Morning must reads for Monday, April 3, 2017

Good Monday morning and Happy Opening Day from Salt Lake City. Today is the 93rd day of the year. There are 272 days remaining in 2017.

Most Utahns say homelessness is an urgent problem facing the state. Senate Republicans consider going “nuclear” to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. President Trump says he’s willing to take unilateral action against North Korea.

The clock:

  • 47 days until the Utah Republican State Convention (5/20/2017)
  • 75 days until the Utah Democratic State Convention at Weber State University (6/17/2017)
  • 218 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 294 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 339 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 582 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,310 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR – 

  • NEW POLL: 62% of Utahns say homelessness in Utah is a severe problem [Utah Policy].
  • Our “Political Insiders” weigh in on whether Senate Republicans should use the “nuclear option” to break a filibuster to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court [Utah Policy].
  • LaVarr Webb says there’s no reason to fear an Article V convention to reduce the power of the federal government [Utah Policy].
  • Robert Spendlove looks at how a growing population can lead to significant policy changes [Utah Policy].
  • The LDS Church announces new temples in Saratoga Springs, Idaho, Kenya, Philippines and Brazil [Deseret News].
  • Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams picks a site in South Salt Lake for a new homeless shelter. Elected officials and residents in that city vow to fight against the new facility [Washington Post].
  • Rep. Chris Stewart holds a town hall meeting in Salt Lake City where a rowdy crowd booed him and chanted “do your job” in regards to investigating President Donald Trump [Deseret News].
  • Former Senate President Miles “Cap” Ferry passes away [Senate Site].
  • Utah transportation officials start making their list of how they intend to spend the $1 billion lawmakers set aside for transit projects [Tribune].
  • Google Fiber installations in Salt Lake City are moving slower than the search engine giant initially promised [Deseret News].
  • The U.S. Senate braces for a fight this week over the vote to confirm Neil Gorsuch as the next Supreme Court justice [Washington Post].
    • Democrats are closing in on the 41 votes they need to filibuster, and effectively block, Gorsuch’s confirmation [Politico].
    • If Democrats do employ the filibuster, Republicans are threatening to change the rules to require a simple majority to confirm Gorsuch, also known as the “nuclear option.” That move could fundamentally change Washington going forward [The Hill].
  • Donald Trump‘s son-in-law, and White House adviser, Jared Kushner, made a trip to Iraq over the weekend. It’s worth noting that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has not yet visited Iraq [New York Times]. In another sign of Kushner’s growing clout, Chinese officials have figured out that the way to get to Trump is through Kushner [New York Times].
  • President Donald Trump says he’s willing to take unilateral action against North Korea if China doesn’t do more to reign in the rogue nation [Wall Street Journal].
  • After their humiliating failure to repeal Obamacare, don’t expect Republicans in Congress to move quickly on overhauling the tax code [Associated Press].
  • President Donald Trump is still pressing the thoroughly debunked claim that the Obama administration spied on him during the 2016 election [Wall Street Journal]. 

On this day in history:

  • 1865 – Union forces occupied the Confederate capital of Richmond, Va.
  • 1882 – Outlaw Jesse James was shot to death in St. Joseph, Mo., by Robert Ford, a member of his gang.
  • 1948 – President Harry S. Truman signed the Marshall Plan, which allocated more than $5 billion in aid to help 16 European countries recover from World War II.
  • 1996 – Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski was arrested.