The Note’s Must-Reads for Wednesday, August 7, 2013

By Jayce Henderson

Aug 7, 2013 3:03am

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’ Jayce Henderson, Amanda VanAllen, Carrie Halperin and JP Lawrence

OBAMACARE:
The Hill’s Alexander Bolton: “Senators build ‘grassroots army’ to push McConnell on ObamaCare” Senate conservatives are increasing pressure on Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) to use the threat of a government shutdown to defund ObamaCare. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) are spearheading the effort to build a “grassroots army” to influence GOP leadership after entreaties to their colleagues fell short. LINK

NSA:
USA Today’s David Jackson: “Obama to Leno: ‘We don’t have a domestic spying program’” When President Obama sits down Tuesday with Tonight show host Jay Leno, he’ll be following — and extending — a trail blazed by many a politician. Politicians have been trying to reach voters through late-night talk shows for more than 50 years, using techniques pioneered by candidates as different as Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton. LINK

BENGHAZI:
The Wall Street Journal’s Devlin Barrett: “U.S. Files Charges in Benghazi Attack” The Justice Department has filed sealed criminal charges against a number of suspects in the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans, according to people familiar with the matter. One of those charged, according to these people, is Ahmed Abu Khattalah, founder of Libya’s Islamist militia Ansar al-Sharia. LINK

The Washington Times’ Guy Taylor: “Under pressure, Obama administration files first charges in Benghazi attack” The Justice Department has filed criminal charges against Libyan militia leader Ahmed Khatallah, the first indictment in last year’s deadly terrorist attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi — signaling a shift in a case whose political undertones have roiled the Obama administration over the past 11 months. A senior U.S. official said Tuesday that Mr. Khatallah, who is suspected of involvement in several Islamist groups in Benghazi, including Ansar al Sharia, is named in a sealed indictment and that other suspects may soon be facing charges. LINK

PENTAGON:
ABC News’ Dana Hughes: “Pentagon to Cut Furlough Days in Half” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced today that Pentagon has made the $37 billion spending cuts mandated by sequestration and can now reduce the total number of furlough days for civilian employees from 11 to six. The reduction means that the furloughs will end for most of the employees next week, as they have already done their six days, senior Defense officials told reporters today. LINK

HOUSING MARKET:
The New York Times’ Binyamin Applebaum: “Washington Steps Warily on Housing” In the seven years since the housing market started to fall apart, politicians of both parties have promised repeatedly to build a better system for financing the American dream of owning a home. There is little sign of progress. LINK

Bloomberg’s Hans Nichols and Clea Benson: “Obama Says Government Still Needed in Housing Market” President Barack Obama is calling for private capital to take the lead role in the nation’s mortgage market with the U.S. government continuing to provide a backstop only against catastrophic risk. In a speech yesterday in Phoenix, the president for the first time endorsed an approach to remake the housing finance system as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (FMCC) are wound down. He said the government still must play a role to preserve broad access to 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages that underpin the housing market. LINK

ABC News Video:
Republicans Call Hillary Clinton Biopic, Doc Political Ads.” LINK
George W. Bush Undergoes Heart ProcedureLINK
Obama Lays Out New Plan For Homeownership HelpLINK

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