Republicans jockey to determine who will fill Chaffetz’s position as Oversight chairman. Trump signs executive order to review national monuments. Chaffetz takes leave for emergency foot surgery.
Happy Thursday. Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s impending resignation from Congress will leave open one of the highest-profile positions in the House: Oversight Committee chairman. Members of the GOP are battling behind the scenes to see who might replace Chaffetz. Might it be a member of the Freedom Caucus? Or could it be former chairman Rep. Darrell Issa? There’s also plenty of jockeying for Rep. Trey Gowdy, former chairman of the House Benghazi Committee, to step up to the plate. One committee member said, in part, "fortunately we have a lot of good candidates." [Politico]
Topping the news: President Donald Trump signed an executive order issuing a review of national monuments designated over the past 21 years — including Bears Ears. Sen. Orrin Hatch and other Utah lawmakers were present at the signing. [Trib] [DNews] [ABC4] [Fox13] [APviaKUTV]
-> Rep. Jason Chaffetz said he will miss three to four weeks of work in Washington while recovering from emergency foot surgery. "This is not an opportune time to be away but medical emergencies are never convenient," he wrote on Facebook and Instagram. [Trib] [DNews] [ABC4] [Fox13] [KUTV]
Tweets of the day: From @Newlin_SLTrib : "Wouldn’t it have been logistically much easier to send the White House to the Senate rather than Senate to the White House?"
-> From @StephenAtHome: "Obama is reportedly receiving $400K for his first private speaking gig. Wow! It’s so weird to know something about a president’s finances."
-> From @AndrewCouts: "Chaffetz out 3-4 weeks due to emergency foot surgery related to previous accident. Does this count as a pre-existing condition?"
Happy Birthday: To state Sen. Don Ipson and Gordon Larsen, legislative director for Rep. Chris Stewart.
In other news: State officials are likely to probe the University of Utah either through conversations with administrators or a formal review after the firing of Huntsman Cancer Institute CEO Mary Beckerle, reportedly with no stated reason, before bringing her back Monday. [Trib]
-> Though Beckerle has been reinstated, central questions remain about authority and governance at the Huntsman Cancer Institute — which sources say are top issues of debate in ongoing negotiations between the Huntsman family, the institute and the university. [DNews]
-> Jon Huntsman Sr. said he would have withheld a $250 million donation from the Huntsman Cancer Institute had the University of Utah not reinstated Beckerle as its CEO. [DNews]
-> Four open spots on the Shelter the Homeless executive board, which will run Salt Lake County’s new homeless shelter facilities, are raising a debate over who deserves representation as the state moves into the next phase of addressing homelessness issues. [Trib]
-> The Jordan School District Board of Education voted unanimously to provide the 2,700 teachers in its school district with a pay raise. [KUTV]
-> The Utah Transit Authority is delaying its expected conditional approval of a land development around its Clearfield FrontRunner station after it discovered former board member Sheldon Killpack, who resigned under fire, owns the company that planned to build the plant. [Trib] [DNews] [Fox13]
-> A new requirement from the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control that mandates signage in every Utah restaurant or bar to designate what type of establishment the premises is has spawned a variety of mocking spin-offs online. [Fox13] [KUTV]
-> Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski joined 100 other city mayors in signing onto a national effort to encourage U.S. cities to transition to clean energy. [Trib]
Nationally: President Donald Trump revealed his promised tax proposal yesterday, which included reductions in individual and business income tax rates. However, the administration did not address how the plan would be financed or how much it would reduce federal revenue or grow debt. [NYTimes] [Politico] [WaPost] [TheHill]
-> As Republican lawmakers look to revive a GOP health care bill ahead of Trump’s 100-day mark in office, the conservative House Freedom Caucus announced it will back the legislation. [NYTimes] [PBSNews] [ABCNews] [CNN]
Where are they?
- Rep. Mia Love meets with members of the Utah Orthopedic Association and participates in a Utah delegation meeting with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Gov. Gary Herbert. Later, she votes and questions witnesses at the Terrorism Illicit Financing Subcommittee hearing.
- Gov. Gary Herbert continues his quarterly visit to Washington.
- Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox attends an honor flight send-off at the National Guard Readiness Center, participates in a healthy lifestyle initiatives meeting and attends the Utah State University campus compact awards luncheon.
- State Auditor John Dougall meets with former State Auditor Val Oveson, conducts research in his office and attends Republican Party conventions in Weber, Summit and Wasatch counties.
-- Courtney Tanner and Taylor Stevens