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!

Jan 03, 2013

  • Lawmakers Gird for Next Fiscal Clash, on the Debt Ceiling

    By Jackie Calmes and Michael D. Shear, The New York Times

    With the resolution of the year-end fiscal crisis just hours old, the next political confrontation is already taking shape as this city braces for a fight in February over raising the nation’s borrowing limit. But it is a debate President Obama says he will have nothing more to do with.

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  • Business Leaders Say ‘Cliff’ Deal Won’t Ease Economic Uncertainty

    By Jim Tankersley, The Washington Post

    A day after Congress managed to avert the fiscal cliff, business leaders warned that the agreement will hurt sales and hiring, won’t unlock investment and leaves the economy riddled with congressionally imposed land mines for months to come.

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  • Obama Taking Campaign-Style Approach to New Goals

    By Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics

    In the thick of the fiscal cliff impasse Monday, even as a Senate agreement was hours from being a certainty, Republican lawmakers were chagrined to hear President Obama zoom beyond the tax battle to plant some partisan seeds for spring.

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  • Has the ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Fight Changed How Washington Works?

    By Karen Tumulty and Peter Wallsten, The Washington Post

    As ugly as they were, the “fiscal cliff” negotiations produced something Washington hadn’t seen in a long time: strongly bipartisan votes in the House and the Senate on a big, contentious issue.

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Jan 02, 2013

  • Divided GOP House Approves Senate 'Fiscal Cliff' Plan

    By Susan Davis and David Jackson, USA Today

    A divided Republican House passed the Senate's "fiscal cliff" agreement Tuesday night, following a tense day of GOP protests that the plan does not do enough to rein in federal spending.

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  • Congress Passes Cliff Deal

    By Janet Hook, Siobhan Hughes, and Corey Boles, Wall Street Journal

    Congress broke a rancorous stalemate Tuesday to pass legislation designed to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. But the compromise bill, which blocked most impending tax increases and postponed spending cuts largely by raising taxes on upper-income Americans, left a host of issues unresolved and guaranteed continued budget clashes between the parties.

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  • On the Left, Seeing Obama Giving Away Too Much, Again

    By Peter Baker, The New York Times

    For President Obama, the fiscal deal passed by Congress on Tuesday finally ends four years of debate with Republicans about raising tax rates on the wealthy. But it seemed to reopen a debate within his party about the nature of his leadership and his skills as a negotiator.

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  • Gun-Control Converts Could Pave Way to New Laws

    By Fawn Johnson and Alex Roarty, National Journal

    Sen. Robert Casey, D-Pa., does not shy away from the “pro-gun Democrat” label. He has a B-plus rating with the National Rifle Association, a score docked only because he supported the confirmation of Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, and he represents a state with a strong hunting tradition.

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  • The Perils of Political Punditry

    By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

    Back in 2011, at the dawn of a long presidential campaign, I established a fine baseline for my credentials as a political prognosticator: I told readers that Mitt Romney's strongest challengers for the Republican nomination would be Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

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Dec 28, 2012

  • Cliff Talks Down to the Wire

    By Janet Hook and Carol E. Lee, Wall Street Journal

    Congress and the White House took small steps toward breaking the budget impasse Thursday, but Democrats and Republicans grew increasingly fearful they won't be able to avert the tax increases and spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff, a prospect that is unnerving consumers and investors.

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  • Clock Ticks on a Deal Deadline

    With Eamon Javers, CNBC

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  • Obama Summons Congressional Leaders for ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Talks

    By Lori Montgomery and Rosalind S. Helderman, The Washington Post

    President Obama summoned congressional leaders to a Friday summit at the White House in a last-ditch effort to protect taxpayers, unemployed workers and the fragile U.S. recovery from severe austerity measures set to hit in just four days.

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  • Gay Republicans Take Out Ad Criticizing Hagel

    By Helene Cooper, The New York Times

    The White House may not be making any more announcements about President Obama’s new national security team this week, but that hasn’t stopped the anti-Chuck Hagel drumbeat.

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  • Possible Strike at Docks Would Cripple Key U.S. Ports, Hurt Economy

    By Michael A. Fletcher and Brad Plumer, The Washington Post

    Thousands of dockworkers from Baltimore to Houston are threatening to go on strike Sunday over their pay, a move that could throttle an array of key ports and disrupt commerce at a critical juncture for the economy.

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Dec 27, 2012

  • Obama, Senators to Discuss Budget Moves

    By Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics

    Ending his holiday break early, President Obama expects to be back at the White House by midday Thursday to search with senators for an escape hatch to avert more than $500 billion in tax hikes and automatic spending reductions that take effect next week should Washington fail to act.

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  • Fiscal Cliff Just Days Away

    With John Harwood, CNBC

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  • Debt Ceiling Nears as Budget Talks Stymied

    By Janet Hook and Damian Paletta, Wall Street Journal

    The Treasury Department said Wednesday the government would hit its legal borrowing limit by Monday, setting in motion emergency measures to keep the government operating for several more weeks and serving as a reminder that the nation's budget wrangling could continue well into 2013.

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  • On ‘Fiscal Cliff,’ Obama and Senators Returning to Washington for One Last Attempt at deal

    By Lori Montgomery and Paul Kane, The Washington Post

    With historic tax increases set to hit virtually every American in five days, President Obama and members of the Senate are headed back to Washington on Thursday to take one last shot at a deal to protect taxpayers and the gathering economic recovery.

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  • Home Prices Rose Over Past Year, Another Sign that Market is Recovering

    By Michael A. Fletcher, Washington Post

    Home prices saw solid gains over the past year, according to a new report Wednesday, adding to the evidence that the housing market turned a corner in 2012, even in the hardest-hit parts of the country.

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  • Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi Signs Constitution, Reaches Out to Critics – but No Sale

    By Nancy A. Youssef, McClatchy Newspapers

    Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi enacted a newly passed divisive constitution Wednesday even as he attempted to reach out to opponents in his most conciliatory remarks since voters began considering the document.

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