Stewart to Natural Resources, possibly Homeland Security. State auditor-elect to keep most staffers. UTA spends big bucks on lobbyists.
Happy Wednesday. Rep. Jason Chaffetz has a new office, and well, a new home. Chaffetz has abandoned his Longworth space for new digs at 2464 Rayburn. The congressman says it's 40 percent bigger than his old space, large enough, perhaps, that he could get a double cot to replace the one he's been bedding down on for four years now. The new office, sadly, is a little further from the House gym where he goes to get ready in the morning.
-> Meanwhile, Sens. Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch joined the Senate's annual Secret Santa exchange, with Lee offering Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., a Batman snuggie. [Trib]
Topping the news: Rep.-elect Chris Stewart lands a spot on the House Natural Resources Committee and is expected to hop onto the Homeland Security and the Science, Space and Technology committees, too. [Trib]
-> Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid blames House Speaker John Boehner and his team for the fiscal cliff deal's potential post-Christmas delay. [Politico]
Tweetsof the day: From @j_strong: "just heard 'fiscal cliff' used as a verb on CNN #ugh"
In other news: UTA's new FrontRunner extension suffered from "growing pains" during its first few days of operation. [Trib]
-> Utah's auditor-elect John Dougal will keep 29 of the 38 staffers who requested to stay on. [Trib]
-> Several state societies and other groups in Washington are throwing inaugural balls but Utah is not in the mix. Anyone wonder if that might have been different if Mitt Romney had won? [Washingtonian]
-> Environmental groups protest a plan by the Bureau of Land Management to devote some 800,000 acres of land for oil shale and tar sand development. [Trib]
-> On Saturday, Utahns will celebrate the completion of two massive road projects. [Trib]
-> SL County Mayor Peter Corroon reflects back on the highs and lows of his eight years in office. [KSL]
-> Pat Bagley offers his take on Dixie State College's name controversy. [Trib]
-> The SL Chamber's Natalie Gochnour suggests how you can help out those in need in Utah this holiday season and beyond. [UtahBusiness]
-> Paul Rolly weighs in on lobbyist discrepancies and questionable lauding. [Trib]
-> The SL Council passes a resolution that says immigrations should be treated with respect and dignity -- no matter their legal status. [Trib]
-> A consortium of conservation groups and Snake Valley residents say a Utah-Nevada pact on water sharing is a raw deal and Gov. Gary Herbert should renegotiate it. [Trib]
Where are they?
-- Thomas Burr and Betsy Blanchard
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