Morning must reads for Monday, March 20, 2017

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 79th day of the year. There are 286 days remaining in 2017.

How would renegotiating NAFTA affect trade in Utah? McMullin says he may take on Hatch or Chaffetz in 2018. Confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch begin Monday.

The clock:

  • 9 days until the last day Governor Gary Herbert can sign or veto bills (3/29/2017)
  • 61 days until the Utah Republican State Convention (5/20/2017)
  • 89 days until the Utah Democratic State Convention at Weber State University (6/17/2017)
  • 232 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 308 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 353 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 596 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1324 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL;DR –

  • World Trade Center Utah President and CEO Derek Miller says President Donald Trump needs to get a political win by renegotiating NAFTA, but his window of opportunity is short [Utah Policy]. Here’s the video of our interview with Miller [Utah Policy].
  • Our “Political Insiders” offer up their opinions on what the political future holds for Sen. Orrin Hatch and Rep. Jason Chaffetz [Utah Policy].
  • Evan McMullin says he is looking at a possible primary challenge to either Sen. Orrin Hatch or Rep. Jason Chaffetz in 2018 [Utah Policy].
  • Sen. Mike Lee discussed the Republican replacement for Obamacare with GOP officials at the Mar-a-Lago resort this weekend, but President Trump was not in the meeting [Utah Policy].
  • Confirmation hearings begin Monday for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch [Washington Post].
  • FBI Director James Comey heads to Capitol Hill to appear before the House Intelligence Committee to discuss Russian interference in the 2016 election and Donald Trump‘s claim that he was surveilled by the Obama administration [Wall Street Journal].
  • The Trump White House has started using political appointees to keep an eye on Cabinet agencies. They report to the White House on a weekly basis to make sure they don’t stray too far from the White House’s agenda [Washington Post].
  • The White House is turning up the heat on Republicans in Congress who are not yet sold on the plan to replace Obamacare [Politico].
  • The Secret Service reportedly took 15 minutes to catch the man who jumped the White House fence last week. He was finally arrested just outside the main door to the president’s residence [Huffington Post].
  • weekValley City and South Salt Lake officials and residents push back against the plan to put a homeless shelter in one of those cities [Deseret News, TribuneFox 13].
  • The Our Schools Now group is pressing ahead with their plans to put an income tax hike on the 2018 ballot to better fund Utah’s public schools [Associated Press].
  • The NSA denies allegations that they conducted “blanket” surveillance of Salt Lake City during the 2002 Winter Olympics [Tribune].
  • Restauranteurs rally at the Capitol to urge Gov. Gary Herbert to veto the bill lowering Utah’s DUI threshold to .05%, the lowest in the nation [Associated Press, Tribune].
  • Now that lawmakers have approved $1 billion in funding for transportation projects, there’s no shortage of local officials who have needs that need money [Tribune].
  • Utah Democrat Jenny Wilson is named to the transition team for the national party as newly elected party Chairman Tom Perez takes the reins [Tribune].
  • A gay rights organization and an atheist group have asked the Trump administration to investigate whether a foreign government made a deal with the Church to procure visas for LDS missionaries [Deseret News].
  • The Utah Transit Authority will erect fences to separate the Gateway Mall from the downtown homeless shelters. The fences were requested by the mall’s owners [Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • 1815 – Napoleon Bonaparte entered Paris, beginning his Hundred Days rule.
  • 1816 -The Supreme Court affirmed its right to review state court decisions.
  • 1854 – In what is considered the founding meeting of the Republican Party, former members of the Whig Party met in Ripon, Wis., to establish a new party to oppose the spread of slavery into the western territories.
  • 2003 – U.S. and British forces invaded Iraq from Kuwait.