Morning must reads for Thursday, February 2, 2017

Good Thursday morning and Happy Groundhog Day from Salt Lake City. Today is the 33rd day of the year. There are 332 days remaining in 2017.

Lawmakers rush to pass a resolution on Bears Ears because they think Trump will undo the monument. The fight over SB54 may not be over yet. The House advances a bill to reduce Democratic representation on some state boards. 

The clock:

  • 26 days until President Trump addresses a joint session of Congress (2/28/2017)
  • 35 days until the final day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (3/9/2017)
  • 278 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 643 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1370 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Ten talking points for Thursday:

  1. Utah lawmakers are rushing to pass a resolution calling on President Donald Trump to rescind the Bears Ears National Monument by Friday. The reason for the rush? They think Trump might do it, and soon [Utah Policy].
  2. Lawmakers want to put the fight over SB54 to bed for good with a bill that establishes runoff elections. However, some Republicans are set to try and repeal SB54 altogether [Utah Policy].
  3. The Utah House advances a bill that could reduce the number of Democrats on some state boards of commissions [Utah Policy, Tribune, Deseret News].
  4. Some Utah Senators are upset with how the House railroaded two resolutions dealing with the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, saying it could turn the public hearings in the Senate into “freakshow circuses” [Utah Policy].
  5. Of all the political figures in Utah, a new poll shows Mitt Romney is the most popular in Utah [Utah Policy].
  6. A House committee spends nearly three hours debating polygamy, then decides to hold Rep. Mike Noel‘s bill that changes the definition of bigamy in Utah [Deseret News, Fox 13].
  7. Rep. Jason Chaffetz said late Wednesday he would not move forward with a bill to sell off thousands of acres of public lands in 10 Western states [Denverite]. Chaffetz is taking heat from residents of Washington, D.C. for a myriad of problems after he pledged to block D.C.’s right-to-die law [DCist].
  8. Stunning. President Donald Trump blasted Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on a phone call when Turnbull brought up a deal the U.S. made with Austraila to take in more than 1,000 refugees from his country [Washington Post]. Trump also threatened to send troops to Mexico to stop “bad hombres down there” during a phone call with that country’s president [Politico].
  9. Two Republican Senators say they will not vote to confirm Betsy DeVos, President Trump’s nominee for Education Secretary. That means the final vote on DeVos’s nomination could be a tie in the Senate, which would require Vice President Mike Pence to cast the deciding vote. If one more Republican defects, DeVos would be defeated [Politico].
  10. President Donald Trump wants the Senate to invoke the “nuclear option” to do away with the filibuster if Democrats try to block his Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch [Wall Street Journal].

On this day in history:

  • 1653 – The city of New Amsterdam was incorporated. (It later was renamed New York City.)
  • 1848 – The war between the United States and Mexico formally ended with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. It provided for Mexico’s cession of the territory that became the states of New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming in exchange for $15 million.
  • 1933 – Two days after becoming chancellor of Germany, Adolf Hitler ordered the dissolution of the Parliament.