Holder responds to Rand Paul filibuster. Bin Laden's son-in-law is in NYC. The Interior nominee promises balance.
Happy Friday. Attorney General Eric Holder responded to Sen. Rand Paul's 13-hour anti-drone filibuster, with a terse letter Thursday. Here it is in its entirety: "It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: 'Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?' The answer to that question is no."
Topping the news: For the first time, a legislative committee approved legislation banning discrimination in housing and employment based on sexual orientation. though the bill faces a tough road forward. [Trib] [UtahPolicy] [DNews]
Happy birthday: To Taylorsville police chief Del Craig, and belated wishes to Jared Whitley, Scott Burns and Taylorsville chief financial officer Scott Harrington, who celebrated yesterday. On Sunday, happy birthday to Trib managing editor Terry Orme.
In other news: Interior nominee Sally Jewell was peppered with parochial questions about sage grouse, rural roads and national park funding at a Senate committee hearing Thursday. Both of Utah's senators remain undecided. [Trib] [DNews]
-> Alliance for a Better UTAH is calling on Lt. Gov. Greg Bell to appoint special counsel to investigate embattled Utah Attorney General John Swallow -- and ultimately, if he's found guilty of violating campaign laws, to remove him from office. [Trib] [DNews]
-> Utah's universities are hunting for more out of state students to fill a budget gap by the new wave of Mormon missionaries leaving school. [Trib]
-> Sen. Mike Lee showed the winners of the Constitution Bowl a good time in the nation's capital. [Trib]
-> Paul Rolly questions Sen. Howard Stephenson's power over public education priorities. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley gives his take on guns in schools, and a bill the Legislature rejected that would let parents know where their child's teacher was packing. [Trib]
Heard on the Hill: “I just want to know why she hates my grandkids and kids down there so they can’t get any jobs down there.” — Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, explaining his repeated questioning of a committee witness about environmental lawsuits.
From the Hill: Here's your daily legislative schedule. [Trib]
-> House lawmakers shot down a bill that would have earmarked one quarter of liquor sales growth to go towards public schools, with opponents saying it could send the wrong message to youngsters. [Trib] [DNews] [UtahPolicy]
-> A compromise bill would tweak the role of Utah's Medicaid watchdog. [Trib]
-> A House committee voted down a bill that would require parents to be notified if their child's teacher is packing a gun in class before it was even brought up for discussion. [Trib]
-> Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick discuss the number of potentially unconstitutional bills before the Legislature and the effort to move the prison. [UtahPolicy]
-> A bill that would stop public employees from transferring sick time to a retirement benefit passed the Senate nearly unanimously, taking the state off the hook for a $10.5 million commitment. [Trib]
-> All Utah Scouts -- both Boys and Girls -- will receive check-off boxes on tax forms, after a public outcry that only allowing the Boy Scouts to have a box was unequal. [Trib]
-> Lawmakers are requesting $300,000 to lobby the federal government against introducing the gray wolf to Utah. Opponents say the money could be better spent on education programs. [Trib]
-> A House committee unanimously passed a bill that would bolster resources for law enforcement who are fighting human trafficking, and would beef up penalties for using children in prostitution. [Trib]
Nationally: Despite the filibuster fuss, John Brennan was confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 63-34. [NYTimes] [WaPost] [APviaTrib] While Sen. Mike Lee voted against Brennan, Sen. Orrin Hatch voted in favor of him, joining 11 other Republicans who did so. [Trib]
-> In case you missed it, here are the best moments of Rand's filibuster -- complete with references to Jane Fonda, Jay-Z and Sen. Ted Cruz's read-out of #standwithrand tweets. [WaPost]
-> Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee both voted against a small-measure gun control bill that would make it a felony to buy a gun for someone else. The legislation was brought before the Senate Judiciary Committee -- on which both of Utah's senators sit -- where it received little bipartisan support. [NYTimes]
-> On the heels of the House approving a funding bill that will keep the federal government running through the end of the fiscal year, President Barack Obama has begun a rare string of meetings with Republican lawmakers to figure out a "grand bargain." [WaPost]
Where are they?