Morning Must Reads for Monday, January 9, 2017

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 9th day of the year. There are 356 days remaining in 2017.

Utahns want to dump Obamacare. Sen. Mike Lee says the Donald Trump administration is “open” to undoing Bears Ears. Confirmation hearings for Trump’s Cabinet appointees.

The clock:

  • 11 days until Donald Trump is inaugurated as the 45th President (1/20/2017)
  • 14 days until the first day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (1/23/2017)
  • 59 days until the final day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (3/9/2017)
  • 302 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 666 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1394 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Ten talking points for Monday:

  1. Utahns want to dump Obamacare. Most Utahns want to see Obamacare repealed and replaced by the Republican-controlled Congress [Utah Policy].
  2. Bears Ears battle. Senate President Wayne Niederhauser says he is supportive of Attorney General Sean Reyes‘ vow to file a lawsuit over the creation of the Bears Ears National Monument, but thinks the better course of action may be to let Congress and Donald Trump‘s White House take the lead in the fight [Utah Policy]. Here’s the video of our conversation with President Niederhauser [Utah Policy]. Sen. Mike Lee says he’s spoken with top-level officials in the incoming Trump administration and they’re “open” to rolling back Bears Ears [Utah Policy]. Our “Political Insiders” aren’t sure Republicans in Congress or President-elect Trump will be able to undo the new monument [Utah Policy].
  3. Confirmation fights set to start. Senate Republicans will hold eight confirmation hearings for Donald Trump‘s Cabinet appointees over three days this week [New York Times]. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says they will push forward on the hearings even though not all of Trump’s nominees have completed their financial disclosures or been vetted fully [Wall Street Journal]. That’s an interesting stance by McConnell because in 2009 he demanded that all of the financial disclosures for Barack Obama‘s nominees be complete before they go through the confirmation process [Twitter].
  4. Here comes President Trump. Which of Donald Trump‘s campaign promises could he make good on during his first day in office? Quite a few, actually [The Hill].
  5. Here’s this week’s distraction. Meryl Streep blasted Donald Trump during her acceptance speech at the Golden Globes Awards. Trump fired back on Twitter, of course, saying Streep was a “Hillary lackey” [NBC News].
  6. Latest on Russia. Donald Trump calls for a closer relationship between the United States and Russia [NY Times]. Republican leaders in Congress said they support Trump’s desire for better relations with Russia, but they’re not sure he will be able to accomplish the goal [Washington Post]. Rep. Meanwhile, Russian leaders are ridiculing the report that Russia launched an elaborate “influence campaign” to skew the presidential election for Trump [New York Times]. Rep. Chris Stewart is scrambling to reverse his assertion that allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election are “BS” following the intelligence reports showing that’s what happened [Tribune].
  7. Pushing back against the White House. Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee want to rein in presidential power following the creation of the Bears Ears monument in southern Utah [Deseret News]. Meanwhile, Rep. Jason Chaffetz pens an op-ed blasting the creation of Bears Ears as part of Barack Obama’s “job-killing” agenda [Deseret News].
  8. Gun fight on the Hill. Rep. Lee Perry plans to bring a bill allowing gun owners to carry concealed weapons without a permit to the 2017 session. Gov. Gary Herbert vetoed a similar measure in 2013 [Tribune].
  9. Skyrocketing costs. The costs for four new homeless shelters in Salt Lake City could jump over $50 million, which means SLC residents or private donors will have to cover a big chunk of the bill [Deseret News].
  10. Let it snow. The snow storms that slammed Utah at the end of 2016 left the state with above-average precipitation for the year, which has state water officials cautiously optimistic [Deseret News].

On this day in history:

  • 1861 – Mississippi seceded 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.