The Note's Must-Reads for Wednesday, June 19, 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, Will Cantine and Carrie Halperin

FOREIGN AFFAIRS: ABC News' Mary Bruce: " Taliban Agrees to Join Peace Talks with U.S." The Taliban said today that they are prepared to sit down for direct peace talks with Afghan and U.S. officials over the future of Afghanistan. The news comes as Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced today that Afghan security forces have taken over the country's security lead from the U.S.-led NATO coalition. LINK

Politico's Ginger Gibson: " John Kerry Briefs House Leaders On Syria" Leadership from both parties in the House received a classified briefing on Syria from Secretary of State John Kerry and other military officials on Tuesday afternoon. House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer and committee chairs from both parties attended the briefing. LINK

IMMIGRATION: The Hill's Erik Wasson: " CBO: Immigration bill will cut deficit $197B over 10 years" The Congressional Budget Office estimated Tuesday the Senate immigration bill would reduce deficits by $197 billion over 10 years, handing supporters a new economic argument for the bill as the upper chamber marches toward a final vote. The CBO said the bill would increase spending by $262 billion between 2014 and 2023 by requiring new border security measures, but would increase revenue by $459 billion as those given legal status and newly admitted temporary workers pay taxes. LINK

The Washington Times' Stephen Dinan: " Senate rejects border fence" Senators on Tuesday rejected building the 700 miles of double-tier border fencing Congress authorized just seven years ago, with a majority of the Senate saying they didn't want to delay granting illegal immigrants legal status while the fence was being built. The 54-39 vote to reject the fence shows the core of the immigration deal is holding. LINK

IRS: The Los Angeles Times' Joseph Tanfani: " IRS manager says tea party groups not politically targeted" An Internal Revenue Service manager who described himself as a "conservative Republican" told congressional investigators that no one in the agency's Cincinnati office was trying to target tea party organizations for political reasons, according to an interview transcript released Tuesday. The manager, John Shafer, said he and an employee in his screening unit decided to pull applications for tax-exempt status filed by political groups and send them to managers in Washington. He said they were aware of the controversy over the groups and wanted to ensure they were treated uniformly. LINK

The Washington Post's Josh Hicks: " Full Transcript Of Congressional interview With IRS Manager Released" The House oversight committee's top Democrat on Tuesday released the full transcript of a congressional interview that he said "debunks conspiracy theories" about the Internal Revenue Service's targeting controversy. LINK

Bloomberg's Richard Rubin: " IRS Scandal's Origins Become Clearer Amid Other Questions" Internal Revenue Service employees flagged a Tea Party case to their bosses in 2010 because they thought it might receive media attention. They couldn't have known just how right they would be. The IRS didn't turn that concern in its Cincinnati office into an efficient process for handling the applications by politically oriented nonprofit groups for tax-exempt status, agency officials say. LINK

ABORTION: The New York Times' Jeremy W. Peters: " In Partisan Vote, House Approves Ban On Abortions" The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved the most restrictive ban on abortion considered by Congress in a decade, a largely symbolic vote that laid bare the deep ideological differences between Democrats and Republicans. The measure, which would ban abortion after 22 weeks of pregnancy based on the medically disputed theory that fetuses at that stage of development are capable of feeling pain, passed in a 228-to-196 vote that broke down mostly along party lines. LINK

WELFARE: The Boston Globe's Jim O'Sullivan: " Senate drafts welfare overhaul" Welfare applicants would have to prove they have sought employment before receiving cash benefits under a broad overhaul unveiled Monday by state Senate leaders, who said the public assistance program is in need of major improvements. The bill, which follows widespread reports of fraud and abuse, attempts to curtail identity falsification, and would force state agencies to share data that could prevent people from taking advantage of the system. LINK

FLOTUS: New York Daily News' Adam Edelman: " First Lady Michelle Obama spotted dining with US's Bono" Michelle Obama appears to be enjoying Dublin, with or without her husband. The First Lady, along with her children Sasha and Malia, was spotted Tuesday afternoon dining with U2 frontman Bono and his wife Ali Hewson. The famous fivesome took in lunch at Finnegan's Pub in Dalkey, a chic suburb south of Ireland's capital, as President Obama attended the G-8 summit in Northern Ireland. LINK

ABC NEW VIDEO: "Military Explores Putting Women in Combat" LINK

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