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Situational awareness - January 14, 2019

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City.

Monday's executive summary: Lawmakers may consider changes to how U.S. Senate vacancies are filled. Government shutdown enters its fourth week. The FBI investigated whether President Trump was working on behalf of Russia.

You're reading Utah's most reliable and informative morning political news roundup. Please add info@utahpolicy.com to your contacts to ensure delivery to your inbox.

We love feedback! Got a suggestion, complaint or a news tip? Send them to us here.

  TICK TOCK   

Today is the 14th day of the year. There are 351 days remaining in 2019.

  • 12 days until Salt Lake County Democrats elect a new County Mayor (1/26/2019)

  • 14 days until the first day of the 2019 Utah Legislature (1/28/2019)

  • 59 days until the final day of the 2019 Utah Legislature (3/14/2019)

  • 110 days to the Utah State Republican Party Organizing Convention (5/4/2019)

  • 140 days until the municipal election filing period opens (6/3/2019)

  • 144 days until the municipal election filing period ends (6/7/2019)

  • 211 days to the 2019 Utah primary elections (8/13/2019)

  • 295 days to the 2019 municipal elections (11/5/2019)

  • 386 days to the 2020 Iowa Caucuses (2/3/2020)

  • 654 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

  • utah economic summit


    Today At Utah Policy

    images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_03.jpgLawmaker says Legislature, not political parties, should pick replacements in case of U.S. Senate vacancy

     In the unlikely event that one of Utah's U.S. Senators were to not finish their term in office, the party that they belong to gets to nominate three possible replacements, with the final choice up to the governor. One Utah lawmaker says the legislature should play a ro...
    images/1000px_Screenshots/20190113_Romney_MSNBC.jpgRomney: Democrats have painted themselves into a corner on border wall funding

    Amid the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, Sen. Mitt Romney is blaming Democrats for the budget impasse over funding for President Donald Trump's border wall....
    images/1000px_Article_Photos/US_Mexico_Border_Fence_02.jpgWill Trump get funding for his border wall? Our 'Political Insiders' give their thoughts on how the government shutdown will end

     The partial government shutdown is now the longest in history as President Donald Trump and Democrats in Congress continue their standoff over funding for Trump's proposed wall on the southern border....
    images/mugs/LaVarr_Webb.jpgOpinion brief: Do something bold with sales tax - 2%

     Auto and truck sales provide an enormous amount of tax revenue for state and local governments in Utah. Without sales tax from vehicle sales, many government budgets would be in trouble....
    images/1000px_Screenshots/20190103_Love_CNN.jpgLove says GOP should reject racist rhetoric from Iowa's Steve King

    Former Utah Rep. Mia Love, now a CNN pundit, said the GOP hasn't done enough to reject the views of bad actors in their party like Iowa Republican Steve King....
    images/1000px_Screenshots/20190113_Chaffetz_Fox.jpgChaffetz rips NYT article that FBI was investigating Trump as possible Russian asset

     Fox News contributor and potential 2020 Utah gubernatorial candidate Jason Chaffetz ripped a New York Times report that the FBI opened an investigation into whether President Donald Trump was working on behalf of Russia as "over the top" and "desperation."...
    images/Logos/Zions_Bank_Logo.jpgHousing prices set another record for highest year-over-year price growth

     The Zions Bank Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 0.3 percent from November to December on a non-seasonally adjusted basis....
    images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgMexico is not paying for the wall - Bernick and Schott on politics Ep. 405

     It's once again time to tiptoe through the week in Utah political news with Managing Editor Bryan Schott and Contributing Editor Bob Bernick....
    images/mugs/bernick-mug.jpgBob Bernick's notebook: Thank goodness Utah's lawmakers don't act like Congress

    As a divided Congress and GOP President Donald Trump stumble towards no budget compromise, and part of the U.S. government is closed, one can only be pleased with how Utah state government is working these days....
    images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_02.jpgLawmakers have opened more than 1,100 bill files ahead of the 2019 session

     Even though about a fourth of the 104-member Utah Legislature will be new come the general session later this month, lawmakers are still filing a large number of bills, a review for UtahPolicy.com shows....

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      OTHER UTAH HEADLINES   

    Deseret News

    Pignanelli and Webb: How some legislation and political races are intertwined

    Editorial: Utah lawmakers need to make sales tax reform a priority

    Sen. Mike Lee joins GOP senators on bill to permanently end government shutdowns

    Utah GOP congressmen favor, Democrat opposes bill to ban president's unilateral use of Antiquities Act

    Lighting up Utah with nuclear power?

    Utah lawmakers may tweak new UTA board nomination process

    Utah gun rights activist faces felony firearms, drug charges

    Early returns on Utah County visioning project: Water, traffic, air quality concerns should guide growth

    New program aims to keep tech grads in Utah with tuition relief

    Better Boundaries backers bracing for challenge to voter-approved anti-gerrymandering initiative in Utah

    Salt Lake Tribune

    Op-ed: Mike Lee can reunite a divided Congress

    Editorial: Close a school over test scores? Seems childish

    Arches, Canyonlands to reopen, thanks to state snowplowing the roads and nonprofits staffing the parks

    Utah Sen. Mike Lee backs bill to prevent future government shutdowns; critics call it a ploy

    A Utah lawmaker wanted to lower the penalty for having child porn - but he pulled the controversial change after facing quick opposition

    A Utah lawmaker wants to make it a crime to lie about needing an emotional support animal



      NATIONAL HEADLINES  

    The partial government shutdown is now in its fourth week.

    Bombshell #1. The FBI opened an investigation into whether President Donald Trump was working on behalf of Russia following his dismissal of FBI director James Comeyhttps://nyti.ms/2Fq9WAa

    • FBI agents debated several possibilities for Trump's actions on Comey according to transcripts of two FBI officials' congressional interviews - https://cnn.it/2FreOVp

    Bombshell #2. President Trump has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal the details of his face-to-face interactions with Russian President Vladimir Putin. In one instance Trump took possession of the notes of his interpreter and instructed him not to reveal what had been discussed - https://wapo.st/2FqcbTV

    • Democrats in Congress smell blood because of Trump's efforts to hide his conversations with Putin. Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee will attempt to subpoena the interpreter or their notes, which could set up a fight with the White House - https://nyti.ms/2Fr8wFC

    Most Americans blame President Trump and the GOP for the government shutdown according to a pair of new polls. 

    • A CNN poll finds 55% of Americans blame Trump and Republicans, while 32% say Democrats in Congress are most to blame - https://cnn.it/2FtzU5y

    • A Washington Post-ABC News poll finds 53% blame the GOP and Trump. 29% say Democrats are at fault - https://wapo.st/2Fr8iOM

    Pressure is growing on Senate Republicans to help end the partial shutdown. Sen. Lindsey Graham suggested President Trump re-open the government temporarily while continuing negotiations for funding for the border wall - https://wapo.st/2Fq3Dwl

    President Trump spent his Sunday night tweeting racist insults at Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Trump used his oft-repeated slur against Warren. He also mocked Amazon head Jeff Bezos over his pending divorce - http://bit.ly/2Frkkrm

    President Trump dressed down Mulvaney during shutdown negotiations. President Trump chastized chief of staff Mick Mulvaney in front of congressional leaders from both parties because of his handling of talks to end the budget impasse - http://bit.ly/2FtUaEi

    Government shutdown may impact job growth. Economists say the partial government shutdown could slash job growth by as much as 500,000 January. Unemployment could crest above 4.0 percent, too - https://reut.rs/2FqvZ9E

    House Democrats warn Trump over Cohen testimony. President Trump accused Cohen of lying about him during an interview on Fox News. Democrats warned Trump against attempts to influence what Cohen says during his public House testimony next month - https://nyti.ms/2FneXJy

    Last year's tax reform could result in smaller refunds than most Americans were expecting. That could put a dent in new car sales - http://bit.ly/2FtT6jM

    A federal judge blocked a Trump administration rule on contraceptives. The rule would have made it easier for employers to refuse to cover birth control because of religious or moral objections - https://politi.co/2FrKydh

    GoFundMe says they will reimburse donors to an online fundraiser for a border wall. The move comes after the organizer decided to shift the money toward his newly-formed non-profit. The effort had pulled in more than $20 million - http://bit.ly/2FrfwC3

    Sen. Lindsey Graham said during a Fox News interview he was "hell-bent" on replacing Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg with a conservativehttp://bit.ly/2FpiVBz


      ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY  

    1639 - The "Fundamental Orders", the first written constitution that created a government, is adopted in Connecticut.

    1784 - Congress ratifies the Treaty of Paris with Great Britain. The treaty ended the American Revolutionary War.

    1943 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt becomes the first president to travel by airplane while in office, flying from Miami to Morocco to meet with Winston Churchill.

    1967 - The New York Times reports the Army is conducting secret germ warfare experiments.


    Policy News

    Governor appoints Shawn Newell to the Utah State Board of Education
    Gov. Gary R. Herbert has appointed Shawn Newell to represent District 10 on the Utah State School Board of Education. District 10 encompasses the Canyons School District, which has over 34,000 students and includes portions of Cottonwood Heights, Midvale, Sandy and ...
    Curtis, Finkenauer introduce bipartisan rural economic development bill
    Rep. John Curtis (R-UT) and Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-IA) released the following statements after introducing H.R. 246, the Stimulating Innovation through Procurement Act of 2019. The bipartisan legislation will bring federal investment to small businesses in ru...
    House Republicans of Utah support the PURE Act
    On January 10, 2019, Utah Senators Mike Lee & Mitt Romney introduced the Protect Utah's Rural Economy (PURE) Act. The legislation would protect Utah from unilateral intrusion through the Antiquities Act. ...
    Bradley J. Cook named 17th president of Snow College
     The Utah Board of Regents has unanimously selected Bradley J. Cook as the seventeenth president of Snow College....
    images/1000px_Logos/GOED_ProgramLogos_Color_WTCUtah.pngJoin WTC Utah for a diplomatic luncheon with Italy's Consul General
     World Trade Center Utah, in partnership with the Governor's Office of Economic Development, is delighted to host a diplomatic luncheon welcoming the Honorable Lorenzo Ortona, Consul General of Italy....
    Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
    Weekend EventOutdoors Report--Tribune:Deal will keep Utah's Zion Narrows, one of the nation's most popular trails, open through March - once the shutdown goes away--Tribune: Disappointed international visitors get to Arches only to find the gate closed. How about seeing a fi...

    More National Headlines

    The 'Fake News' Epidemic Was...Fake News (Reason)

    Ocasio-Cortez Pushes Democrats to the Left, Whether They Like It or Not (New York Times)

    Conrad Black: America's resurgence is reshaping the world (National Post)

    Dems fly to Puerto Rico on chartered jet, meet with lobbyists, see 'Hamilton' as shutdown drags on (FOX News)

    Ocasio-Cortez campaign slapped with a fine for not providing proper workers' comp (Daily Caller)

    San Diego TV station: CNN declined our 'local view' because of reports on wall effectiveness (The Hill)

    Democratic lawmaker cuts ties with top donor over dead bodies found in his home (New York Post)

    Fusion GPS-Linked Group Funded by Soros Worked with Tech Firm Behind Russian False Flag Against Roy Moore (PJ Media)

    Rep. Ocasio-Cortez Responds to Criticism From Joe Lieberman: 'New Party, Who Dis?' (Townhall)

    Journalist and Former MSNBC Host Tour Accused of Sexual Harassment By Former Coworker (The Root)

    GOP Senator Pushes Temporary Deal to Open Government (Wall Street Journal)


    Wise Words

    Look for Libery

    "There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism." Alexander Hamilton

    Lighter Side

    Politics

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies." Groucho Marx


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