News roundup: Nonbeliever adds to religious diversity of Congress; Hatch concerned about Hagel
Hatch concerned about Hagel. More religious diversity in Congress. EnergySolutions sold to a N.J. company.
Happy Tuesday. Mormons make up seven percent of the more religiously diverse Congress and for the first time there is a Hindu and a member who described her religion as "none." The percentage of Protestant members of Congress has dropped to 56 percent. [Inquirer]
Topping the news: Sen. Orrin Hatch, like many Republicans, expressed concern about President Barack Obama's selection of former Sen. Chuck Hagel to lead the Department of Defense, specifically over Hagel's past comments on Israel, Iran and the U.S. nuclear program. Sen. Mike Lee, a member of the Armed Services Committee, was more circumspect. [Trib]
-> Hagel's nomination could lead to a major confirmation fight, while Obama's appointment of John Brennan for CIA director also may face some obstacles. [NYTimes] [WaPost] [FoxNews]
-> Hagel gives an interview to a Nebraska paper and says his record is being distorted. [JournalStar]
Tweets of the day: From @DeidreHenderson: "No security checks on the way into the Capitol this morning. A rare situation anymore. Can't even get into Disneyland w/o bag check."
Happy birthday: to Utah ex-pats Lauren Buchman and Ashley Diana, and to the Denver Post's Allison Sherry.
In other news: Gov. Gary Herbert takes the oath for a third time and tells Utahns who are still struggling financially: "Have courage. Have faith." [Trib] [DNews] [ABC4] [Fox13] [UtahPolicy]
-> Take a look at our photo gallery of Utah's governors from 1850 to now. [Trib]
-> Salt Lake County's new mayor, Ben McAdams, promises to work with all of the diverse populations within his jurisdiction. [Trib]
-> Jon Huntsman Jr. says he wants to wait at least another year before deciding if he'll make another run for the White House. [DNews]
-> Obama has four open slots on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, including one that will represent Utah. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley takes aim at NRA front man Wayne LaPierre. [Trib]
-> A New Jersey company buys EnergySolutions for $1.1 billion, but some say company leaders could have got more. [Trib] [DNews] [ABC4] [Fox13]
-> The group pushing a ballot initiative to change Utah's caucus system is putting their effort on hold to accomodate other people interested in getting involved. [Trib] [DNews] [Herald]
-> Blogger Glenn Reynolds creator of Instapundit called out the Utah County Republican Party for intolerance, after he was uninvited to speak at their annual Lincoln Day dinner. Party leaders say it was simply a misunderstanding. [Herald] [UtahPolicy]
-> The Goshute Tribe's attempt to create a nuclear rod storage facility meets its final demise, a political non-starter in Utah. [Trib]
-> Saratoga Springs faces a lawsuit alleging two City Council members held an unauthorized meeting that could have impacted a significant zoning change. [Trib]
-> Spring City, Utah is working on a resolution encouraging its 1,000 residents to own a gun and participate in gun training. [DNews]
Nationally: Former Rep. Gabby Giffords, who was shot in the head in an attack by a mentally disturbed person, is creating a gun control organization in an attempt to counter the NRA's influence on the issue. [APviaCBS]
-> Last year, the Obama administration spent more on enforcing immigration laws $18 billion than all other major law enforcement initiatives combined. [NYTimes]
-> Getting to make the First Lady's inaugural gown is the dream of every dress maker, but it doesn't always work out so well. [WaPost]
Where are they?
Utah Governor Gary Herbert meets with his economic team, his lieutenant governor and then with the Sports Commission.
SLC Mayor Ralph Becker has breakfast with City Council members and state lawmakers from Salt Lake. He later attends a performing arts center meeting.
WVC Mayor Mike Winder meets with Rep. Jim Matheson, then goes to the Economic Development Corp. of Utah meeting before attending the City Council meeting.
President Barack Obama meets with outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you haven't already, sign up for our weekday email and get this sent directly to your inbox. [Trib]
Matt Canham Twitter.com/mattcanham