Poll shows strong Utah backing for immigration reform. Hatch worries Dems will 'stiff' him on immigration amendments. Swallow: I have nothing to hide.
Happy Thursday. Exclusive numbers for you this morning showing a strong majority of Utahns back comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship. The poll shows:
-> 71% strongly or somewhat support bipartisan immigration reform being debated in Washington;
-> 74% strongly or somewhat support a bill with a path to citizenship;
-> 64% say they're more likely to vote for an elected official who supports comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship;
-> And 90% said it was very or somewhat important that America fix it's immigration system this year.
The poll's sponsors -- the Alliance for Citizenship, Partnership for a New American Economy and Republicans for Immigration Reform -- back the immigration reform proposal in the Senate.
Topping the news: Sen. Orrin Hatch, concerned that Democrats may attempt to pass an immigration reform bill with the fewest number of votes necessary, warns that he won't take kindly to them breaking their word to work with him on amendments. [Trib]
Tweets of the day: From @RepTimGriffin: "What would [Ben] Franklin say about govt tracking innocent Americans' phone calls?"
Happy birthday: To state Rep. Jennifer Seelig.
In other news: Rep. Chris Stewart fears the Environmental Protection Agency's plan to lower the acceptable ozone standard to 60 parts per billion will be giving Utah counties a challenge that is impossible to meet, leaving them open to harsh economic sanctions and construction restrictions. [Trib]
-> Utah's Air Quality Board votes 5-0 to embrace the EPA's clean-car proposal, which would come into effect in 2017. [Trib]
-> Alta Mayor Tom Pollard faces no opposition in his quest for re-election in this fall's municipal election. [Trib]
-> Peg McEntee says that if you need to find justification for higher property taxes you need only look at the state of SLC's roads. [Trib]
-> Until the Senate votes on immigration reform, young Utah immigrants are staging a nightly vigil on the plaza of the Salt Lake City federal building to urge Sen. Orrin Hatch to support reunification of families, the DREAM act and an accessible and straightforward path to citizenship. [Trib]
-> Utility regulators in Utah hold the fate of potential green energy plans in their hands as they deliberate how much they think is a fair price for renewable energy and power. [Trib]
-> About 40 people staked out the Utah Capitol on Wednesday to protest the NSA surveillance programs and to demand greater oversight of how government agencies will use the new Utah Data Center. [Trib]
-> Bob Bernick discusses what kind of nomination system Utahns may want, including the California one that may mean two Democrats or two Republicans face off in the general election. [UtahPolicy]
Nationally: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he isn't willing to allow amendments to the immigration reform bill that would require tighter border security measures simply to placate potential GOP voters. [Politico]
-> Gang of Eight senators want President Barack Obama to stay on the sidelines of the immigration reform debate to ensure he doesn't scare off any Republicans. [TheHill]
-> The revelations that the NSA has been secretly gathering data on the phone calls of American citizens calls into question previous denials from National Intelligence Director James Clapper Jr. [NYTimes] [WaPost]
-> Libertarians aside, the political establishment is united in labeling the actions of NSA leaker Edward Snowden as dangerous and calling for his prosecution. [Politico]
-> Snowden gave an interview to South China Morning Post, claiming that the U.S. has been targeting China with huge hacking operations since 2009. [WaPost]
-> Even senior government officials are feeling the chill of austerity. The Obama administration has decided to do away with their bonuses this year. [WaPost]
-> In a startling failure to learn from other Republicans' mistakes, Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., makes a blunder before the House Judiciary Committee, saying that the chance of rape resulting in pregnancy is "very low." [Politico]
-> Budget talks reach a familiar impasse as Democrats want to focus on solving the U.S. debt crisis in the short term while Republicans would prefer to play the long game. [WaPost]
Where are they?