The Note’s Must-Reads for Thursday January 6th 2010

Jan 6, 2011 5:37am

Compiled by ABC News Digital News Associates and Desk Assistants JACQUELINE NG FERNANDEZ, JAYCE HENDERSON, CLAUDIA MORALES AND MOLLY HUNTER

CONGRESS
The Wall Street Journal’s Janet Hook: “Boehner Takes Reins, Vows Change” The 112th Congress opened a new era of divided government Wednesday, and newly empowered Republicans immediately moved to advance their agenda of attacking government spending. LINK

The Washington Post’s Shailagh Murray and Paul Kane: “A Changing of the gavel as 112th Congress is sworn in” The House and the Senate have a split personality by design, but Wednesday's debut of the 112th Congress revealed a stark contrast between the two chambers that could define the direction of every major debate over the next two years. LINK

The Boston Globe’s Michael Levenson and Noah Bierman: “Rites and resolve House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, outlining a politically ambitious agenda for the new legislative session, vowed yesterday to slash local health care costs, end patronage, reject any tax increases, and break a longstanding impasse over casino gambling. DeLeo made the pronouncements on a day of backslapping, wisecracking, and festive pomp, as members of the Legislature, nearly one-quarter of them newly elected, took the oath of office for a new two-year term.  LINK

The Boston Globe’s Mark Arsenault and Donovan Slack: “Two N.E. freshmen personify the D.C. divide”  New Hampshire Republican Frank Guinta shuffled his 6-year-old son, Jack, from one knee to the other yesterday as he waited to fulfill his first duty as a new member of the House: to vote for Ohio Republican John Boehner as speaker. Across the aisle, freshman William R. Keating of Massachusetts, one of nine new Democrats, joined the House in a political party stripped of its majority power — part of the smallest class of freshman representatives from either party on Capitol Hill since 1915. LINK

 Politico’s David Rogers: “Echoes of 1995 for new Congress” Call it 1995 Lite: a one — rather than two — chamber Republican takeover this time, and no Newt Gingrich, just a lot of little would-be Gingriches running around accusing the White House of corruption or threatening to push the Treasury into default. Every new Congress is a time for renewal and hope, and Wednesday’s ceremonies brought fresh blood to a stagnant Senate and elevated a working-class bar owner’s son to the speakership of the House. LINK

The Hill’s Russell Berman and Molly K. Hooper: “Gavel In hand, New Speaker Boehner Pledges Humble Majority” Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) was sworn in Wednesday as the 53rd Speaker of the House and immediately pledged to run a humble majority aiming “to give government back to the people.”

The Ohio Republican, 61 and in his 11th term, ushered in a Republican House promising to serve as a counterweight to President Obama and the Democratic Senate after a sweeping victory in the midterm election. LINK

ABC News’ Jonathan Karl, Z. Byron Wolf and Bradley Blackburn: “House Takeover: Boehner Elected Speaker of the House” Four years after he handed the House speaker's gavel to Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner received it for himself on Capitol Hill today. In a roll-call vote shortly before, 241 House members cast their votes for Boehner, cementing the Ohio Republican's election as speaker of the House. In an orderly transfer of power, Pelosi, the California Democrat, handed the gavel back to Boehner, as the Republicans formally took control of the chamber. Boehner wiped away tears while accepting applause from his colleagues. LINK

PRESIDENT OBAMA AND ADMINISTRATION
USA Today’s Mimi Hall and David Jackson: “Obama White House undergoes ‘major retooling’” President Obama will announce key new members of his economic team on Friday. His new senior adviser David Plouffe starts work Monday at the White House. And efforts to find a new spokesman and chief of staff — including a hush-hush meeting Wednesday afternoon between Obama and former Clinton administration Commerce secretary William Daley — are well underway. LINK

Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter: “A Script for ‘Sputnik’” Barack Obama is coming off the most historic legislative achievements since Lyndon Johnson, but politics is the ultimate what-have-you-done-for-me-lately business. The president needs to begin charting a new course now for the nation. Notice how I didn’t say “for the world.” Global leadership is essential, but our preeminent challenge today is national. LINK

Los Angeles Times’ Christi Parsons and Michael Muskal: “Obama Press Secretary Robert Gibbs Out” Robert Gibbs, the media face of the Obama presidency, will leave his post as White House spokesman and will boost the president's reelection drive from outside the West Wing. The departure of Gibbs as the chief spokesman has been rumored for weeks, but it was unclear whether he would stay in another job within the administration or whether he would leave the White House to work for Obama from outside. LINK

G.O.P.:
The New York Times’ Carl Hulse: “Taking Control, G.O.P. Overhauls Rules in House” Jubilant Republicans took control of the House on Wednesday and installed Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio as the new speaker before pushing through an overhaul of House rules intended to expedite their drive to dismantle the new health care law, cut federal spending and provide the tax cuts they see as a way to jump-start the economy. LINK

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