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!

Jul 31, 2014

  • White House condemns shelling of U.N. school in Gaza

    By Christi Parsons and Kathleen Hennessey, Los Angeles Times

    The White House condemned the shelling Wednesday of a United Nations school in Gaza, issuing a carefully worded statement that avoided any mention of where the shells came from, despite the strong likelihood that it was Israeli fire.

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  • Tea party opposition puts fate of House Republican border bill up in the air

    By Ed O’Keefe and Robert Costa, The Washington Post

    The fate of a Republican proposal to address a brewing immigration crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border was cast into doubt Wednesday after a tea party senator lobbied against it to House members.

  • How Paul Ryan plans to tackle poverty, without cutting spending

    By John Harwood, CNBC

    Rep. Paul Ryan wants to change his image.

    The Wisconsin Republican gained a national reputation early on in President Barack Obama's administration as a fearless deficit hawk battling to cut government spending—a profile that helped him win the vice presidential nomination on Mitt Romney's 2012 ticket.

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  • Obama Administration Enters Battle over Ohio and Wisconsin Voting

    By Pete Williams, NBC News

    The Justice Department today joined legal disputes over new voting rules in Wisconsin and Ohio — restrictions that Attorney General Eric Holder called "misguided attempts to fix a system that isn't broken.”

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  • Health-care gains rise for hospitals, insurers as patients pay

    By Alex Wayne and Shannon Pettypiece, Bloomberg News

    Even as the new health-care law continues to be attacked by foes and challenged in court, hospital chains and insurers are making more money, more patients using ERs are paying for their care, and the country as a whole is enjoying slower growth in its health-care spending.

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Jul 30, 2014

  • House Republicans propose plan to deal with border crisis

    By David Nakamura and Ed O'Keefe, The Washington Post

    House Republicans proposed a legislative solution to the growing border crisis Tuesday that would make it easier to deport Central American minors who have entered the United States illegally. The proposal also would give the Obama administration much less emergency funding than it requested to deal with the crisis.

  • Speaker Boehner Shoots Down Impeachment Talk, Blasts Democrats for Pushing It

    By Jeff Zeleny, ABC News

    Speaker John Boehner shot down talk of impeachment once again today -- raising his voice as he blamed Democrats for trying to push the idea for political gain.

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  • Coordinated Sanctions Aim at Russia’s Ability to Tap Its Oil Reserves

    By Peter Baker, Alan Cowell and James Kanter, The New York Times

    The United States and Europe kicked off a joint effort on Tuesday intended to curb Russia’s long-term ability to develop new oil resources, taking aim at the Kremlin’s premier source of wealth and power in retaliation for its intervention in Ukraine.

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  • Is global chaos the new normal?

    By Doyle McManus, LA Times

    It's a chaotic world out there. But we'd better get used to it; this may be the new normal. The Middle East is in flames, not only Gaza but Syria, Iraq and Libya as well. Russia is massing troops on the border of Ukraine. Central Africa is a mess, as are Afghanistan and Pakistan. Parts of Mexico and Central America are ruled by criminal gangs and drug cartels. And those are merely the crises big enough to command front-page attention.

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  • She's gone from Foggy Bottom, but global chaos still hurts Hillary

    By John Harwood, CNBC

    The chaos enveloping international relations this year has taken its toll on President Barack Obama's approval rating and midterm election prospects for his party. But it also hurts Hillary Rodham Clinton.

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Jul 29, 2014

  • U.S. and Europe Set to Toughen Russia Sanctions

    By Jack Ewing and Peter Baker, The New York Times

    The United States and Europe put aside their differences and agreed Monday to sharply escalate economic sanctions against Russia amid worries that Moscow is stepping up its intervention in Ukraine and may be setting the stage for an outright invasion.

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  • House, Senate negotiators reach deal on veterans bill

    By Ed O’Keefe, The Washington Post

    House and Senate negotiators have reached a tentative agreement to deal with the long-term needs of the struggling Department of Veterans Affairs and plan to unveil their proposal Monday.

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  • Undocumented immigrants call for White House boycott

    By Carrie Budoff Brown, National Journal

    Undocumented immigrants demanded Monday that national advocacy groups boycott meetings with President Barack Obama until they are included in talks on how he will use his administrative powers to fix the immigration system.

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  • Advocates Shun ‘Pro-Choice’ to Expand Message

    By Jackie Calmes, The New York Times

    For all the talk about women’s issues in this year’s midterm election campaigns, something is missing. One of the most enduring labels of modern politics — pro-choice — has fallen from favor, a victim of changed times and generational preferences.

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  • The Idea Men

    By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine

    What if they held a presidential campaign and a think tank broke out? House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, who is considering running for president, offered his thoughts on poverty last week. Sen. Marco Rubio has been giving regular policy speeches on poverty, college loans, and helping the middle class. Former senator and GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum is promoting a book of policy proposals on education, family, and revitalizing American manufacturing. Sen. Rand Paul is offering ideas on criminal justice and will give a big foreign policy speech in the fall. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has given speeches on health care and education aimed at a national audience. His staff recently sent an email titled “policy leader” that linked to a Time piece about how he is preparing to be the candidate of ideas in 2016.

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Jul 28, 2014

  • Pentagon Plan Would Help Ukraine Target Rebel Missiles

    By David E. Sanger and Eric Schmitt, The New York Times

    The Pentagon and American intelligence agencies are developing plans that would enable the Obama administration to provide specific locations of surface-to-air missiles controlled by Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine so the Ukrainian government could target them for destruction, American officials said.

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  • The Faces of Middle East Conflict

    With Martha Raddatz, ABC News

    ABC News' Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz tracks the Mideast conflict's impact on Israelis and Palestinians over 26 years of reporting.

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  • House, Senate negotiators reach deal on veterans bill

    By Ed O'Keefe, The Washington Post

    House and Senate negotiators have reached a tentative agreement to deal with the long-term needs of the struggling Department of Veterans Affairs and plan to unveil their proposal Monday.

    Read more
  • Did Immigration Sink Another Republican Candidate?

    By Molly Ball, The Atlantic

    The political world was mildly surprised on Tuesday, when David Perdue—a billionaire former CEO and cousin of a former governor who has never held elected office—won the Republican nomination for Senate in a runoff in Georgia. Perdue was up against Jack Kingston, a longtime congressman from Savannah; Kingston had been ahead in every public poll since the first round of balloting back in May.

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  • Everyone says turnout is key. So why does it keep going down?

    By Dan Balz, The Washington Post

    Tens of millions of dollars will be spent this year in an effort to boost turnout in the November elections. But the longer-term trends suggest that any marginal increase in what is expected to be a low-turnout election won’t have much effect on one of the chronic problems of America’s politics.

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