Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 254th day of the year. There are 111 days remaining in 2017. This is the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the U.S., in which nearly 3,000 Americans lost their lives.

The clock:

  • 36 days until ballots for the 2017 general election are mailed to voters (10/17/2017)
  • 57 days until the 2017 election (11/7/2017)
  • 133 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 178 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 421 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,149 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today's political TL; DR -

  • SCOOP: Sources close to Mitt Romney tell the former presidential candidate is preparing to run for U.S. Senate if Sen. Orrin Hatch decides to retire [Utah Policy].

  • POLL: Mitt Romney would be in prime position to win a U.S. Senate race over Democrat Jenny Wilson, as 64% of Utahns would vote for him in a hypothetical matchup. Wilson runs much better against Sen. Orrin Hatch, getting 45% to Hatch's 34%. Republicans Chris Stewart and Matt Holland would be in a close contest with Wilson [Utah Policy].

  • Our "Political Insiders" disagree with President Donald Trump's decision to end DACA. They also are pessimistic that Congress will be able to pass some sort of meaningful immigration reform before the DACA policy ends in March [Utah Policy].

  • PODCAST: On this week's "Beg to Differ," Bryan Schott and Mike Winder speak with Ciriac Alvarez, a 17-year resident of Utah who would be impacted by Trump's decision to end DACA as her parents, undocumented immigrants, brought her here when she was 5-years-old [Utah Policy].

  • Rep. Chris Stewart voted against a measure to raise the debt limit and provide more than $15 billion in disaster aid following Hurricane Harvey. Reps. Mia Love and Rob Bishop voted in favor of the legislation [Deseret News, Tribune].

  • The Utah GOP Central Committee was unable to come to a decision on whether to continue their lawsuit against SB54. Meanwhile, organizers for Count My Vote could re-launch their ballot initiative as soon as this week [Deseret News, Tribune].

  • Lily Eskelsen Garcia, the former Utahn who now leads the largest teacher's union in the nation, blasted President Donald Trump for "creating fear in children" with his policies [Tribune].

  • Salt Lake County gets nearly $400,000 to cover the increased legal costs from Operation Rio Grande [Deseret News].

  • A legislative task force is discussing a proposal to have the state take over the Utah Transit Authority under the purview of a new Secretary of Transportation [Tribune].

National headlines:

  • Hurricane Irma hit Florida on Sunday, leaving more than 3 million homes and businesses without power. Florida's emergency management director says he hasn't heard of catastrophic damage, but "that doesn't mean it doesn't exist" [Associated Press].

  • Special counsel Robert Mueller is planning to interview six former and current top White House advisors as part of his probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election [Washington Post].

  • During an interview on "60 Minutes," former White House strategist Steve Bannon called the firing of former FBI Director James Comey the biggest mistake in "modern political history" [NBC News]. Bannon also called out Republican leadership in Congress for thwarting President Donald Trump's agenda [Washington Post].

  • Hillary Clinton said in a Sunday interview that she will not run for another political office again, but says she will remain involved in politics [New York Times].

  • Clinton, promoting her forthcoming book, says she believes President Donald Trump was able to defeat her in the 2016 election by stoking racial tensions [Washington Post].

  • President Donald Trump's surprise debt limit deal with Democrats may have boosted Speaker Paul Ryan's standing among the rank and file members Republicans in the House [Politico].

  • President Trump's deal with Democrats in Congress to raise the debt limit and fund the government through December may actually reduce the chances of Congress passing tax reform [Bloomberg].

On this day in history:

  • 1609 - Henry Hudson discovers Manhattan and the indigenous people living there.

  • 1789 - Alexander Hamilton is appointed the first Secretary of the Treasury.

  • 1944 - The Allied invasion of Germany begins near the city of Aachen.

  • 1950 - President Harry Truman approved military operations north of the 38th paralell during the Korean War.

  • 2001 - Two hijacked aircraft crash into the World Trade Center in New York City, while a third smashes into The Pentagon, and a fourth into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania in a series of coordinated suicide attacks by 19 members of al-Qaeda. A total of 2,996 people are killed.

  • 2012 - The U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya is attacked, resulting in four deaths.