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Situational Awareness

Good morning from Salt Lake City and TGIF!

Welcome to Utah's must-read daily political news rundown. Please encourage your friends and colleagues to sign up for our emails.


Here are the stories you should pay attention to this morning:

  • Trump's job approval underwater in Utah
  • Bishop will announce his future plans later this month
  • Trump disavows "send her back" chant

Friday trivia!

This week's question comes from Steve Owens.

"When Senator Ted Kennedy lost his driver's license due to the Chappaquiddick incident, what Utah staffer drove him to and from work every day for a year?"

Send your guesses to me via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The first three readers with the correct answer will be recognized in Monday's newsletter.


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I love hearing from you! Send your news tips or feedback to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. or you can message me on Twitter.


The UtahPolicy.com daily newsletter gets you up to speed on the top local and national news about politics and public policy. Our news is curated by Managing Editor Bryan Schott, along with help from Golden Webb. ((Click here to subscribe))


Read: Top local news | National News Briefing


Today at Utah Policy

Sen. Lee locks in vote to pass 9/11 Victim’s Compensation Fund

by Press release
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) secured unanimous consent Thursday for the Senate to vote on two…

Guest opinion: Yes, Donald Trump is a racist

by Darlene McDonald
Earlier this week, UtahPolicy.com publisher LaVarr Webb wrote an editorial addressing…

Rob Bishop will announce whether he'll run for another term in Congress by the end of this month

by Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Rep. Rob Bishop Rep. Rob Bishop, who said the current term would be his last, now says he…

Most Utahns say they are not happy with how President Trump is doing his job

by Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
A slim majority of Utahns say they disapprove of President Donald Trump's job performance.

Mia Love's new PAC is raising big bucks, but she can't use that money to run for Congress

by Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Mia Love Mia Love’s newly formed political action committee raised nearly $350,000 in the…

Watch: Jon Stewart rips Mike Lee and Rand Paul for blocking a vote on extension for 9/11 victim fund

by Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Jon Stewart and Mike Feal on Fox News Channel Former Daily Show host Jon Stewart was…

Policy News

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Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report

by TraciO
Outdoors Report -- Salt Lake Tribune: Interior to shift 44 jobs to Utah, move BLM…
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Sandy City unveils new public works building

by Press release
Sandy City will unveil its new Public Works building on July 19th 9:30-10:30 am.
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USDA Forest Service and State of Utah invest in Utah’s future through shared stewardship

by Press release
U. S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert signed a Shared…
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Gov. Herbert lowers flags in honor of Sergeant First Class Elliott Robbins

by Press release
Gov. Gary R. Herbert has ordered the lowering of the flag of the United States of America…

Utah Community Builder Project priorities announced

by Salt Lake Chamber
The Salt Lake Chamber announced the project priorities for the Utah Community Builder…

Lighter Side

Making Mistakes
Trump believes Iranian leaders made a mistake in shooting down the drone and is not yet on board with going to war. “Yes, Trump understands that people make mistakes. After all, he’s had three wives and Eric.” Stephen Colbert 

Wise Words

Political Will

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty." John F. Kennedy

National Briefing

"Send her back"

  • National Republicans pushed President Donald Trump to disavow the ugly "send her back" chant directed at Somali-born Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar at a campaign rally [NYT].
  • President Trump falsely claimed he tried to stop the "send her back" chant at his campaign rally [AP].
  • Anthony Scaramucci was disinvited from a Florida GOP fundraiser for criticizing Trump's "racially charged" tweets [Politico].
  • How Trump's racist tweet attacking four Democratic women of color became a campaign rally chant in just three days [WaPo].

Omar pushes back. Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar told reporters on Thursday she believes President Trump is a "fascist" [Daily Beast].


Good news. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin says the Trump administration and congressional leaders have "reached an agreement" on spending and raising budget caps [Politico].


Minimum wage. Democrats in the House voted to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. All of Utah's representatives, including Democrat Ben McAdams, voted no. The bill has little chance of passing the Republican-controlled Senate [NYT].

  • Staffers on Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign are demanding he pay them the $15 per hour minimum wage he has been pushing for in Congress [WaPo].

Iran. President Trump said Thursday the American military shot down an Iranian drone that was threatening a Navy warship [NYT].

  • Iran denied Trump's claim [AP].

2020

  • The lineups for next week's Democratic debates are set. Night one features Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, while Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will take the stage on night two [WaPo].
  • Staffers for Democratic hopeful John Delaney have urged him to drop out of the presidential race. He's spent $19 million, including $11 million of his own money, on his long-shot bid so far [Axios].
  • Many Democratic candidates have vowed to not take campaign cash from lobbyists. That ban may not be as strict as it appears [Politico].

Hmmm. William Barr dramatically increased his political donations to Republican Senators in the months leading up to his confirmation hearings [Quartz].


Michael Cohen

  • Newly released search warrants show President Donald Trump's direct involvement in a hush-money scheme to silence an alleged affair with an adult film actress that threatened his 2016 presidential bid [CNN].
  • Following the release of those documents, Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee are demanding that longtime Trump aide Hope Hicks return to clarify her testimony because of "inconsistent" remarks she gave about Trump's hush-money payments [Politico].

Immigration. The Trump administration is considering cutting the number of refugees admitted to the U.S. next year to nearly zero [Politico].


Democratic governors warn presidential candidates. Some state leaders are worried the 2020 Democratic presidential field will push the party too far to the left in the race for the nomination [NYT].


Labor secretary. President Trump announced he plans to nominate Eugene Scalia, the son of former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, as his next secretary of labor [NYT].


Climate change. The Agriculture Department blocked the release of a plan to help American farmers deal with the effects of climate change [Politico].


Conspiracy time. An amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act instructs the government to investigate whether Lyme disease was developed by American bioweapons researchers during the Cold War [Defense One].