GOP Senator: Let Obamacare fail if Republicans can’t agree on a replacement. Trump’s 1995 tax return shows he paid a 25% tax rate. Jeremy Johnson’s big night out.
Happy Wednesday. If President Donald Trump finds himself unable to broker a compromise on controversial legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, he should simply drop it and let the current healthcare system collapse, says Sen. Lindsey Graham. Republicans have faced internal battles over their own plan to replace Obamacare but Graham said this morning that if all else fails, Trump should let the the health care law fail. [Politico]
Topping the news: MSNBC host Rachel Maddow released portions of President Donald Trump’s tax returns on her show Tuesday night, but the White House beat her to it, offering a glimpse at documents the president had previously refused to disclose. The returns show he paid $38 million in federal income taxes on a reported income of $150 million—a tax rate of 25 percent. [NYTimes] [NBCNews] [PBSNews] [TheHill]
-> Imprisoned St. George businessman Jeremy Johnson ate a hamburger and ice cream, spent the night at a Salt Lake City hotel and turned himself back in in after he was released from the Salt Lake County jail without any arrangement by federal authorities to pick him up and take him to a California prison camp. [Trib] [DNews]
-> Sen. Mike Lee and Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz introduced federal legislation looking to overturn a decision Chaffetz has called "federal overreach" that requires additional pollution controls at two Utah power plants. [Trib] [DNews] [Fox13]
-> After actress Rosie O’Donnell donated the maximum contribution to the political campaign of the Democrat who filed to run against in 2018 against Chaffetz, he cited her donation in a fundraising email urging his followers to help him "fight back." [DNews]
Tweets of the day: From @ConanOBrien: "The new head of the EPA just changed the name of ‘polar bears’ to ‘bears.’"
-> From @: "PREDICTION: Sean Spicer will refer to Trumpcare as ‘fake news’ within the week and Kellyanne Conway will blame it on a rogue blender."
-> From @: "Some serious soul searching going on tonight for all three or four Trump loyalists who watch Maddow."
-> From @BenjySarlin: "A little weird to say ‘WE DEMAND THE RETURNS’ for 18 months and then complain ‘But THOSE ones didn’t have anything bad in them.’"
In other news: Utah Rep. Chris Stewart, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said the committee doesn’t yet know whether President Donald Trump’s allegations that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Towers during the U.S. presidential elections, but added, "we will know." [DNews]
-> After Utah Sen. Mike Lee said he received "disappointing" news about U.S. activity from political leaders in foreign countries, he and other Republican senators want the secretary of state to investigate how government money is being used to support liberal policies in foreign countries. [DNews] [Fox13]
-> Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski emotionally thanked those who contributed to the official opening of a new affordable housing apartment building and lauded the project’s importance. [Trib] [DNews] [ABC4]
-> Of the five sites being considered for a new homeless shelter in Salt Lake County, the site on Main Street in South Salt Lake would be the cheapest option, with a total cost of $1 million. The site in West Valley would be the most expensive, with a $3.5 million price tag. [DNews]
-> About 400 South Salt Lake and West Valley City residents attended Salt Lake County’s first public forum to gather input on the site proposals, arguing the cities are already "overburdened" with high crime and have lower tax bases and lower-income residents. [Trib] [DNews]
-> South Salt Lake and West Valley City officials also continue to argue against a proposed homeless resource center in their community, arguing the locations would strain services and bring in no tax revenue. [ABC4]
-> A fire that caused $50,000 worth of damages to an abandoned dance club in Salt Lake City may have been caused by homeless squatters, though whether it was intentionally started is still not clear. [Trib] [ABC4] [Fox13] [KUTV]
-> Since opening five years ago, Salt Lake City’s economic development director says the City Creek Center has helped revive the downtown community as a thriving commercial and residential center. [DNews] [ABC4]
-> State Rep. Mike Winder has been accused of creating multiple user accounts to manipulate his Wikipedia profile in order to erase negative information and promote his accomplishments — a violation of the site’s ethics policy he has neither confirmed nor denied. [Trib]
-> Utah is one of 28 states that require an in-car breathalyzer for convicted drunk drivers, which a new study from Mothers Against Drunk Driving shows prevented 2,573 people in the state convicted of the crime from operating their vehicles under the influence last year. [Trib]
-> State Sen. Jim Dabakis created a petition asking Gov. Gary Herbert to veto a bill that would lower the legal blood-alcohol content limit for drivers from 0.08 to 0.05. The petition received more than 7,000 signatures in less than 36 hours. [Fox13]
-> Herbert declared this week as Flood Safety Awareness Week, amidst expert warnings that Utahns should prepare for likelihood of more flooding this spring because of warming temperatures. [Trib] [DNews] [KUTV]
-> After spending five years writing and revising a measure that would establish tougher standards for development projects in Utah’s canyons and foothills, the Salt Lake County Council voted in favor of the Foothill and Canyons Overlay Zone ordinance. [Trib]
-> Though speaker after speaker asked the Salt Lake County Council to approve a $3 million contribution to help complete the purchase of Bonanza Flats, the council voted along party lines to reject the proposition. [Trib]
-> The U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Utah’s School of Medicine No. 40 in research and No. 34 in primary care — marking significant improvements from last year’s rankings. [Trib]
-> A new study from the U. found that fewer teachers are entering and staying in classrooms, with more than half the state’s educators leaving after an eight-year period from 2008 to 2015. [KUTV]
-> The MormonLeaks website reposted an LDS Church PowerPoint presentation that it had previously taken down after the church threatened legal action based on a copyright-violation allegation. [Trib] [Fox13] [KUTV]
-> The keynote speaker at the Utah Safe Kids and Injury Prevention Summit says focusing on the problem of suicide does more harm than good and says advocates should instead focus on hope and recovery. [ABC4]
-> Davis County Animal Care and Control says it’s pursuing hundreds of leads in the torture and death of a cat named Sage, which a local police department detective says is one of the most senseless cases of animal abuse he’s ever seen. [Trib] [ABC4]
-> Provo Police Chief John King stepped down from his position to deal with family medical issues, leaving the mayor’s office to plan for an expedited three-month search for his permanent replacement. [Trib] [DNews] [KUTV]
-> Pat Bagley argues President Donald Trump’s "Make America Great Again" slogan may have a slightly different meaning. [Trib]
-> Robert Gehrke writes about the unpleasant odor wafting from the homeless-shelter site selection process and how Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams’ weak disclosure of property interests in one neighborhood doesn’t help. [Trib]
Nationally: After an analysis from the Congressional Budget Office on the House GOP bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act showed that 14 million people would lose their insurance coverage under the bill’s first year, the White House and Republican leaders scrambled to maintain support as the legislation came under increasing resistance from within their own party. [CNN] [TIME] [Politico] [NPR]
-> Some Senate Republicans suggested changes to the House plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, asking for lower insurance costs for poorer, older Americans and an increase in funding for states with high populations of hard-to-insure people. [NYTimes] [TheHill]
Where are they?
- Rep. Jason Chaffetz chairs an Oversight Committee hearing on transparency, meets with the National Active Retired Federal Employees Association and votes.
- Rep. Chris Stewart meets with the Utah State Historic Preservation Office, the Salt Lake City Council, the Utah Association of Agriculture Educators and the Utah League of Cities and Towns before attending a House Intelligence Committee meeting.
- Rep. Mia Love speaks with House leaders, meets with members of the Salt Lake City Council and holds a strategy meeting with staff before speaking with members of the Congressional Black Caucus. Later, she participates in meetings for the Terrorism Financing Subcommittee and Financial Institutions Subcommittee, meets with constituents and hosts a telephone town-hall meeting about healthcare.
- Gov. Gary Herbert films a public service announcement, heads to a weekly update with the lieutenant governor and attends a scouting for food event at the Utah Capitol and a Public Safety Summit discussion in his office.
- Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox films a public service announcement and attends a weekly update with the governor and a Public Safety Summit discussion.
- State Auditor John Dougall spends the day in his office and holds a management meeting.
- President Donald Trump leaves the White House for Joint Base Andrews on his way to Detroit. He then tours American Manufactured Vehicles, leads a roundtable with CEOs and union workers and makes remarks at the American Center for Mobility. In the afternoon, he departs Detroit on his way to Nashville and then tours Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage. Later, he participates in a wreath laying ceremony and makes remarks at the Hermitage before participating in a "Make America Great Again Rally" and departing the Nashville airport for Joint Base Andrews en route to the White House.
-- Thomas Burr and Taylor Stevens