News roundup: Biden weighs possible 2016 White House bid
Biden weighs 2016 presidential bid. Meet the Swallow Nine. AG's office steps aside in Jenson case.
Happy Thursday. In an interview with GQ, Vice President Joe Biden doesn't say that he's running for the top job come 2016, but he doesn't try to quell the rumors, either. " we'll see where the hell I am," Biden tells the magazine after noting that he could die happy without being president but that he still may run. [HuffPost]
Topping the news: Meet the nine-member House committee that will investigate AG John Swallow. It's made up of five Republicans and four Democrats, will be led by second-year state Rep. V. Lowry Snow. [Trib] [DNews] [ABC4] [Herald] [UtahPolicy]
-> Swallow's office has agreed to step aside in prosecuting the criminal case against jailed businessman Marc Jenson, who has made accusations against Swallow. [Trib] [ABC4]
-> The Swallow scandal has caused state legislators to seriously consider imposing a cap on campaign donations in Utah. [Trib] [Fox13]
Tweet of the day: From @daveweigel: "If the House holds an Obamacare repeal vote and the press doesn't take it seriously, does it make a sound?"
Happy birthday: To The Tribune's intern extraordinaire, Isobel Markham.
In other news: The post-partisan No Labels group, co-chaired by former Republican presidential candidate and ex-Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, is unveiling its coalition of 81 members of Congress today, but critics are questioning what the group has actually managed to achieve. [Trib]
-> Sen. Orrin Hatch and Rep. Jim Matheson are fighting to repeal an Obamacare tax, due to come into effect in six months time, that they fear will hurt small businesses. [Trib]
-> The newly-named Utah Department of Veterans and Military Affairs has a new director: Gary Harter, the former commander of the U.S. Army's Dugway Proving Grounds. [Trib]
-> Roy City Police Chief Greg Whinham has resigned voluntarily amid reports of a probe into unspecified allegations against him. [Trib] [DNews] [Fox13]
-> The Utah Legislature repealed a bill that would limit BLM rangers and other federal employees from enforcing state laws. The bill had already been blocked by a primary injunction served by U.S. District Judge David Nuffer. [Trib] [DNews]
-> The UTA says it needs a larger share of sales tax to pay for service improvements it anticipates needing in the next 30 years. One legislator suggested the UTA raise the funds by cutting bonuses and salaries of its executives. [Trib]
-> Some Utah lawmakers believe that the state's ranches and ranges are overflowing with wild horses, and they are investigating whether slaughterhouses would be an effective solution to the problem. [Trib]
-> Just weeks after it reinvented itself as a non-profit, the Utah Clean Air Partnership is revamping once again as two key members of the leadership team announce they're stepping down. [Trib]
-> State Sen. Aaron Osmond's opinion that the state shouldn't force parents to send their child to school is being questioned by Utah educators, who argue that this is idea could create a "subclass of illiterates." [Trib] [Fox13]
-> More than 100 Utahns gathered at the state Capitol on Wednesday night to contest the Common Core, an education standards program, arguing that it takes the power away from parents and local educators. [Fox13]
Nationally: The House voted, generally along party lines, to delay by a year two critical parts of Obamacare, one requiring most citizens to have health insurance and the other requiring businesses with more than 50 full-time employees to provide coverage. [NYTimes] [WaPost] [Politico]
-> Mitt Romney's former campaign officials will meet up soon in Washington to raise money for a new super PAC that's challenging Democratic candidates. [Politico]
-> Abby Huntsman, daughter of former Republican presidential candidate and Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, will become the new co-host on MSNBC's The Cycle. [Politico]
-> A military judge is expected to decide today whether to job charges of "aiding the enemy" against Pfc. Bradley Manning, the Army intelligence analyst who leaked hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks. [NYTimes]
-> The Environmental Protection Agency's headquarters has been renamed the William Jefferson Clinton Federal Building in honor of the former president. The building is across the street from the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. [NYTimes] [WaPost]
-> There's growing bipartisan unrest in Congress over the NSA's domestic surveillance programs, with both Democrat and Republican lawmakers threatening not to renew the legislative authority that sanctioned the operations. [NYTimes] [WaPost]
-> A bipartisan group of senators has reached a deal on student loan interest rates which includes a cap and would see undergraduates paying interest at a rate of the Treasury note plus 2.05 percent. [NYTimes] [Politico]
Where are they?
Rep. Jason Chaffetz attends oversight hearings on the IRS and carbon policy and meets with an Eagle Forum Collegian.
Rep. Chris Stewart joins a breakfast to discuss U.S.-Russia relations, attends a Science, Space and Technology Committee markup on the NASA Authorization Act, interviews with KSVC Radio, joins an Environment subcommittee hearing, talks to KZNU Radio and has dinner with Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill.
SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams holds a Unified Police District board meeting, talks to Utah Housing Coalition Executive Director Tara Rollins, meets with Weber County Commissioner Matthew Bell and Sheriff Jim Winder and catches up with Deputy Mayor Nichole Dunn.
WVC Mayor Mike Winder welcomes country singer Kenny Chesney to West Valley City.
President Barack Obama speaks about how Obamacare is holding insurance companies accountable and participates in an ambassador credentialing ceremony in which he will receive the credentials from seven foreign ambassadors recently posted in Washington.
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Thomas Burr and Isobel MarkhamTwitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/i_markham