The Note's Must-Reads for Friday, March 22, 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 and Will Cantine

CONGRESS The Hill's Ramsey Cox: " Ryan's budget rejected in Senate on 40-59 vote" The Senate rejected House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget Thursday night. Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) forced Senate Republicans to vote on Paul's plan through an amendment she offered, which failed on a 40-59 vote. LINK

Bloomberg's Kathleen Hunter and Roxanna Tiron: " Congress Duels Amid Budget Yield Campaign Attacks" U.S. lawmakers are using this week's debate over each party's fiscal priorities to generate fodder for 2014 congressional election attacks. As they did in the 2012 campaign, Democrats intend to criticize the Republican-controlled House's plan for balancing the budget in 10 years by cutting $4.6 trillion across a variety of programs and partly privatizing Medicare. Republicans will take aim at the Senate's proposal to generate $1 trillion in fresh revenue. LINK

The New York Times' Jennifer Steinhauer: " Women Make New Gains In The Senate" An hour before her colleagues gathered for their first vote of a new Congress, Senator Kelly Ayotte slipped into an empty Senate chamber to savor the grandeur of her legislative home. As Ms. Ayotte, a freshman Republican from New Hampshire, sat down at the wooden desk where generations of lawmakers from her state had cast their votes, a doorman marched toward her with purpose. LINK

USA Today's Susan Davis and Jackie Kucinich: " Congress turns to domestic policy after budget battles" A brief reprieve in the fiscal battles between President Obama and a divided Congress will allow two contentious and politically divisive domestic issues - guns and immigration - to take center stage in the national debate this spring. The ability for Washington to find solutions to either issue will require the kind of bipartisan cooperation and common ground the president and congressional leaders have been unable to find on the budget. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Janet Hook: " Tired of Fights, Congress Passes Funding Bill" After months of careening from showdown to nail-biting showdown, Congress moved Thursday with remarkably little fuss to pass a major funding bill to keep the government open through September. Approval of the bill by wide bipartisan margins-in the House Thursday, in the Senate the day before-marks a retreat from the politics of brinksmanship for the second time this year, just two months after Congress voted to temporarily suspend the federal debt limit without an 11th-hour showdown. LINK

GUN CONTROL ABC News' Josh Haskell: " Biden, Bloomberg and Newtown Parents Press for Strict Gun Control" Just two days after Senate Democrats in Washington, D.C., dropped the assault weapons ban from gun legislation to be introduced in April, Vice President Joseph Biden was in New York City, joining Mayor Michael Bloomberg and three Newtown families to urge lawmakers to think about Sandy Hook Elementary. "For all those who say we shouldn't or couldn't ban high-capacity magazines, I just ask the one question. LINK

The Washington Post's Paul Kane: " Senate To Take Up Gun Control after Break" Gun control will be the first order of business in the Senate when lawmakers return in April from their two-week holiday break. Senate majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) formally moved a package of gun-related bills onto the legislative calendar Thursday night, setting up the most serious debate on gun control in Congress in more than a decade. LINK

The Washington Times' David Hill: " Federal appeals court restores Maryland's concealed carry law" A federal appeals court has ruled that Maryland can require concealed-carry handgun permit applicants to provide a "good and substantial reason" for wanting to carry a gun outside the home, leaving state officials feeling vindicated and Second Amendment advocates vowing to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. LINK

MIDDLE EAST The Los Angeles Times' David Lauter: " Obama repositions himself as broker for Mideast peace " President Obama's involvement in the tortuous Middle East peace process can be divided into three chapters, two of which opened with high-profile speeches to audiences of young people. The first began four years ago in Cairo, where Obama called for a "new beginning" in U.S. relations with the world's Muslims. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS " President Obama Talks Peace in the Holy Land" LINK " Obama Faces Heckler, Gets Standing Ovation" LINK

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