The Note's Must-Reads for Friday, January 18, 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

PRESIDENT OBAMA & WHITE HOUSE: Politico's Glenn Thrush, Reid J. Epstein, and Byron Tau: " Obama campaign to relaunch as tax-exempt group" President Barack Obama's remaining campaign apparatus will relaunch Sunday as a tax-exempt group to support his second term agenda, a senior Democrat familiar with the plans confirms to POLITICO. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Matea Gold: " Seeking to harness Obama's campaign resources for a second term" As he launches his second term, President Obama may get help from an ambitious new political organization being built out of his reelection campaign, a group that could reshape how future presidents harness supporters to press their White House agendas. Run by former Obama campaign officials, the advocacy group will seek to leverage the campaign's sophisticated organizing tools and rich voter database to support the president's policy objectives, including raising the debt ceiling, gun control and immigration reform. LINK

The Washington Times' Tom Howell Jr.: " 'Obamacare' contraception mandate hits legal hurdles" President Obama's mandate that most private companies provide health insurance plans that cover the costs of contraceptives has met with considerable headwinds in the legal system, where nine of the 14 federal courts to rule so far have sided with employers who say the mandate violates their beliefs and infringes on their religious liberties. Although the broad scope of the president's health care law survived Supreme Court scrutiny last year, the challenges to the contraception mandate remain major legal hurdles for the Obama administration, and the deep skepticism shown by a number of judges makes it likely that the high court will be called upon to settle this dispute, too. LINK

The New York Daily News' Dan Friedman and Victoria Cavaliere: " White House slams NRA ad as 'corwardly' for dragging Obama's family into gun debate" The White House slammed the NRA as "cowardly" after the powerful gun lobby dragged President Obama's daughters into the raging debate over gun control by placing them in a controversial commercial. Spokesman Jay Carney said the NRA crossed the line when the group referenced Sasha, 11, and Malia, 14, in a spot calling the commander-in-chief an "elitist hypocrite" because his girls get armed Secret Service protection. LINK

GUN CONTROL: The New York Times' Jennifer Steinhauer: " Democrats Are Split Over How to Shape Approach to Gun Bills" Sharp divisions are forming between lawmakers who believe the best path to success is through a meticulous legislative process, and those who advocate a more guerrilla approach. LINK

Bloomberg's Terrence Dopp and Elise Young: " Christie Slams NRA Over 'Reprehensible' Obama Girls Clip" Governor Chris Christie, the New Jersey Republican dubbed "The Boss" by Time magazine, took aim at the National Rifle Association for a video featuring President Barack Obama's children, who have armed guards. LINK

GOP: The Washington Post's Rosalind S. Helderman and Ed O'Keefe: " House Republicans using retreat as chance for self-reflection" House Republicans are cloistered at a tony golf resort here for three days hoping to resurrect their battered political brand, as they prepare for what could be another damaging confrontation with President Obama over federal spending. LINK

The Hill's Russell Berman: " Ryan: House GOP discussing short-term hike to debt ceiling" House Republicans are discussing a short-term debt ceiling increase to buy time for broader deficit reduction negotiations with Democrats, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told reporters Thursday. "We're discussing the possible virtue of a short-term debt limit extension so that we have a better chance of getting the Senate and the White House involved in discussions in March," Ryan told reporters gathered at the pricey Kingsmill resort in Williamsburg, where the House GOP is holding its annual retreat. LINK

DEBT LIMIT: ABC News' John Parkinson: " Paul Ryan: GOP Mulling Short-Term Debt Limit Hike" As House Republicans gather at a private retreat in Williamsburg, Va., to plot a course to address the next string of fiscal deadlines facing Congress this spring, Rep. Paul Ryan, the former Republican nominee for vice president, told reporters today that conservatives could agree to a short-term increase to the debt limit. "We're discussing the possible virtue of a short-term debt limit extension so that we have a better chance of getting the Senate and the White House involved in discussions in March," Ryan, R-Wis., revealed during an off-camera discussion with reporters tracking the retreat. LINK

CONGRESS: USA Today's Susan Davis: " 113th Congress: One of the most inexperienced in history" Unproductive and unpopular are two words most often used to describe the previous Congress, but a new description can be used for the new session: inexperienced. A confluence of factors - from a trio of wave elections, redistricting, divisive primaries to even death - kick off a 113th Congress populated by junior lawmakers in both chambers that challenges the conventional wisdom that Washington politics is dominated by entrenched incumbents. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS: " Obama Gun Control Proposals: Gun Supporters React" LINK

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