How Congress failed to plan for doomsday. Chaffetz, others call for heightened security for members. Lee one of two votes against Russia sanctions.
Happy Thursday. The shooting of a congressional leader brought Capitol Hill to a grinding halt yesterday. It also brought up a little-known fact: Congress, thanks to its own stubbornness, still doesn’t have a good mechanism to replace quickly members who have been injured or killed. And, if ever there were a mass slaughter of top members of Congress — a chemical or biological attack, or even a shooting incident that merely injured or incapacitated a large number of senators or representatives — business could come to a grinding halt and leave the House and Senate impotent for weeks or even months. [Politico]
Topping the news: After yesterday’s shooting near Washington, Rep. Jason Chaffetz joined several other members calling for heightened security. And he should know: he’s been the target of death threats recently. [Trib] Utah politicians said they were praying for those injured in the shooting. [Trib] [DNews] [ABC4] [FOX13]
-> Sen. Mike Lee is one of two senators who voted against a bipartisan bill that would impose sanctions on Russia for its interference in the presidential election. [Trib]
Tweets of the day: From @Mikel_Jollett: "As a white man, I just want to say this shooter does not speak for m--- Oh, WE don’t have to do that?"
-> From @thetomzone: "Hannity is openly trying to turn the Congressional Baseball Game shooting into a Reichstag Fire tonight
-> From @BenjySarlin: "Early reports of the gunman’s personal and social media history sound like the worst parts of 2017-era America condensed into human form"
Happy Birthday: To our friends Holly Yocom, Cindie Quintana and Herriman mayoral candidate and polygamy advocate Joe Darger.
-> Provo Mayor John Curtis and investment adviser Tanner Ainge had their signatures verified by the state elections office Wednesday, which seems to guarantee that there will be three names on the GOP primary ballot for the 3rd Congressional District seat. [Trib]
-> Eight GOP candidates vying to replace Chaffetz flashed their conservative credentials at a forum leading up to the Republican nominating convention this weekend. [KUER]
-> Before Utah’s Legislature would consider legalizing medical marijuana, they passed a bill to have the state’s research institutions study the impacts of the drug. However, investigations will take longer than lawmakers anticipated. [APviaTrib]
-> The Transportation Governance and Funding Task Force — formed by the Legislature this year — was swamped with proposals on how to change transportation in Utah on Wednesday at a public hearing. [Trib] [DNews]
-> The FBI hopes that Lyle Jeffs’ diminished position within the FLDS church will make it easier to find him. Jeffs slipped his ankle monitor last year while awaiting trial for food stamp fraud. [Trib]
-> Home Depot, the Weber Basin Conservancy District, the Utah Division of Water Resources and the Utah Governor’s Office of Management and Budget are working together to promote water conservation. [DNews] [ABC4]
-> Pat Bagley depicts a fidget spinner for fanatics. [Trib]
-> Robert Gehrke argues that the Senate GOP needs to be more open with the public about its health care bill. [Trib]
-> The special counsel for investigating Russia’s meddling in the presidential election is now reportedly looking into President Donald Trump for his firing of former FBI Director James Comey. [NYTimes] [WaPost] [Politico]
-> The Senate passed a bipartisan bill that limits Trump’s ability to lift sanctions on Russia and imposes new punishments on the country for its interference in the election. [NYTimes] [WaPost] [Politico]
Where are they?
- Rep. Chris Stewart attends a House Intelligence Briefing, participates in a House Appropriations Committee hearing with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and meets with the Tooele Chamber of Commerce.
- Rep. Mia Love leads a legislative planning session with staff, meets with GOP House leadership, votes at the Capitol and speaks with constituents.
- Gov. Gary Herbert goes to the Alpro groundbreaking event, attends the Huntsman Seminar on Constitutional Government for Teachers, visits Boys State, meets with staff and has his monthly meeting with the attorney general.
- Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox participates in the Utah Digital Summit, meets with staff, gets a monthly update from the attorney general and attends the Salt Lake County Central Committee Meeting.
- State Auditor John Dougall takes part in an all-day training.
-- Thomas Burr and Emily Anderson