The Note’s Must-Reads for Thursday, March 7, 2013

By Jayce Henderson

Mar 7, 2013 3:06am

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, Carrie Halperin, Rachael Berman, and Jordan Mazza

ABC News’ Devin Dwyer, Sunlen Miller, and John Parkinson: “President Obama to Host GOP Senators for Dinner“  As Washington gets socked by a snowstorm and sequester, President Obama begins a new strategy of personal outreach to congressional Republicans. LINK

The Los Angeles Times’ Michael Memoli: “Sen. Rand Paul ends marathon filibuster of John Brennan” Sen. Rand Paul ended a marathon filibuster of John Brennan’s nomination to lead the CIA early Thursday after holding the floor for nearly 13 hours, focusing on concerns over the constitutionality of the administration’s use of drone strikes to target suspected terrorists. The Kentucky Republican began speaking at 11:47 a.m. Wednesday and yielded the floor at 12:39 a.m. Thursday. A self-described champion of constitutional liberties, Paul said he simply wanted the White House to assure him that it had no authority to target an American within the United States under the drone program. LINK

Politico’s Philip Ewing: “Rand Paul pulls plug on drones filibuster” Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul staged the longest talking filibuster in recent Senate memory on Wednesday into early Thursday, railing with his colleagues for more than 12 hours against what they called the danger of drone strikes to U.S. citizens on American soil. LINK

The New York Daily News’ Joseph Straw: “Mr. Paul Goes To Washinton: Rand uses old-school filibuster-style rant against Obama’s pick for CIA chief” Tea Party Sen. Rand Paul Wednesday launched a filibuster of President Obama’s pick to head the CIA, sparking a running conversation on the legality of drone strikes on Americans on U.S. soil. The Kentucky Republican and 2016 GOP presidential hopeful conceded that he did not have anywhere near the 60 votes necessary to block the nomination of White House counter terrorism czar John Brennan, but he proceeded with his stalling rant. LINK

USA Today’s Jim Michaels: “Rand Paul ends epic filibuster over Brennan” After nearly 13 hours on the Senate floor, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., ended his filibuster blocking Senate confirmation of John Brennan, President Obama’s pick for director of the CIA. LINK

Washington Times’ Susan Crabtree Breaking bread: “Obama dines with Republican senators at Jefferson Hotel amid sequester gridlock” With his public approval numbers falling fast in the wake of the latest budget breakdown in Washington, President Obama on Wednesday reached out to rank-and-file Republicans to demonstrate he can at least sit down with his opponents to try to break through the partisan logjam. On what was expected to be a whiteout day in Washington that fizzled into any icy mix, Mr. Obama made a peace offering to a group of Senate Republicans. LINK

Bloomberg’s Roxana Tiron and James Rowley: “Senate to Consider Government Funding Bill Next Week” The Senate will consider a measure next week to fund the U.S. government through September after the House passed its plan to avoid a shutdown and preserve new spending cuts. The Republican-controlled House, on a 267-151 vote, approved yesterday a stopgap measure to keep the government operating after current spending authority expires March 27. The bill goes to the Democratic-led Senate, where Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada signaled that it will be altered to reflect priorities he didn’t identify. LINK

Bloomberg’s Mark Silva: “Paul Ryan’s 34% Medicare Plan Paul Ryan is getting ready to release another budget” Like the first one the House Budget chairman introduced two years ago, it will contain a provision to move people from Medicare to a voucher for private health care, starting with those who are younger than 55 today. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Corey Boles: “Stopgap Spending Bill Passed by House” The House on Wednesday moved to put aside the threat of a partial government shutdown this spring, sending to the Senate a bill that funds government operations through Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year. LINK

The Boston Globe’s Mark Levenson: “Markey leads Lynch by wide margin in poll” US Representative Edward J. Markey holds a wide lead over his Democratic rival for the US Senate, fellow representative Stephen F. Lynch, and would easily beat all three Republican candidates in a head-to-head matchup, according to a new poll. Markey leads Lynch by 29.5 percentage points among potential Democratic primary voters, 50 percent to 20.5 percent, with 23 percent undecided about their preference in the April 30 primary, according to the UMass Lowell/Boston Herald poll released Wednesday night. LINK

The New York Times’  Floyd Whaley and Gerry Mullany: “Syrian Rebels in Golan Region Hold U.N. Peacekeeping Team” Philippine officials appealed Thursday for the release of nearly two dozen Filipino United Nations peacekeepers who were seized by insurgent fighters from Syria while patrolling the disputed Golan Heights region between Syria and Israel. LINK

The Washington Post’s Rosalind S. Helderman and Philip Rucker: “House votes to avert shutdown as Obama looks for big deal“  The House took its first LINK

The Washington Times: “Senate wrangles with range of gun proposals” The range of gun-related legislation likely to pass the full Senate rounded into shape Wednesday, as lengthy bipartisan negotiations over universal background checks broke down and lawmakers offered a separate measure on mental illness just a day ahead of key committee votes. The bills on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s docket span from a ban on so-called assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, which has virtually no chance of passing the full Senate, to a bill cracking down on gun trafficking and straw purchasing that has attracted a modicum of bipartisan support in recent days. LINK

The Hill’s Alexander Bolton: “Schumer moves ahead with background-check bill as discussions stall” Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is moving ahead without a Republican partner on legislation to expand background checks to private gun sales, a troubling sign for the centerpiece of President Obama’s gun-violence agenda. Schumer has negotiated for weeks with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) to reach a bipartisan deal on background checks, but the talks stalled over the thorny question of how to implement an expansion of background checks. LINK

Budget Cuts Shut Down White House ToursLINK

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