Morning must reads for Monday, April 24, 2017

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 114th day of the year. There are 251 days remaining in 2017.

Utahns give legislators a passing grade for the 2017 session. Trump to call for the review of Bears Ears National Monument. Republicans are racing to avoid a government shutdown.

The clock:

  • 26 days until the Utah Republican State Convention (5/20/2017)
  • 54 days until the Utah Democratic State Convention at Weber State University (6/17/2017)
  • 197 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 273 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 318 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 561 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,289 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR – 

  • NEW POLL: Most Utahns give the 2017 Legislature a passing grade [Utah Policy].
  • Our “Political Insiders” try to predict who may replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz when he leaves Congress [Utah Policy].
  • Utah’s job growth is tops in the nation while the unemployment rate is eighth-lowest at 3.1% [Utah Policy].
  • President Donald Trump will reportedly sign an executive order this week to review the creation of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments [Tribune].
  • An audit says a mysterious fund tied to the Utah League of Cities and Towns contains public money and should be shut down [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • DNC Chairman Tom Perez and Sen. Bernie Sanders hold a rally for Utah Democrats [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • The fight over the sudden firing of the CEO of the Huntsman Cancer Institute is getting nasty. The institute’s founder, Jon Huntsman Sr., is calling for the firing of University of Utah President David Pershing [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • The Utah Transit Authority canceled two bonuses, totaling nearly $1 million that two former leaders of the agency were slated to receive [Tribune].
  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz wants to know how President Trump plans to handle any profits from Trump-owned properties that come from foreign governments [Tribune].
  • This is kinda weird. Rep. Chaffetz attended a Republican fundraising event in Michigan over the weekend. Organizers say the event was organized by Congressman Mike Bishop, but Bishop’s office says they had no affiliation with the event [WHMI].
  • Former Attorney General Mark Shurtleff wants to recoup $1.1 million in attorney fees from the state stemming from Utah’s failed criminal case against him. The state has asked a judge to dismiss his claim [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • The government could shut down on Friday unless Congress can pass a spending bill. The biggest sticking points are funding for President Donald Trump‘s border wall and money for health care subsidies under the Affordable Care Act [New York Times].
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the U.S. could pay for the border wall by ending erroneous tax credits that go to “mostly Mexicans” [Politico].
  • If a shutdown happens, it would be the first time since the Carter administration that a federal funding gap occurred with the White House and Congress unified under a single-party control [Roll Call].
  • Drain the swamp? Plenty of people with ties to President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are cashing in as lobbyists [USA Today].
  • Here are the 20 people outside the White House that President Donald Trump reaches out to for counsel [New York Times].
  • Wondering why President Trump won’t fire White House Spokesperson Sean Spicer, despite his many, many gaffes? “That guy gets great ratings. Everyone tunes in,” he said [Washington Post].
  • Here’s a deep dive into how FBI Director James Comey ended up affecting the 2016 election [New York Times].
  • 54% of Americans disapprove of President Donald Trump, but his base still overwhelmingly supports him [Wall Street Journal].
  • French voters send political newcomer Emmanuel Macron and far-right extremist Marine Le Pen to the second round of voting in their presidential election [CNN].

On this day in history:

  • 1704 – The Boston News-Letter became the first U.S. newspaper to be published on a regular basis.
  • 1800 – Congress approved a bill establishing the Library of Congress.
  • 1898 – Spain declared war on the United States after rejecting America’s ultimatum to withdraw from Cuba.
  • 1980 – The United States launched an abortive attempt to free the American hostages in Iran; eight U.S. servicemen died.