The Note’s Must-Reads for Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Mar 2, 2011 3:30am

Compiled by ABC News Digital News Associates and Desk Assistants, Claudia Morales, Jackie Ng. Fernandez, Jayce Henderson and Jordan Manor

The New York Times’ Carl Hulse: “House Advances Budget and Cuts $4 Billion” The House on Tuesday approved a two-week budget measure that cuts $4 billion in federal spending. Senate Democrats said they would quickly pass the bill and send it to President Obama, averting any immediate threat of a government shutdown when current financing runs out Friday. LINK

The Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty and Ed O’Keefe: “Government shutdown avoided for now, with a two-week funding extension” House and Senate leaders on Tuesday bought themselves a little more time in their efforts to avoid a government shutdown, agreeing to a two-week funding extension that also includes $4 billion in spending cuts. LINK

Bloomberg’s Brian Faler: “Congress Set to Approve Funding Bill Preventing U.S. Government Shutdown” The U.S. Congress is set to give final approval to a stopgap budget bill needed to prevent a government shutdown, clearing the way for difficult negotiations over spending levels for the rest of the 2011 fiscal year.  The Senate is to approve today the stopgap measure funding the government until March 18, sending it to President Barack Obama for his signature. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Damian Paletta: “Both Sides Embrace Government-Waste Study” House and Senate leaders of both parties promised to rein in government spending after examining a new report that detailed billions of dollars in duplicative federal programs. LINK

The Hill’s Russell Berman:“Done deal on a $4 billion cut gives Republicans spending victory” The House approved a stopgap spending resolution Tuesday in a landslide 335-91 vote, with more than 100 Democrats joining all but six Republicans in voting to slash federal spending by $4 billion over the next two weeks.  Shortly before the vote, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said the upper chamber would likely approve the measure, which would send it to President Obama for his signature.  LINK

New York Daily News’ Corky Siemaszko: “Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker threatens layoffs if Democrats don’t vote on state budget” Wisconsin's union-busting Republican governor threatened Tuesday to lay off hundreds of public sector workers if the Democratic lawmakers who split the state don't return and vote on his proposed budget.  Gov. Scott Walker, who plans to deliver his budget address Tuesday, said the state will miss a chance to refinance its debt and force him to start writing pink slips.  LINK

USA Today’s Gregory Korte: “House passes bill to avert shutdown” President Obama entered negotiations over a spending bill Tuesday as Congress was poised to extend the deadline to avert a government shutdown by two weeks. LINK

ABC News’ Jonathan Karl: “Newt Gingrich Set to Throw His Hat in the Ring to be 2012 Republican Nominee for President” ABC News has learned that Newt Gingrich will make the leap this week. Confidants close to the former House speaker say he will announce his intention to form a presidential exploratory committee before on Thursday in Atlanta. Gingrich spokesman Rick Tyler would only say that the former speaker will make an announcement by the end of the week on forming a presidential exploratory committee. But friends of Gingrich say he has already made up his mind. Gingrich's travel schedule is already looking like that of a presidential candidate. He will be in Iowa on Mar. 7 and ABC News has learned he will in New Hampshire Mar. 17. LINK

Politico’s Jonathan Allen & Marin Cogan: “GOP freshmen flex their muscles” It can take years to find out where some lawmakers stand on crucial economic, political and social issues. Not this class of freshman Republicans. They already have cast votes on abortion, environmental regulation, warplanes, the new health care law, labor-management relations and virtually every other hot-button issue Congress can handle. LINK

LA Times’ Michael Memoli: “Jeb Bush to appear with Obama at Miami school” Jeb Bush will join President Obama in Florida on Friday for an event focused on education, the rare issue for which the president has earned plaudits from RepublicansThe White House announced details of the event Tuesday, saying it would focus on the president's goal that the United States should do a better job than its global competitors in educating its citizens to "win the future."  LINK

ABC News’ Luis Martinez: “No-Fly Zone Would Require Military Force” The commander of US Central Command, Gen. Gen. James Mattis, told Congress today that setting up a No-Fly Zone over Libya would be no easy task and would involve taking out Libyan air defenses.  Asked by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) about the feasibility of enforcing a No-Fly Zone, Mattis replied “My military opinion is, sir, it would be challenging.” LINK

The Hilll’s Gautham Nagesh: “Dodd to be Hollywood’s top man in Washington” Former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) will be Hollywood’s leading man in Washington, taking the most prestigious job on K Street.  The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) named Dodd chairman and CEO on Tuesday. He will start his new job on St. Patrick's Day, March 17.  But heading Hollywood’s lobbying arm could be problematic for the former senator, who accepted the kind of job he pledged not to take. LINK

ABC News Videos:
“Buried Alive: Tales of Torture in Libya” LINK
“Mike Huckabee Suggests Obama Grew Up In Kenya” LINK
“Ron Paul Spars with Hillary Clinton Over Mideast” LINK

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