The Note's Must-Reads for Tuesday June 25, 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

IRS ABC News' Abby D. Phillip: " IRS Says It Screened Groups Based on 'Questionable Criteria' Until June" Not only did the Internal Revenue Service continue using inappropriate criteria to screen organizations applying for tax-exempt status until mid-June, it now appears that in addition to conservative groups, liberal groups were also targeted for higher scrutiny, IRS Principal Deputy Commissioner Danny Werfel said today. Werfel also acknowledged that until he discovered the use of such criteria during an internal review of the agency, other "be on the lookout" or BOLO lists were in place that screened applications for 501(c)4 tax exempt status based on a wide range of "questionable criteria" including the word "progressive." LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Joseph Tafani: " IRS workers were told to flag 'progressive' groups, memos show" Internal Revenue Service employees used other politically-loaded terms besides "tea party" when they culled applications for tax-exempt status and then subjected them to extra scrutiny - including the words "progressive" and "blue," according to agency memos. LINK

ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT Politico's James Hohmann: " Obama Energy Push Could Loom Large In 2014" Barack Obama's Tuesday speech on climate change puts Democrats on defense in coal country. Republicans see the president's forthcoming announcement of new regulations to cut carbon emissions as an early gift going into the midterm elections, making a tough map for the other side that much tougher. LINK

NSA SCANDAL The Washington Post's Philip Rucker: " Obama's Hands-Off Approach To Extraditing Snowden Draws Criticism" It was bright and sunny in Washington on Saturday as President Obama stepped out of the White House in flip-flops and khaki shorts to hit the golf course with his buddies. At the same time, officials throughout his administration were scrambling to keep one of America's most-wanted fugitives from evading extradition in Hong Kong. The juxtaposition illustrates the hands-off approach Obama has taken - in public, at least - to the government's efforts to bring Edward Snowden, the 30-year-old former contractor who exposed classified details of U.S. surveillance programs, back to the United States to face charges of revealing government secrets. LINK

The Hill's Julian Pecquet: " US-China relations chill over Snowden" The White House upbraided China on Monday for allowing Edward Snowden to board a plane out of Hong Kong, warning the move represented a "serious setback" in relations. Press secretary Jay Carney blasted China in unusually blunt terms as the administration hunted for Snowden, the leaker of National Security Agency documents who is now believed to be hiding out in Russia. LINK

IMMIGRATION The New York Times' Ashley Parker: " Senate Vote On Border Gives Push To Immigration Overhaul" The bipartisan push to overhaul the nation's immigration laws took a major step forward Monday evening when the Senate endorsed a proposal to substantially bolster security along the nation's southern borders as part of a measure that would provide a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants already in the country. LINK

USA Today's Alan Gomez: " Immigration bill passes key hurdle in Senate" The Senate took a major step toward overhauling the nation's immigration laws Monday when it cleared the way for an amendment to bolster border security on a 67-27 vote. The amendment, crafted by Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., adds nearly 20,000 Border Patrol agents to southwest border with Mexico and keeps the Senate on track to pass the entire bill by the end of the week. LINK

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION The Wall Street Journals' Jess Bravin: " Justices Take Pass on Texas Affirmative-Action Case" The Supreme Court, in an anticlimax, sidestepped a sweeping ruling on affirmative action Monday, directing lower courts to re-examine whether a race-conscious admissions program at the University of Texas at Austin should survive constitutional scrutiny. The 7-1 ruling reflected a broad consensus across the court's ideological spectrum, but the justices reached near unanimity only by bypassing the core question in affirmative-action cases-whether racial diversity qualifies as a compelling government objective justifying preferential treatment. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO " Supreme Court Orders Appellate Court to Re-Rule on Affirmative Action" LINK

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