Reid: More taxes. Obama lays out immigration plan. Shurtleff to woo LDS on reform.
Happy Wednesday. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says lawmakers should try again to replace soon-to-be-implemented cuts to the Pentagon and domestic programs with alternative spending cuts and tax hikes. Reid's comments are likely to fire up the right, and with it the House, a month before the March 1 deep cuts are set to go into place. [HuffPost]
Topping the news: In a major policy speech in Las Vegas, President Barack Obama outlined his four-pronged plan for immigration reform, including cracking down on those who hire illegal immigrants, and providing a fast track to citizenship for people who came to the country illegally as young children, as long as they pursue college or a military stint. [Politico] [NYTimes] [WaPost] [APviaTrib]
-> Obama has an ally on immigration reform in former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, who will lobby LDS officials about supporting the comprehensive overhaul. [Trib]
-> Meanwhile, Sen. Orrin Hatch is co-sponsoring a bipartisan immigration bill, which would increase the number of visas available to highly-skilled immigrants in science, math, engineering and technology fields by at least 50,000 visas per year. [Trib] [NYTimes]
Tweets of the day: From @CameronMVM: "Pro tip: The public ed appropriations committee meeting feed is way less boring with the Black Keys playing in the background."
From @paulmero: "Finally an Obama speech I can agree with: immigration"
From @BenWinslow: "I will resist the taffy at the #utleg. I will resist
the taffy at the #utleg."
In other news: The U.S. Attorney for Utah is asking a judge to force Jeremy Johnson to stop talking to the news media, saying that his statements could affect his own legal proceedings. [Trib] [DNews]
-> Utah's government fared well as far as providing information to the public online, earning a 'B' rating from a non-profit dedicated to government transparency. [Trib]
-> Deficit reduction talks in Congress mean smaller, tighter budgets for some state agencies, which may face even deeper cuts if the congressional stalemate isn't resolved. [Trib]
-> Paul Rolly lays out his case for enacting immigration reform. [Trib]
-> After meeting with transportation officials, Gov. Gary Herbert urged Utahns to use public transit to clean up the murky winter air. His office said they had other "innovative" solutions from the meeting, but wasn't ready to go public. [Trib] [Fox13]
From the Hill: The Utah Senate offers all its ways to connect, from Facebook to Twitter to YouTube and all other forms of social media available to constituents. [SenateSite]
-> The House moved to change the way legislators are paid, by continuing to give out the $16,380 that lawmakers already make, but requiring further expenses like hotels and food to be documented by receipts for reimbursement. [Trib] [DNews] [UtahPolicy]
-> A group of mothers are calling on state lawmakers to sign a pledge to clean up Utah's air. The specific language is still being worked out. [Trib]
-> Computer problems yesterday meant that some new lawmakers couldn't read the text of what bills they were voting on. [UtahPolicy]
-> The Utah Sheriff's Association got a pat on the back from Rep. Curtis Oda at a committee hearing for its gun rights manifesto sent Obama. [Trib]
-> Lawmakers moved closer in a committee hearing to allowing drivers to turn right on red lights at some unique interchanges, introducing "In God We Trust" license plates and cutting down how many non-carpoolers can use express lanes. [Trib] [DNews]
-> Bryan Schott says House Speaker Becky Lockhart wasn't wise in trying to set a trap for Herbert on his lack of vetoes. [UtahPolicy]
-> A bill that would have allowed judges to consider fault when determining alimony payments was nixed in a subcommittee, with opponents saying it would make already heated divorces even more contentious. [DNews]
Nationally: Some of the more conservative Republicans with tea party ties aren't happy with a proposed immigration overhaul, calling it amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants. [NYTimes]
-> Embracing immigration reform, however, may not be the remedy for bringing Latino voters back en masse to the GOP--only 34 percent of voters said they care about immigration issues in a new Pew Hispanic Center poll. [WaPost]
-> Fancy yourself an immigration policy wonk? Take a look at the full plan here.
-> Sen. John Kerry was widely and swiftly confirmed by the Senate yesterday as the 68th Secretary of State. While no date for his resignation has been set, Massachussets Gov. Deval Patrick, a fellow Democrat, will appoint a replacement until a special election is held. [NYTimes] [Globe] [WaPost]
-> The special envoy assigned to shuttering Guantanamo Bay is being "reassigned" without a replacement -- a signal from the administration that closing down the notorious prison isn't a top priority. [NYTimes]
-> Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is leaving his post as soon as a successor is confirmed, just as insiders expected him to. [WaPost]
-> Coming soon to bookstores: Hillary Clinton's memoir. [WaPost]
Where are they?