The Note's Must-Reads for Wednesday December 26, 2012

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

Compiled by ABC News' Carrie Halperin and Amanda Vanallen


The Hill's Meghashyam Mali: " Obama to leave Hawaii for DC on Wednesday" President Obama is cutting his vacation short, leaving Hawaii on Wednesday night to return to Washington and address the looming "fiscal cliff," the White House announced. The president has been vacationing in Hawaii with his family since Saturday. The first lady and their daughters will remain in the state. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Staff: " Budget Talks Cloud Outlook" Washington's budget gridlock is unsettling consumers and businesses, raising the risks that economic growth would be hurt next year no matter what Congress does in the coming days. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Michael A. Memoli: " 'Fiscal cliff' to bring President Obama back early from Hawaii" President Obama will leave for Washington on Wednesday evening to restart talks on averting the "fiscal cliff," the White House said Tuesday, interrupting and perhaps cutting short altogether his traditional holiday visit to his birth state. Obama's last contact with congressional leaders was Friday, when he met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and spoke by phone with House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio). LINK

The New York Times' Jeremy W. Peters: " Obama to Leave Hawaiian Vacation Early to Work on Fiscal Deal" President Obama is planning to cut his Christmas vacation short and return to Washington to make a last-ditch push for a compromise on a tax and spending dispute that remains stubbornly unresolved. The White House said Tuesday that the president would leave Wednesday night. LINK

Politico's Jennifer Epstein: " Obama set to leave Hawaii on Wednesday" President Obama will leave Hawaii late Wednesday and return to the gridlock of Washington, the White House said Tuesday. After spending Christmas with his family at a house in Kailua, Obama faces the looming fiscal cliff deadline less than a week away and is set to head home at 10 p.m. HST on Wednesday - 3 a.m. Thursday on the East Coast. LINK

The Washington Post's Zachary A. Goldfarb: " Democrats push for tax cuts they once opposed" Democrats seeking a deal to avert the year-end "fiscal cliff" are trying to etch into stone the signature economic achievement of Republican President George W. Bush by permanently extending tax cuts enacted during his tenure. President Obama has put the extension of the tax cuts for most Americans at the top of his domestic agenda, a remarkable turnaround for Democrats, who had staunchly opposed the tax breaks when they were written into law about a decade ago. LINK

TRADE DEFICIT The Washington Times' Patrice Hill: " Trade deficit on course for surplus" While Washington wrestles with the nation's burgeoning budget deficits, some good news has emerged on the other deficit front: The nation's bloated trade deficit appears to be turning the corner, with at least one prominent economist predicting it will disappear altogether within a decade. LINK

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