The Note's Must-Reads for Thursday, December 12, 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' Amanda VanAllen, Will Cantine, Jayce Henderson and Jordan Mazza

BUDGET ABC News' Jeff Zeleny, John Parkinson, and Isobel Markham: " John Boehner's Rare Rebuke Signals Line In The Sand On Tea Party" House Speaker John Boehner's rare public rebuke of conservative groups who oppose a pending bipartisan budget deal marks his clearest signal yet that GOP leadership has had enough of tea party-driven intransigence. "They're using our members and they're using the American people for their own goals," Boehner said, his voice rising with anger during a news conference at the Capitol today. "This is ridiculous. Listen, if you are for more deficit reduction, you are for this agreement." LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Janet Hook and Kristina Peterson: " Budget Deal Picks Up Steam" House Republican leaders threw their weight behind a two-year budget deal, planning to bring it to a vote Thursday as opposition in both parties failed to gain enough traction to threaten passage. Few lawmakers expressed enthusiasm for the narrowly focused agreement reached by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) and his Senate counterpart, Budget Chairman Patty Murray (D., Wash.), to ease the effect of across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester. LINK

USA Today's Susan Davis: " For Paul Ryan, Budget Deal May Be A Career Turning Point" Paul Ryan stepped to a podium Tuesday night for a defining moment in his legislative career. For the better part of the past decade, he has carved out a niche as a leader in the Republican Party based in part on the ideological purity of his budget blueprints, but this week he played a co-starring role in cutting a budget deal with liberal Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington. LINK

The New York Times' Jonathan Weisman: " Bipartisan Budget Deal Puts Ryan Under Fire From Fellow Conservatives" Representative Paul D. Ryan's eight terms in Congress have produced much political celebrity and Republican respect but just two laws bearing the Ryan name - a renamed post office and a modified excise tax on arrows like the ones he uses for bow hunting. Then on Tuesday he struck a budget deal with Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington, that affixed a new label to the polished veneer of Mr. Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican: deal maker and, to some, traitor. LINK

The Washington Post's Lori Montgomery: " House Republicans Appear To Be Rallying Behind $85 Billion Budget Deal" House Republicans appeared Wednesday to be rallying around an $85 billion deal to avert ­another government shutdown, brushing off complaints from their right wing that the effort would trade immediate spending cuts for less-certain long-term savings. After conducting a series of closed-door briefings and polling members during a late-afternoon vote, GOP leadership aides confidently predicted that the deal struck between House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) would sail through the House when it comes to a vote Thursday. LINK

The Hill's Russell Berman and Erik Wasson: " Boehner Rebukes Outside Groups Over Budget Snares" The rift between House Republican leaders and outside conservative organizations broke into the open Wednesday as Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) rebuked groups that had preemptively denounced a budget deal. Distrust between Boehner and conservative groups has been a theme of his Speakership, but it boiled over the day before an expected vote on a two-year budget deal likely to hand the Speaker's team a victory. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Michael A. Memoli and Lisa Mascaro: " House Speaker Boehner Lashes Out At Conservative Groups" In an uncharacteristically forceful tone, House Speaker John A. Boehner on Wednesday lambasted the conservative advocacy groups that helped bring his party to power, saying their opposition to a bipartisan budget proposal amounted to an effort to manipulate Republicans and the American people "for their own goals." The rare outburst from the often poker-faced speaker, a reversal of his past approach toward influential conservative groups, underscored long-simmering tensions between them and mainstream Republicans, who appear to be moving to reestablish their control over the party's agenda. LINK

Bloomberg's Heidi Przybyla, Derek Wallbank and Laura Litvan: " Budget Deal To Ease Spending Cuts Gets Republican Backing" Congressional negotiators selling a budget accord won Republican endorsements for the plan to ease automatic U.S. spending cuts for two years, remove the risk of a government shutdown and cut the deficit by $23 billion. "I believe it'll get a majority of the majority" of House Republicans and a large number of Democratic votes, Representative Darrell Issa, a California Republican, said today after a Capitol Hill briefing. The House may vote as early as tomorrow on the plan. LINK

Politico's Manu Raju and Jake Sherman: " GOP Split On Budget Deal" House GOP leaders have been eager to lock down support from their party to back the bipartisan budget deal and avoid yet another round of fiscal crises. That message appears to have gotten lost in the Capitol Rotunda. In the Senate, Republican leaders and senior GOP senators are balking at the budget deal, arguing that it hikes spending too high without demanding more immediate cuts in return. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is widely expected to oppose the proposal, and his top GOP leadership lieutenants also raised deep concerns Wednesday, highlighting the party's continued divide over fiscal strategy, which has only intensified since the October government shutdown. LINK

HEALTH CARE The Washington Times' Tom Howell Jr.: " Sebelius Calls For Review Of Obamacare Rollout Woes" President Obama's top health care official said Wednesday that she wants her agency's inspector general to investigate the flawed rollout of the federal Obamacare website, a portal that has cost at least $677 million and is crucial to the White House's push to get Americans covered as hard deadlines loom. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told Congress that she will revamp the way the agency procures technology and facilitates communication among its employees, now that the most glaring problems with have been fixed and the pace of enrollments appears to be quickening. LINK

ABC News' Devin Dwyer: " Sebelius Orders Probe Of Obamacare Launch: 'Flawed, Failed Frustrating'" HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told Congress this morning that she has ordered a probe into how the Obamacare insurance exchanges became "flawed and failed and frustrating for millions of people" - in a single word, "unacceptable." The embattled Health and Human Services secretary also conceded for the first time publicly that, knowing what she now knows, she would not have launched the website nationwide on Oct. 1, as originally planned. "I would have probably done a slower launch, maybe with fewer people, and done some additional beta testing," she testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO " Obama-Selfie Photog: Photo Furor 'Says Something About Our Society'" LINK " Kathleen Sebelius Calls For Investigation Into The Launch" LINK " FDA To Regulate Antibiotics In Meat Production" LINK

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