The Note's Must-Reads for Monday, March 11, 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 and Jordan Mazza

PRESIDENT OBAMA AND HIS ADMINISTRATION: ABC News' Arlette Saenz: " Obama's Charm Offensive Could Work, Lawmakers Say" President Obama's newly initiated charm offensive with Republicans just might work as he tries to resolve the recently enacted sequester cuts and attempts to avert another budget showdown near the end of the month, lawmakers on Capitol Hill said today. LINK

The New York Times' David E. Sanger and Thom Shanker: " Cuts Give Obama Path to Create Leaner Military" At a time when $46 billion in mandatory budget cuts are causing anxiety at the Pentagon, administration officials see one potential benefit: there may be an opening to argue for deep reductions in programs long in President Obama's sights, and long resisted by Congress. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Lisa Mascaro and Don Lee: " Obama to name civil rights enforcer Thomas Perez as Labor secretary" President Obama intends to tap the nation's top civil rights enforcer as the new secretary of Labor, a choice seen Sunday as an opportunity to raise the department's profile as the White House tackles immigration reform. The expected nomination of Thomas E. Perez, the assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, would make him the only Latino in the Cabinet at this point in Obama's second term. LINK

The Washington Times' Susan Crabtree: " Obama needles press, jokes about sequester at elite Gridiron dinner" President Obama used Washington's elite Gridiron dinner to bring some humor to some pretty tense topics - the sequester, the press and even his own economic team. The dinner, held Saturday night at the Renaissance Washington hotel, is one of the last white-tie affairs in Washington, but Mr. Obama said he was forced not to comply with the dress code this year. LINK

GOP: The Hill's Cameron Joseph: " GOP White House hopefuls see CPAC as springboard to credibility" Republican presidential hopefuls have a decidedly mixed history at the Conservative Political Action Conference - the annual event has been a springboard to better things for some, while badly damaging others' aspirations and reputations. LINK

The New York Daily News' Kenneth Lovett: " Senate GOP claims Gov. Cuomo's budget would slash millions from health programs for women" State Senate Republicans say Gov. Cuomo's budget could mean millions in cuts for women's programs. The proposed cuts would trim an array of health programs by a combined 10% and require them to seek their funding through a competitive process. Senate Republicans - under fire from women's groups for opposing Cuomo's bid to bolster legal protections for abortion - are fighting the cuts, sources say. Cuomo spokesman Richard Azzopardi argued that "effective programs will continue to thrive" and have a chance for more money under a competitive process. LINK

Politico's Manu Raju: " GOP senators not eager to buck their leaders" Saxby Chambliss appears to be a ripe target for President Barack Obama on the grand bargain: He's a retiring Republican senator who for years has been eager to cut a large-scale deficit deal. LINK

BUDGET DEBATE: The Wall Street Journal's Janet Hook and Kristina Peterson: " Opening Budget Bids Set Parties' Battle Lines" Congress opens a new chapter in the budget debate this week with the introduction of dueling blueprints from two lawmakers who illustrate their parties' vastly different approaches to the role of government. Sen. Patty Murray (D., Wash.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), heads of the Senate and House budget committees, will propose budget resolutions that set tax and spending targets for the entire federal government starting Oct. 1. LINK

The Washington Post's David Brown and Sean Sullivan: " Ryan calls for both Obamacare repeal and finding 'common ground' in budget fight" Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Sunday that the budget blueprint he plans to unveil this week will promote repealing President Obama's signature health-care law. LINK

OTHER: USA Today's Martha Moore and Sabrina Treitz: " Schools close doors to voters for safety" Local election officials are moving polling places out of schools as the shootings in Newtown, Conn., have intensified concern about opening school doors on Election Day. In New York, Rockland County officials will relocate polls this year away from 10 schools at the request of the local school district in Clarkstown and Nyack. "In the wake of what happened in Connecticut, it's definitely taken on more urgency," says Kristen Stavisky, a county election commissioner. LINK

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