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(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) Sen. Mike Lee is likely to lead opposition in the Senate against a resolution authorizing the president to order missile strikes in Syria.
News roundup: Pundit suggests a Rand Paul/Mike Lee ticket

Pundit: How about a Paul/Lee ticket. Shurtleff signs controversial settlement. New Congress starts today.

Happy Thursday. After Sen. Mike Lee of Utah voted against the fiscal cliff deal, a pundit on The Hill newspaper's blog suggests a Rand Paul/Mike Lee presidential ticket in 2016: "Paul and Lee have added strength, maturity and character to the Senate since assuming office in 2011. They and they alone in the Senate have brought the Tea Party's passionate rants to responsible and effectively engaged government. We start again with them. Both should have their eyes on the Oval Office in 2016." [TheHill]

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-> Meanwhile, today marks the start of the 113th Congress and The Salt Lake Tribune's Washington bureau will be there to bring you all the gory details. Check back at sltrib.com later today for a look at newly-minted Rep. Chris Stewart as well as Sen. Orrin Hatch's arrival as the most senior Republican in the Senate.

Topping the news: In his final hours in office, AG Mark Shurtleff signed papers to settle a lawsuit with Bank of America, a new client of the law firm he'll be joining. [Trib]

-> A great read in National Journal looking at the inside of how the fiscal cliff deal came down and almost didn't happen. [NJ]

Tweets of the day: From @Mollyesque: "Huh, he misspelled "Boehner." RT @GovChristie: 10s of thousands of New Jerseyans entered 2013 unsure of their future bc of Sandy."

From @HuntsmanAbby: "Gonna go ahead and rule out a Christie/Boehner ticket in 2016..."

In other news: Alyson Heyrend, Rep. Jim Matheson's longtime spokeswoman, is leaving to take a job with incoming SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams. [Trib]

-> Former Sen. Bob Bennett will be registering as a lobbyist today, two years since he left office. "I get out of jail tomorrow," he joked about the lobbying ban he's been under. [CRP] [HuffPost]

-> Pat Bagley suggests how the fiscal cliff vote really went down. [Trib]

-> Peg McEntee praises Sen. Orrin Hatch for his vote for the fiscal cliff deal and hopes that he continues to look statesmanlike. [Trib]

-> The federal government announced a rule change Wednesday that will allow illegal immigrants with family in the U.S. to start the process of becoming citizens. [Trib]

Where are they?

  • Utah Governor Gary Herbert meets with former Rep. Jim Hansen and sits down with staff to discuss his coming inaugural address.
  • SLC Mayor Ralph Becker holds a breakfast with women community leaders, gets a briefing on the performing arts center, heads to the Salt Lake Council of Governments and hits the State of the City meeting.
  • WVC Mayor Mike Winder meets with planning groups at UTA's headquarters and attends the Council of Governments meeting.
  • President Barack Obama is in Hawaii with no public events scheduled.

Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at cornflakes@sltrib.com. If you haven't already, sign up for our weekday email and get this sent directly to your inbox. [Trib]

-- Thomas Burr

Twitter.com/thomaswburr



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