The Note’s Must-Reads for Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Jul 13, 2011 3:32am

The Note's Must-Reads are a round-up of today's political headlines and stories from ABC News and the top U.S. newspapers. Posted Monday through Friday right here at www.abcnews.com

Compiled by ABC News Digital News Associates Jacqueline Fernandez, Jayce Henderson, and Desk Assistant Erin McLaughlin

BUDGET TALKS / DEBT CEILING / GOP:
The New York Times’ Jackie Calmes: “Hopes Dwindling for Compromise in Budget Talks” From the White House and Congress to financial centers, pessimism spread on Tuesday about the prospects of a debt-limit deal between President Obama and Republicans, prompting the Senate Republican leader to propose a “last-choice option” that piqued the administration’s interest but angered conservatives in his own party. LINK

The Washington Post’s Lori Montgomery and Paul Kane: “McConnell outlines new proposal on debt ceiling” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell moved Tuesday to head off a potentially disastrous U.S. default by offering President Obama new authority to raise the federal debt limit without cutting government spending. LINK

The Washington Post’s Jia Lynn and Dan Eggen: “Congress hears outcry from business lobby on debt ceiling and deficit” A sprawling coalition of Wall Street and Main Street business leaders sent an unmistakable message to lawmakers Tuesday: Enough squabbling. Get the debt ceiling raised. The message, sent in a letter to President Obama and every member of Congress, puts pressure on GOP lawmakers, who have staked out an uncompromising stance against raising taxes in the partisan wrangling over the country’s borrowing limit. LINK

The Hill’s Mike Lillis and Daniel Strauss: “Democratic leaders: We don’t know who’s running GOP debt talks” House Democratic leaders say they’re no longer certain who’s negotiating a debt deal on behalf of the GOP, a message they’re pushing to posit a growing rift between Republican leaders. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Sara Murray: “Budget Solution: Squeeze the Middle” Like many in this middle-class suburb, Chad Flexon sees the efforts of Washington politicians to cut the budget deficit as far removed from his life. "I can't see myself, being where I am, being that greatly affected by anything that gets passed," says Mr. Flexon, a 26-year-old teacher who, with his wife, a store merchandise coordinator, earned well under $100,000 last year. LINK

The Washington Times’ Kara Rowland and Sean Lengell: “GOP says Obama resorting to scare tactics” President Obama said Tuesday that he may have to halt Social Security benefit checks in August if he and congressional leaders can’t agree to raise the government’s debt limit. LINK

Politico’s Manu Raju: “In Senate 2012 politics trump substance” Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn had just finished lunch with his fellow Republican senators Tuesday when he put a fine point on the latest GOP maneuvering in the Senate. “It’s a political strategy — it’s not a policy strategy,” Coburn said. As talks over a major deficit reduction package have stalled, the focus now has turned squarely to 2012 politics. LINK

OTHER:
The Boston Globe’s Michael Levenson and Noah Bierman: “Judges vow to shut 11 courts” The state’s top judges, angered by budget cuts approved Monday, urged Governor Deval Patrick yesterday to stop appointing new judges and said they have no choice but to close 11 courthouses and lay off employees. In a strongly worded statement, Roderick L. Ireland, chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court, and Robert A. Mulligan, chief justice for administration and management, said the budget Patrick signed jeopardizes the right of every person, guaranteed by the Massachusetts Constitution, to swift justice. LINK

New York Daily News’ Thomas DeFrank: “Obama warns Social Security checks could stop in August if no debt deal reached with GOP” President Obama raised the politically unthinkable on Tuesday, warning Social Security pensioners might not get paid next month without a debt deal. Asked by “CBS Evening News” anchor Scott Pelley if he can guarantee that $20 billion worth of Social Security checks will go out if the debt limit isn’t raised by Aug. 2, Obama balked. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS:
Betty Ford Battled Addiction, Helped OthersLINK
Bachmann Husband’s Clinic: More Harm Than Good?LINK
Debt Ceiling Looms, Budget Battle RagesLINK

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