The Note's Must-Reads for Tuesday, September 24, 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 Jordan Mazza

UNITED NATIONS MEETING ABC News' Devin Dwyer: " High Stakes For Obama Diplomacy At UN Meeting " President Obama arrives in New York City today for what could be two of his biggest days of international diplomacy since taking office. At the United Nations General Assembly, Obama will attempt to seal a deal on a resolution to destroy Syria's chemical weapons, nudge along newly-resumed Israeli and Palestinian peace talks, tame anger among allies about NSA spying, and possibly test a new dialogue with Iran. LINK

The New York Daily News' Joseph Straw: " President Barack Obama Hits Manhattan For United Nations General Assembly, Obamacare Pitch" President Obama sweeps into city Monday for his fifth U.N. General Assembly as he's set to confront some of his biggest headaches - both foreign and domestic. All eyes will be on Obama and conciliatory Iranian counterpart Hassan Rohani, to see if they're the first heads of the two countries to actually shake hands in over three decades. The new, moderate president claimed last week his country will never seek nuclear weapons, a pledge met with skepticism both in the U.S. and in Israel. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's jay Solomon, Laurence Norman and Carol E. Lee: " Iran Icebreaker Set At U.N." Plans were set Monday for the highest-level engagement between the U.S. and Iran in more than 30 years, fueling cautious optimism about the prospect for progress in curtailing Iran's nuclear work after a decade of threats and stalled diplomacy. The meeting on Thursday at the U.N. General Assembly in New York will bring Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif together with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his counterparts from the five other major powers who are negotiating with Tehran on its nuclear program. LINK

OBAMACARE Politico's Jennifer Haberkorn and Carrie Budoff Brown: " Obamacare: One Blow After Another" The Obamacare that consumers will finally be able to sign up for next week is a long way from the health plan President Barack Obama first pitched to the nation. Millions of low-income Americans won't receive coverage. Many workers at small businesses won't get a choice of insurance plans right away. Large employers won't need to provide insurance for another year. Far more states than expected won't run their own insurance marketplaces. And a growing number of workers won't get to keep their employer-provided coverage. LINK

The Hill's Elise Viebeck and Justin Sink: " Administration Pushes ObamaCare" President Obama is hitting the campaign trail for ObamaCare as part of a six-month effort to convince people to sign up for the law's insurance exchanges before they open on Oct. 1. The effort comes as conservative groups and Republicans are seeking to defund the law and convince people to not sign up for the exchanges, making it a key test for the president. LINK

USA Today's David Jackson: " Obama To Tout Health Care Plan At Clinton Forum" Facing a pivotal time for his signature health care law, President Obama will promote the program during a forum Tuesday hosted by predecessor Bill Clinton in New York City. Obama will speak at the Clinton Global Initiative exactly one week before the opening of new health insurance marketplaces; the administration needs most uninsured Americans to sign up for health insurance because it is essential to the overall financing of the plan. LINK

I.R.S. ABC News' Abby D. Phillip: " After Tea Party Controversy, IRS Official Lois Lerner Retires" Lois Lerner, the Internal Revenue Service official at the center of a controversy over the tax agency's targeting of tea party groups, will retire, according to Congressional sources. Lerner had been on paid administrative leave at the agency since May, after she acknowledged at an American Bar Association conference that the IRS inappropriately scrutinized conservative groups for years. As the director of the Exempt Organizations group, Lerner supervised the unit responsible for the targeting. LINK

The Washington Times' Stephen Dinan: " Lois Lerner, IRS Official In Tea Party Scandal, Forced Out For 'Neglect Of Duties'" Lois G. Lerner, the woman at the center of the IRS tea party targeting scandal, retired from the agency Monday morning after an internal investigation found she was guilty of "neglect of duties" and was going to call for her ouster, according to congressional staff. Her departure marks the first government official to pay a significant price in the scandal, though Republicans were quick to say her decision doesn't put the matter to rest and pointed out that she still can be called before Congress to testify. LINK

The New York Daily News' Daniel Freedman: " IRS Official At Heart Of Tea Party Tax-Exemption Scandal Retires" An Internal Revenue Service boss caught in a controversy over the agency's targeting of conservative groups has resigned - but still faces scrutiny from Congress, officials said Monday. Lois Lerner quit in the face of a pending decision by an agency review board as to whether she ought to be fired for missteps while she was head of the IRS division handling tax-exempt organizations, congressional staff members said. LINK

The Washington Posts' Josh Hicks: " Central Figure In IRS Tea Party Controversy Resigns" Lois Lerner, a central figure in the Internal Revenue Service's tea party controversy, resigned Monday morning after an internal-review board determined that she should be removed from the agency for "neglect of duties," according to a statement from the top Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee. The IRS confirmed Lerner's resignation but said it could not comment further because of federal privacy rules. LINK

G.O.P. Bloomberg's Kathleen Hunter and Rozana Tiron: " Tea Party-Backed Republicans Faulted by Reid on Shutdown" House Republicans are considering alternatives to deny funding for the health-care law that could extend the spending debate past a Sept. 30 deadline, raising the risk of a federal government shutdown. The Senate is set to hold a test vote tomorrow on the legislation passed by the House to cover federal spending through Dec. 15, and choke off funds for President Barack Obama's health law. The next fiscal year begins Oct. 1. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Lisa Mascaro: " Shutdown Threat Reveals Split In Republican Party" With one week left before a possible government shutdown, congressional debate has exposed deep divisions within the Republican Party, pitting tea-party-backed conservatives against their colleagues. Budget moves orchestrated by tea party leader Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas have encountered outright hostility from fellow Republican senators who say his strategy does not appear to have an endgame. LINK

F.B.I. The New York Times' Charlie Savage: " Former F.B.I. Agent To Plead Guilty In Press Leak" A former F.B.I. agent has agreed to plead guilty to leaking classified information to The Associated Press about a foiled bomb plot in Yemen last year, the Justice Department announced Monday. In a twist, the former agent had already been under investigation in a separate child pornography case, and he has also agreed to a guilty plea in it. Federal investigators said they were able to identify the man, Donald Sachtleben, a former bomb technician, as a suspect in the leak case only after secretly obtaining A.P. reporters' phone logs, a move that set off an uproar among journalists and members of Congress of both parties when it was disclosed in May. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Delvin Barrett: " Former FBI Agent To Plead guilty In Leak Case" A longtime bomb expert for the Federal Bureau of Investigation has agreed to plead guilty to disclosing closely guarded details of a 2012 terror investigation to the Associated Press. Authorities said Monday that Donald Sachtleben, who retired from the FBI in 2008 but continued to work for the agency as a consultant, gained knowledge of a failed 2012 "underwear bomb" plot by al Qaeda. Mr. Sachtleben, in a statement issued by his lawyers, said he was "deeply sorry" for his actions. "While I never intended harm to the United States or to any individuals, I do not make excuses for myself," he said. LINK

IMMIGRATION The Wall Street Journal's Miguel Bustillo and Miriam Jordan: " Number Caught Entering U.S. Illegally Rises Again" The number of people caught illegally entering the U.S. is up for a second straight year, according to federal data, adding fuel to the debate in Washington over whether the border should be better secured before any overhaul of immigration laws. U.S. Border Patrol agents apprehended 388,422 people trying to enter without documents during the 11 months ending in August. LINK

The Washington Posts' David Nakamura: " Number Of Illegal Immigrants Dropped During Recession, Study Finds" The number of illegal immigrants in the United States has leveled off but may be on the rise again, following a sharp drop that accompanied the start of the Great Recession, according to a report released Monday. The analysis from the Pew Research Center estimated that 11.7 million immigrants were living in the country illegally in March 2012. That was down from an all-time high of 12.2 million in 2007 - a year before the stock market collapsed - but it represented a slight increase from an estimated 11.3 million in 2009, the worst year of the recession. LINK

CONGRESS The Washington Post's Lisa Rein: " After Past Shutdowns, Congress Gave Federal Workers Back Pay. This Time? Don't Count On It." A government shutdown next week would jeopardize the paychecks of more than 800,000 federal workers who could be told to stay home. More than 2 million other employees who are deemed essential by the government - including the active military - would be entitled to their salaries but might not get paid on time. While there is no law requiring that nonessential employees be compensated if they are ordered off the job, Congress has in the past voted to reimburse their losses once shutdowns ended. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO " Obama Offers Kenya President Support" LINK

" Hillary Clinton: 'I Do' Wrestle With Presidential Run" LINK

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