances himself from Trump’s proposed budget cuts, Associated Press
Tropical Storm Cindy aftermath: Bolivar awakens to water, debris, Houston Chronicle ($)
Ted Cruz's opposition to Senate health care bill will test whether he's deal maker or still just agitator, The Dallas Morning News ($)
As women go to jail in record numbers, who's watching out for their kids? No one. The Dallas Morning News ($)
Quote to note
"The statue is wrenched from its historical context and treated as an aesthetic object."
— Rich Heyman, lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin, about the Jefferson Davis exhibit at the Briscoe Center for American History.
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