The Note's Must-Reads for Thursday July 25, 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' Carrie Halperin,Amanda VanAllen, Will Cantine and J.P. Lawrence

NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY Bloomberg's Timothy R. Homan and Chris Strohm: " House Rejects Restricting NSA Access to Telephone Records" U.S. lawmakers angry about domestic telephone record-collection lost an effort to curtail funding for the intelligence-gathering tools revealed by fugitive U.S. security contractor Edward Snowden. On a vote of 205-217, the House rejected an amendment that would have limited the National Security Agency's ability to collect communications records. LINK

USA Today's Jim Michaels: " House rejects plan to kill NSA data collection" The Obama administration and National Security Agency narrowly averted an embarrassing setback Wednesday as the House defeated an attempt to block the collection of massive volumes of telephone records on domestic calls. By a 217-205 vote, the House defeated a proposal by Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., that would have limited the collection of so-called metadata by the NSA. LINK

SCANDALS The Washington Times' Valerie Richardson: " Sex, money and lies: 'Culture of corruption' boomerangs on Democrats" The Democratic Party is battling scandals from New York to San Diego and from city hall to Capitol Hill, as the party finds itself on the defensive over embarrassing lapses ranging from sexual misconduct to multiple scandals ensnaring the Obama administration. President Obama on Wednesday denounced what he called "phony scandals" and "an endless parade of distractions" blocking progress on the economy and other issues, but critics say the controversies underscore the missed opportunities for the president and his party to live up to pledges to clean up politics and break traditional patterns of money, influence and privilege in government. LINK

The Washington Post's Jason Horowitz: " In New York, All Eyes On Anthony Weiner Scandal" The television cameras were ready, microphones lined the podium, and reporters pointed their digital recorders at Democratic mayoral candidate Christine Quinn as she began her highly anticipated Wednesday morning news conference. The reporters - and most of New York, really - wanted to talk only about Anthony Weiner. LINK

IMMIGRATION The New York Times' Ashley Parker: " Sign Of Hope Seen In House for Immigration Overhaul" As House Republicans took a tentative step forward on an immigration overhaul this week and raised the possibility of citizenship for those brought to the United States illegally as young children, immigration advocates found themselves pondering a new question: Is the potential concession as far as many House Republicans are willing to go, or are they slowly inching their way toward a broader compromise? "It's a good first step - provided it is just a first step," said Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York and an author of the immigration bill that passed the Senate last month. LINK

RAND PAUL Politico's Jonathan Allen: " Rand Paul Wants State Officials At Egypt Hearing" Sen. Rand Paul, author of legislation that would cut off aid to Egypt in the wake of the recent political turnover in that country, wants two senior State Department officials to testify at a Thursday hearing on the crisis. The Kentucky Republican wrote a letter to Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez on Tuesday asking that Deputy Secretary Bill Burns and Acting Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Beth Jones be added to a roster of witnesses that is currently limited to outside experts. LINK

HEALTH CARE The Wall Street Journal's Christopher Weaver and Louise Radnofsky: " New Health-Care Law's Success Rests on the Young" The success of the new health-care law rides in large measure on whether young, healthy people like Gabe Meiffren, a cook at a Korean-Hawaiian food cart, decide to give up a chunk of disposable income to pay for insurance. After getting a peek at rates being offered for fall, the 25-year-old man said he would have to peel back "expenses that aren't life or death, like records and concert tickets," or whiskey sours at the Horse Brass Pub down the street. Mr. Meiffren, who hasn't seen a doctor in more than a year, isn't sure buying insurance is worth it, despite a federal penalty for failing to buy coverage, starting in January. LINK

GUANTANAMO ABC News' Chris Good: " Senate Holds 1st Guantanamo Hearing Since 2009" The push to close Guantanamo Bay's military prison ground to a halt years ago, but after President Obama renewed his call for its closure in May, the Senate followed up today with its first hearing since 2009 on whether or not to shut down Guantanamo. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., the majority whip and Obama ally who chairs the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, called today's hearing. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO " Anthony Weiner Sexting Scandal: How Can His Wife Forgive Him?" LINK " Anthony Weiner Admits to Sexting Scandal … Again" LINK

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