The Note’s Must-Reads for Monday, July 25, 2011

Jul 25, 2011 4:11am

Compiled by ABC News Digital News Associates Jayce Henderson, Jacqueline Fernandez and Desk Assistant Amanda VanAllen

ABC News’ Jonathan Karl: “Democrats, Republicans Pursue Separate Debt Ceiling Plans After Weekend Standoff” After a weekend of fitful, hurried back-and-forth between House Republicans, President Obama and Congressional Democrats, Democrats and Republicans are now pursuing separate plans to rasie the debt ceiling. But for all the sound and fury – and there will be even more when it comes time to actually vote on all this – the bottom line is that both sides have now moved decisively in a direction that should avoid default. LINK

The New York Times’ Jennifer Steinhauer and Helene Cooper: “Rival Debt Plans Being Assembled by Party Leaders” The House speaker, John A. Boehner, and the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, were preparing separate backup plans to raise the nation’s debt ceiling on Sunday after they and the White House were unable to form a bipartisan plan that would end an increasingly grim standoff over the federal budget. LINK 

The Washington Post’s Lori Montgomery: “Debt-limit compromise elusive as separate strategies take shape in House, Senate” House and Senate leaders were preparing separate backup plans Sunday to raise the federal debt limit after another day of intense negotiations failed to break a partisan impasse that threatens to throw the government into default next week. LINK 

The Washington Times’ Stephen Dinan: “As deadline looms, both parties craft debt plans” With no debt deal done and both sides racing an Aug. 2 deadline, Democrats and Republicans on Sunday readied separate backup plans to try to raise the government’s borrowing limit and cut spending. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Carol E. Lee and Naftali Bendavid: “Gridlock for debt talks” Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill moved along separate tracks Sunday toward a deal to increase the U.S. government's borrowing authority, setting America's gridlocked political system on a collision course with jittery financial markets around the world. The two camps remained split over how much to increase the debt limit—enough to get past the 2012 election or not—and how much to cut spending. A break in the impasse is needed to ensure the government won't run out of cash to pay its bills after Aug. 2. LINK

Politico’s David Rogers: “Hopes for debt deal disintegrate” With markets waking, Washington’s debt standoff worsened significantly Sunday amid recriminations and distrust just eight days before the real threat on an unprecedented default. Having broken off talks last Friday with the White House, Speaker John Boehner is still trying to achieve much of the same $3 trillion package in a two-stage process tied to raising the debt ceiling in increments of $900 billion first and then about $1.6 trillion next year. LINK

The Hills’ Molly K. Hooper, Russell and Sam Youngman: “Bipartisan talks falter; Boehner, Reid work on separate proposals” On Sunday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) moved in different directions after efforts to broker a bipartisan agreement to raise the nation's debt ceiling ahead of the Aug. 2 deadline deadlocked. On a conference call with House Republican lawmakers, Boehner called on the GOP to "stick together" in the debt-ceiling negotiations and outlined plans to present a proposal to the caucus on Monday. LINK 

USA Today: “Our view: Bankers push to defang new financial watchdog” A new federal agency with an unfortunate mouthful of a name — the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau— opened last week to ensure that people are well informed when they sign up for a mortgage, credit card or some other financial product. It's a straightforward mission. Yet, even as the bureau gets up and running, big banks and their allies in Congress are still waging a battle to neuter the agency and deprive it of a leader. LINK

Los Angeles Times’ Seema Mehta: “Michele Bachmann finally strikes back at Tim Pawlenty” After ignoring jibes from her homestate rival, Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann hit back at Tim Pawlenty on Sunday, accusing him of aligning himself with President Obama. “Real-world actions speak louder than the words of career politicians,” Bachmann said in a statement. LINK 

New York Daily News’ Aliyah Shahid: “Texas Gov. Rick Perry, not yet running for president, nearly leads 2012 poll just behind Mitt Romney” Rick Perry is not officially running for President … but it turns out he's more popular than most of the actual candidates. According to a CNN/ORC International poll released Friday, Mitt Romney leads the field, with 16% of GOPers and independents leaning toward him as their first pick for their party's nomination. But the Texas governor was hot on Romney's heels with 14%. LINK

The Boston Globe’s Martine Powers: “Patrick hears victims of violence” Distressed and tearful mothers walked to the front of the Global Ministries Christian Church in Dorchester and talked about their maimed and murdered children. Preteen boys described how afraid they are to play outside, to ride their bikes, to walk to football practice. Governor Deval Patrick, sitting on the stage, gazed down at the audience members, furrowed his brow, and nodded his head. LINK

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