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!

Jun 06, 2013

  • GOP Seeks Tougher Border Security in Immigration Bill

    By Susan Davis, USA Today

    Momentum to overhaul the nation's immigration laws hit roadblocks in Congress on Wednesday, where leading Republicans said legislation pending in the Senate needs to be much tougher on border security to stand a chance at becoming law.

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  • Mitt Romney to CNN: Rice appointment ‘disappointing’

    With Gloria Borger, CNN

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  • Where's the Enemies List?

    By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

    Who exactly is the enemy in the continuing U.S. war against terrorism?

    In some cases, the answer is: It's a secret.

    When the United States began its war against Al Qaeda after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the identity of the enemy was clear: Osama bin Laden and his followers, and the Taliban who protected them in Afghanistan. Congress quickly passed a resolution authorizing President George W. Bush to use "all necessary and appropriate force" against anyone who "planned, authorized, committed or aided" the 9/11 attacks, plus anyone who harbored them.

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Jun 05, 2013

  • Obama's Job Approval Intact Despite Scandals: Poll

    With John Harwood, CNBC

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  • Female Senators Express Outrage at Sex Assaults in Military

    With Martha Raddatz, ABC News

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  • Why Congress Likely Will Move Quickly to Curb Sex Assaults in the Military

    By Ed O'Keefe, The Washington Post

    Anyone doubtful that Congress will move quickly this year to address the rise of sexual violence in the military need only review what Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) had to say on the topic Tuesday.

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  • The Garden State’s Decider

    By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine

    One of the reasons being governor is good training for the White House is that you are forced to react to unexpected and politically-sensitive events. When a hurricane hits, you must manage the emergency response, comfort the victims, and wring money from the federal government. When a senator from the other party dies, you have to appoint his successor without appearing to look politically craven. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has faced both of these tests in short succession. The former has burnished his credentials at home, while the latter, pressed on him yesterday by the death of the 89-year-old liberal stalwart Sen. Frank Lautenberg, offered a more perilous moment. Christie had been running for re-election minimizing his Republican credentials in the heavily blue state, campaigning as a can-do problem solver, but immediately he had a partisan political problem dropped in his lap.

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  • IRS Employee Conferences Cost Taxpayers $49 Million

    By Susan Davis, USA Today

    A division of the Internal Revenue Service spent $4.1 million on a conference in 2010 in Anaheim, Calif., that included "questionable expenses" for keynote speakers, video production and gifts for IRS employees, according to an audit released Tuesday by the Treasury inspector general for tax administration.

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  • Tea Party Tempest is Brewing

    By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

    The tea party is back and is brewing trouble for the Republican establishment.

    After the GOP debacle in the 2012 election, when Republicans not only failed to win the presidency but blew a chance to take over the Senate, party leaders paused to consider what had gone wrong.

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  • Summers’ Agenda for Obama-Xi Summit

    By David Wessel, Wall Street Journal

    Larry Summers, the former U.S. Treasury secretary who is now back at Harvard, talked, among other things, about China at a Seib & Wessel breakfast Wednesday. He said three big economic issues ought to be on the table whenPresident Barack Obama and China’s Xi Jinping meet next week in California.

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Jun 04, 2013

  • Top Military Commanders to Testify on Sexual Assault

    With Martha Raddatz, ABC News

    Military leaders will face Congress in a hearing on the epidemic of sexual assaults in the military.

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  • DNA Samples Allowed in Arrests for Serious Crimes

    With Pete Williams, NBC News

     

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  • 7 women to watch at the military sexual assault hearing

    By Ed O'Keefe and Sean Sullivan, The Washington Post

    Military and political history will be made Tuesday when all six members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff testify at the same time before the Senate Armed Services Committee about the rising rate of sexual assaults among members of the military.

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  • Analysis: With trademark vigor, Justice Scalia dissents in DNA case

    By Joan Biskupic, Reuters

    Justice Antonin Scalia can seem among the most predictable of the nine U.S. Supreme Court justices, voting conservative and regularly siding with law enforcement over individuals. But then comes an exception like Monday, when Scalia launched a fiery dissent from the bench to a decision permitting police to take DNA swabs from people arrested.

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  • IRS Playing 'Dance Video Defense'

    With John Harwood, CNBC

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  • Congressional Town Halls Held Less Frequently, Despite Hot Issues

    By Thomas Beaumont and Charles Barbington, Associated Press

    From her front row seat at the Fort Dodge Public Library, pugnacious retiree Betty Nostrom wasted no time grilling the U.S. senator standing before 80 constituents over how he was investigating the deaths of four Americans in Libya last fall.

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Jun 03, 2013

  • When was the Last Time Congress Met for Four Consecutive Weeks?

    By Ed O'Keefe, The Washington Post

    Wait a second: This is just the second four-week stretch of the year? Yes, it is indeed.

    The last time the House and Senate met for four consecutive weeks without a recess was from Feb. 25 to March 21. Since then, lawmakers have left Washington for extended Easter, May Day and Memorial Day breaks. The next prolonged recess is scheduled for the week of July 4.

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  • Seeking a Fresh Start, Holder Finds a Fresh Set of Troubles

    By Peter Baker, Charlie Savage and Jonathan Weisman, The New York Times

    At the end of last year, with the election decided and the Obama administration in office for four more years, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. considered stepping down. He decided against it, in part because before he left he wanted to move beyond the disputes that had characterized his tenure, accomplish some of the goals he had set for the job and leave on his own terms.

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  • 'Tea party' Tempest Brewing

    By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

    The "tea party" is back and is brewing trouble for the Republican establishment.

    After the GOP debacle in the 2012 election, when Republicans not only failed to win the presidency but blew a chance to take over the Senate, party leaders paused to consider what had gone wrong.

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  • Senate Republicans Tiptoe Around Activist Base

    By Reid Wilson, National Journal's Hotline

    Republicans scheming to take back control of the Senate next year are walking a delicate line between the politically pragmatic decisions they need to make to win and an activist base that sees a nefarious, hidden agenda in Washington's meddling. And no one finds himself confronting those sometimes competing interests more than Jerry Moran, the Kansas Republican who heads the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

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