The Note's Must-Reads for Wednesday, January 23, 2013

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' Jayce Henderson, Amanda VanAllen and Jordan Mazza

INAUGURATION ABC News' Devin Dwyer: " Obama Invigorates Progressives as 2nd Term Begins" A presidential campaign that was largely about jobs and the economy gave way during Monday's inaugural ceremonies to a sweeping affirmation of progressivism and call for "collective action." LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Colleen McCain Nelson, Janet Hook, and Sara Murray: " Agenda Gives Centrists Pause" President Barack Obama's sweeping liberal agenda, as laid out in Monday's inauguration speech, has some centrist Democrats worried the focus on issues such as gun control and climate change could dilute efforts to boost the economy and create jobs. LINK

The Boston Globe's Tracy Jan and David Uberti: "In the throng, mix of hope, worry about divide" It was a spur-of-the-moment decision made just three days earlier but George Rhodes, a retired schoolteacher from Selma, Ala., who has always been daunted by crowds and big cities, felt compelled to drive 860 miles to the nation's capital to witness the inauguration of President Obama. LINK

GUN CONTROL The Hills' Jordy Yager, Mike Lillis and Erik Wasson: " Senate gun reform bill may be amended" Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday pledged to hold an open amendment vote on a major gun reform bill - a move that could trim the scope of the expansive measures being sought by liberal Democrats and gun-control groups. LINK

The decision could significantly increase a bill's chances of passage, granting centrist senators on both sides of the aisle more leeway to vote safely on specific aspects of gun control that could otherwise haunt them at the polls in 2014. LINK

GUN CONTROL USA Today' Jackie Kucinich: " Democratic gun task force hopes hearing will aid debate" The chairman of a House Democratic task force on gun violence said he hopes the group's hearing Wednesday with sportsmen and gun rights supporters will help develop recommendations to improve gun safety while preserving Second Amendment rights. LINK

DEBT LIMIT The Los Angeles Times' Jim Puzzanghrea and Don Lee: " Scrap the debt limit, some lawmakers and economists say" With the White House and Congress engaged in their second major battle in 18 months over the debt limit, some lawmakers, economists and analysts are offering a simple solution: Just get rid of it. The U.S. is one of the few nations with such a borrowing mechanism. LINK

GOP The New York Times' Jonathan Weisman: " Obama Speech Leaves G.O.P. Stark Choices" President Obama's aggressive Inaugural Address on Monday presented Congressional Republicans with a stark choice over the next two years: accommodate the president's agenda on immigration, guns, energy and social programs and hope to take the liberal edge off issues dictated by the White House, or dig in as the last bulwark against a re-elected Democratic president and accept the political risks of that hard-line stance. LINK

The Washington Post's Lori Montgomery and Rosalind Helderman: " Obama 'will not oppose' House GOP plan to suspend debt limit until May" House Republicans are advancing a novel plan to suspend enforcement of the federal debt limit through May 18, a move that would lift the threat of a government default and relieve the air of crisis that has surrounded their budget battle with President Obama. The measure - set for a vote Wednesday in the House - would not resolve the dispute over how to control the national debt. But after the traumatic "fiscal cliff" episode at the end of last year, it would buy policymakers a little breathing room to continue the argument without another economy-rattling deadline just around the corner. LINK

Politico's Alex Isenstadt: " GOP: Obama speech shows we were right" For years, conservatives have called President Barack Obama a leftist radical hiding behind a moderate facade. If the country had only listened, the argument went, voters never would have elected him in the first place. Now they're saying, we told you so. Forget the president's talk about unity, of bringing together red states and blue states, of being a clear-minded pragmatist who wants to work with both parties, Republicans said after Obama's unabashedly progressive speech to kick off his second term. LINK

CLIMATE CHANGE/ENERGY The Washington Times' Susan Crabtree: " Climate blowing in the wind for Obama" After devoting scant attention to climate change during his re-election campaign, President Obama pivoted sharply on the issue during his inauguration speech and promised to make addressing the threat of global warming a major priority in his second term. In fact, Mr. Obama mentioned climate change eight times during his speech - more than any other policy issue - after running a campaign devoid of any ads or ambitious speeches on the controversial topic. LINK

Bloomberg's Hans Nichols: " Carter Said to Be Leading Contender for Energy Secretary" Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is the leading candidate to replace Steven Chu as energy secretary in President Barack Obama's second term, according to two people familiar with the matter. Carter, 58, a physicist, would be part of the core administration team overseeing energy and environmental policy, according to the people, who requested anonymity to discuss personnel matters. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS "First Family Inaugural Cam" LINK

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