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Situational awareness - January 9, 2020

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City.

Thanks for subscribing to Utah's must-read daily political news rundown.

If you know of friends or colleagues who would benefit from our daily news roundup, please encourage them to sign up for our emails.

Here are the stories you need to pay attention to this morning:

  • Trump backs away from war with Iran
  • Lee fumes after "insulting" briefing on Iran attack.
  • Herbert rolls out his $20 billion budget.


Days to the first day of the 2020 Utah Legislature: 18 (1/27/2020)

Days to the 2020 Iowa Caucuses: 25 (2/3/2020)

Days to the Utah presidential primaries: 54 (3/3/2020)

Days to the final day of the 2020 Utah Legislature: 63 (3/12/2020)

Days to the 2020 Utah primary elections: 173 (6/30/2020)

Days to the 2020 election: 299 (11/3/2020)

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Screenshots/20200108_Lee_Fox_02.jpgLee says Trump administration officials refused to answer his questions about strike on Iranian military leader
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Sen. Mike Lee caused serious waves when he ripped a military briefing about the attack that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, saying it was "insulting" and the worst he's ever seen. Lee took to Fox News Wednesday night to explain why he was so angry.
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200108_Lee_Fox.jpgVideo: Sen. Mike Lee furious after 'insulting' briefing on Iran strike
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Sen. Mike Lee was furious on Wednesday following a briefing on President Donald Trump's decision to order an airstrike that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasim Soleimani, calling it the "worst briefing on a military issue" he's seen in his nine years in Washington.
images/1000px_Mugs/Greg_Hughes_02.jpgPodcast: Greg Hughes on his run for Utah Governor
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Then there were six. Former House Speaker Greg Hughes jumped into the race for Utah governor on Wednesday.
images/1000px_Mugs/Gary_Herbert_05.jpgHerbert proposed budget boosts education, Medicaid and transportation spending
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Gov. Gary Herbert, in his new budget recommendation for 2020-2021, calls for an increase in spending of 5.4 percent over the current year's budget, and nearly $300 million more in public education funding.
images/Resized_Logos/Utah_Thrives_Podcast_Logo.jpgUtah Thrives podcast: Alternative fuel vehicles
By Dan Bammes
The number of vehicles powered by electricity has been growing steadily in Utah, but they're still only 1.6% of new vehicles sold in the state. Eventually, they'll have an impact on air quality, but that's years away. A new research report from Utah Foundation shows there may be opportunities to have a bigger impact sooner by focusing on trucks and buses powered by electricity or other alternative fuels such as natural gas.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/ERA_01.jpgPoll shows broad support among Utahns for ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Nearly 3/4 of Utahns say they would favor the Utah Legislature voting to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment according to a new Utah Political Trends survey. 
images/1000px_Mugs/Greg_Hughes_11.jpegHughes says he won't gather signatures to get on the Republican primary ballot
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
When former House Speaker Greg Hughes launches his campaign for governor on Wednesday, he will be the only candidate in the race not using the signature-gathering route to get on the primary ballot. 
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Road_construction01.jpgLawmakers eyeing changes to how roads are paid for
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Get ready for a huge change in how Utahns pay for the roads they use.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgFast forward or way behind - Bernick and Schott on politics podcast
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
  Managing Editor Bryan Schott and Contributing Editor Bob Bernick break down the latest Utah political headlines.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_17.jpgGov. Herbert will unveil his budget plan this week. Here's what it's likely to contain
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Utah GOP Gov. Gary Herbert will release his recommended 2020-21 fiscal year budget recommendation Wednesday, one reflecting the new tax reform $160 million income tax cut and a huge estimated revenue surplus of $682 million.
images/mugs/LaVarr_Webb.jpgA story about LDS Church finances
By LaVarr Webb, Publisher
The financial standing of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has attracted a lot of attention lately.
images/1000px_Mugs/Mitt__Romney_06.jpgRomney wants to hear from Bolton in impeachment trial
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Sen. Mitt Romney said Monday he would like to hear from former national security adviser John Bolton in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. Bolton offered to testify on Monday.

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President Donald Trump appeared to back away from war with Iran following the missile attack that resulted in no American casualties [Bloomberg].

The House will vote Thursday on a resolution to force President Trump to halt military action against Iran unless he gets permission from Congress [New York Times].

No leverage

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is not budging in his showdown with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the forthcoming impeachment trial of President Trump [New York Times].

Speaker Pelosi is getting pressure from fellow Democrats to end the impeachment standoff with the Senate [Bloomberg].

Sen. McConnell and President Trump met Wednesday to discuss impeachment strategy [CNN].


Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wants to block a Democratic effort to require the Secret Service to disclose how much it spends protecting President Trump and his family when they travel until after the 2020 election [Washington Post].


Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will travel to Washington next week to sign the first phase of the trade deal with the U.S. [Bloomberg].


The World Bank says global economic growth will increase slowly this year, but they revised their growth estimate downward from 2.7% to 2.5% [Bloomberg].


Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg says she is completely cured of pancreatic cancer [New York Times].


The White House wants to exempt some projects, such as mining or building pipelines, from environmental reviews [Washington Post].

Social media

Facebook announced Wednesday they would allow users to opt-out of political advertising, but would not curb politicians making false claims in advertising [Washington Post].


2019 was the second-hottest year on record as temperature records were broken around the globe [New York Times].

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

Georgia Republican Doug Collins said Wednesday that Democrats were mourning the death of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani because "they're in love with terrorists" [Daily Beast].


Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngSTEP grant application deadline January 24
Thanks to the success of our Utah companies over the past year, the State of Utah has received the largest increase in the country to our State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant allocation, with $500,000 in grant funding coming to WTC Utah to help Utah small businesses enter and expand into dynamic global markets. WTC Utah administers these funds with a goal to increase the number of Utah businesses exporting and exploring significant new trade opportunities.
images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngGo global in 2020! Register by Jan. 17 for the trade mission to Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E.
The cities of Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Dubai offer tremendous opportunities for Utah companies interested in increasing their footprint in the Middle East. On this trade mission, delegates will engage with high-level business and investment leaders, receive market briefings by in-country experts and the U.S. Commercial Service, attend VIP networking receptions, participate in company visits and take part in customized B2B meetings.
images/1000px_Logos/NorthernUtahEconomicAlliance_LOGO.pngJoint county initiative to be named Northern Utah Economic Alliance
The regional economic development initiative launched by Weber and Davis Counties in June 2019 has a new name the Northern Utah Economic Alliance (NUEA) as well as a new logo, according to the organization's president, Chris Roybal.

More National Headlines


1788 - Connecticut becomes the fifth state to ratify the Constitution.

1861 - Mississippi becomes the second state to secede from the Union, becoming a founding member of the Confederate States of America.

1987 - The White House released a memorandum prepared for President Ronald Reagan in January 1986 that showed a definite link between U.S. arms sales to Iran and the release of American hostages in Lebanon.

2007 - Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone.

Wise Words

Useful Life

"A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing."George Bernard Shaw

Lighter Side

Religious Experience

"During the debate, a Republican congressman compared Trump to Jesus. I don't know - if Trump were Jesus, I'm pretty sure we'd have seen him turn water into Diet Coke already, right?"- JIMMY FALLON

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