Essential Reads

Essential Reads is your one-stop source for the top stories of the day as reported by your favorite Washington Week panelists. It's a simple way to save time and stay informed about the news you need to know. Check it out every day!

Feb 01, 2013

  • Can Immigration Fix The GOP's Hispanic Problem?

    By Amy Walter, Cook Politics Report

    By now, just about everyone understands that Republicans have a problem with Hispanic voters. The bigger question now is if a bi-partisan immigration bill will be the cure.

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  • Senate Passes Debt Limit Extension

    By Susan Davis, USA Today

    The U.S. Senate approved a bill, 64-34, that would suspend the nation's borrowing authority through May 18. The measure, already approved by the House, will be sent to President Obama, who has pledged to sign it into law.

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  • The Assault-Weapons Ban Isn't Happening—Get Over It

    By Molly Ball, The Atlantic

    First, the bad news for fans of gun control: A new assault-weapons ban probably isn't going to happen. This has become abundantly clear in recent days as top Democrats, including Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy and Vice President Joe Biden, have downplayed the proposal's chances.

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  • 2nd Oval Office Readied in White House Rehab Project

    By Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics

    This summer there will be two Oval Offices in the White House complex, and it won’t be a case of double vision.

    In preparation for a major, two-year renovation of the West Wing, the government is undertaking extensive work to complete a new executive office for President Obama at the south end of the adjacent Eisenhower Executive Office Building, RCP has learned.

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Jan 31, 2013

  • Is the U.S. Economy About to Take Off?

    With David Wessel, Wall Street Journal

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  • Rubio's Moment

    By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine

    Sen. Marco Rubio is having a moment. He’s a charismatic senator from a battleground state whose Cuban heritage and support for immigration reform are helping his party begin a new courtship with Hispanic voters. This much we know. But Rubio is exploiting an opportunity that goes beyond simply good timing and the right last name. He is getting the chance to be first at bat in a larger effort: the post-election audition for GOP leadership. Of all the would-be Republican stars—and the list is long and likely to grow—Rubio is getting a chance to show exactly what it looks like to move the party in a new direction.

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  • Why Labor Has Learned to Love Immigration Reform

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    When President Obama delivered a major speech trumpeting immigration reform from Las Vegas earlier this week, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka sat in the front row, right in front of the podium.

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  • As Sequestration Looms, Contractors Don’t Fret

    By Jim Tankersley, The Washington Post

    The next few months could look even scarier than the last few for defense contractors already battered by federal budget cuts, thanks to the threat of automatic reductions looming in March. But industry executives had a surprising message for shareholders this week: Don’t worry about it.

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  • John Kerry Bids Farewell to U.S. Senate

    By Susan Davis, USA Today

    Sen. John Kerry bid farewell to the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, reflecting on a 28-year tenure that began on a wave of anti-war activism, included a failed 2004 presidential run and will begin a new chapter as the nation's top diplomat on Friday.

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  • Nuclear Test Could Open Window on North Korea

    By David E. Sanger and Thomas Shanker, The New York Times

    The world is warning North Korea against going ahead with its third nuclear test, but inside the American intelligence community, some officials are quietly hoping it happens. A test could give them their first real view in years into whether the North has made significant progress toward a weapon that could threaten the United States or its allies.

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Jan 30, 2013

  • Obama Presses Congress on Immigration Reform

    By Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics

    President Obama used a speech in Las Vegas on Tuesday to urge Congress to move swiftly this year -- after decades of false starts -- to repair what he called America’s “broken” immigration system.

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  • Obama Starts Push for Immigration Reform

    By Christi Parsons and Kathleen Hennessey, Los Angeles Times

    President Obama flew to this once-red state, turned blue largely by the votes of Latinos, to launch an effort to overhaul the nation's immigration laws. But in doing so, he carefully avoided ultimatums that might disrupt bipartisan talks underway in the Senate and House.

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  • Immigration reform's new fans

    By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

    Can Republicans find a way out of the political dead end they marched into during the 2012 campaign? Can President Obama make his second term more productive than the final gridlocked years of his first? Can Democrats and Republicans in Congress relearn the forgotten art of compromise after years of angry polarization?

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  • Is Washington Getting Less Dysfunctional?

    By Molly Ball, The Atlantic

    Don't look now, but things are actually getting done in Washington, D.C.

    Witness the last month: We didn't go over the fiscal cliff. We averted (at least for the moment) a debt-ceiling standoff. On Monday, Congress passed, with barely any drama, aid for victims of Hurricane Sandy. And the bipartisan push for comprehensive immigration reform seems to be going awfully well.

     

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  • Immigration Plan Could be Long-Term Boon to GOP

    By Susan Davis and Martha T. Moore, USA Today

    A renewed bipartisan push to rewrite U.S. immigration laws presents Republicans with their clearest opportunity to make up lost ground with one of the fastest growing forces in American politics.

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Jan 29, 2013

  • Obama to Begin Immigration Reform Push in Nevada

    By Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics

    President Obama on Tuesday will ask American workers, employers, lawmakers, and interest groups to help enact a new immigration system this year that would grant undocumented immigrants an earned path to U.S. citizenship.

    The kickoff of Obama’s public campaign for reform, which the president postponed until his second term, will take place in Las Vegas a day after a key, bipartisan group of senators launched a push for immigration changes that Obama hopes can lead to action in the House.

     

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  • Immigration Plan Could be Long-Term Boon to GOP

    By Susan Davis and Martha T. Moore, USA Today

    A renewed bipartisan push to rewrite U.S. immigration laws presents Republicans with their clearest opportunity to make up lost ground with one of the fastest growing forces in American politics.

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  • Marco Rubio Evolved on Immigration Reform

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    rizona Sen. John McCain partnered with liberal Democrat Ted Kennedy in 2005 to offer illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship, then allied with border security hardliners during a tough 2010 Republican primary. "Complete the danged fence," McCain cracked in a widely publicized television spot.

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  • Obama's Permanent Campaign: Can He Use His Reelection Playbook to Change Washington?

    By Molly Ball, The Atlantic

    A week ago, President Obama launched his second term with a set of lofty goals -- climate change legislation, immigration reform, and gun control among them.

    Around the same time, Obama's former campaign apparatus announced it would morph into a new group called Organizing for Action, a nonprofit group to promote Obama's policy goals.

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  • Rep. Ryan: I Think Sequester Will Happen

    With John Harwood, CNBC

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