Progressive groups looking at Obamacare repeal as chance to organize. Utah man meets Trump as a ‘victim’ of the health care law. Trump’s travel ban hits home.
Happy Tuesday. The attempt to overturn Obamacare by Republicans is presenting progressive organizations with a clear target and a powerful challenge as they labor to channel the diffuse grass-roots opposition to President Trump’s agenda. The energy of the anti-Trump forces since Jan. 20 has surprised even his most fervent opponents. The question is whether Democrats can turn activism into policy victories and success at the polls. [WaPost]
Topping the news: A Utah man was one of 10 "victims" of the Affordable Care Act from across the country who spoke with President Donald Trump in Washington about the difficulties they faced under Obamacare. [Trib]
-> Trump’s renewed travel ban will likely create obstacles for refugees like 16-year-old Rita Okbalidet — who was sold into Egypt after paying smugglers to take her from Africa to Sudan and eventually found her way to Salt Lake City. [Trib]
-> Two Muslim immigrants from Kenya living in Salt Lake City voluntarily agreed to exit the country after they were detained by U.S. Immigrations and Custom Enforcement officials amidst concerns from members of their mosque that they were being targeted for their religion. [Trib]
-> From @StuPolitics: "Wire tap" (in quotes) does not mean wire tap. I really like that. Kind of like ‘it all depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.’"
Happy Birthday: To Julie Chaffetz, wife of Rep. Jason Chaffetz, First Lady Jeanette Herbert and Julian Babbitt, former executive director of the Utah Republican Party.
In other news: Utah’s top federal prosecutor complied with a request from President Donald Trump to resign along with 45 remaining U.S. attorneys who were appointed during Obama’s administration. [Trib] [DNews] [ABC4] [Fox13] [APviaKUTV]
-> With 16 days left to determine where a new homeless shelter will be built, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams says there’s still time for public input on potential sites. The five locations currently under consideration are in either West Valley City or South Salt Lake. [Trib]
-> South Salt Lake officials say it’s "simple" math — as the second-least populated city in the county with the lowest median income, it doesn’t have what it takes to support a homeless shelter. [Trib] [DNews] [ABC4] [KUTV]
-> At least 100 people gathered inside and outside the Garfield County Courthouse on both sides of a debate on whether to downsize the 1.9 million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument as county commissioners voted unanimously to approve the resolution calling for its reduction. [Trib] [ABC4]
-> The Utah Transit Authority says ski bus ridership in December to Big Cottonwood and Little Cottonwood canyons jumped by 23 percent on weekdays, 24 percent on Saturdays and 50 percent on Sundays — the potential result of a redesign of its services. [Trib]
-> Salt Lake County’s ordinance governing construction in the canyons and foothills is expected to wrap up today. [Trib]
-> Though the American Civil Liberties Union supported a bill Utah lawmakers passed in this year’s legislative session that would bring sweeping changes to how youths are treated in the juvenile justice system, it expressed disappointment at the changes made in the session it says "watered down" the bill to appease other parties. [Trib]
-> The Disability Law Center filed a lawsuit against Utah alleging that mentally ill defendants are not provided with speedy trials and suffer in jail without treatment while awaiting hospital admittance — litigation the Utah Legislature set aside $3 million this session in an effort to resolve. [Trib]
-> The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office found an October 2016 police shooting of an unarmed suspect unjustified, though the office will not pursue criminal charges against the officer involved in the shooting. [Trib] [ABC4] [Fox13] [KUTV]
-> The Utah School Board of Education repealed a revision for student-athlete transfers after determining its priorities of student privacy, appellate procedures and clear transfer guidelines for families could be achieved through existing frameworks. [Trib]
-> Brigham Young University plans to allow students to weigh in on sexual assault with a campus-wide survey that will also ask students if the honor code they promise to live by when they enroll in the university prevented them from speaking up. [Fox13]
-> Salt Lake Community College has promised full-time, in-state students from low-income families that if they qualify for a federal Pell grant, the college will fill the gap for tuition and fees the grant doesn’t cover. [Fox13]
-> People for Ethical Treatment of Animals announced it will put up a billboard urging people to keep their cats indoors after a Clearfield feline was tortured and eventually died from its injuries. [Trib] [Fox13]
-> More than 150 people gathered at Clearfield park on Sunday to raise awareness about animal abuse and support the cat’s family. Experts say the cat’s torture was one of the worst cases of animal abuse they’ve ever seen. [Fox13]
-> Since the beginning of 2015, 11 pregnant women in Utah have contracted Zika — and two of them lost their babies in the first trimester after contracting the virus. [APviaTrib]
-> Pat Bagley argues President Trump has forgotten the people who voted for him and the promises he made them. [Trib]
-> Paul Rolly takes a look at a division between legislators and party officers in the Utah GOP, as well as at quiet protests in the Capitol aimed at addressing the absence of Utah’s congressional delegation. [Trib]
Nationally: The Congressional Budget Office released its analysis of the new Republican health-care bill, finding that 14 million more people would be uninsured under the legislation than under the current law by 2018. By 2026, the number of uninsured would reach 24 million. [NYTimes] [CNN] [CBSNews] [BBCNews]
-> Two senior White House officials suggested that Trump’s unsubstantiated claim that Obama had tapped the telephones in Trump Tower was not meant to be taken literally but rather to refer to a whole host of surveillance techniques. [CNN] [NYTimes] [NBCNews] [WaPost]
Where are they?
- Rep. Jason Chaffetz returns to Washington, meets with staff and votes.
- Rep. Mia Love flies to Washington, attends a GOP information/strategy meeting and votes.
- Gov. Gary Herbert attends the Utah Chamber of Commerce Pillar of the Valley Gala at the Utah Valley Convention Center.
- Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox heads to the Utah Bike Summit in Ogden and the Utah Chamber of Commerce Pillar of the Valley Gala.
- State Auditor John Dougall spends his day in the office and celebrates Pi Day.
- President Donald Trump has lunch with Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, deputy crown prince and minister of defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Then, he speaks with the CEO of Anthem Joseph Swedish and Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price by telephone. Later, he speaks with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy about healthcare by telephone.
-- Thomas Burr and Taylor Stevens