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President Barack Obama, left, talks with Jay Leno during a commercial break during the taping of his appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
News roundup: Obama jokes that he has a classic romance with McCain

Romney rejects Lee's government shutdown threat. Obama and McCain a classic political romance. The Legislature's Swallow probe to take months.

Happy Wednesday. President Barack Obama returned to The Tonight Show with Jay Leno where he said the nation doesn't have a domestic spying program and that his relationship with Sen. John McCain is like "a classic romantic comedy … Initially you're not getting along and then you keep bumping into each other." [USAToday] [WaPost]

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Topping the news: In their first meeting on Tuesday, the special House committee investigating AG John Swallow settled in for the long haul. This inquiry, the first in Utah's history, could drag on into next year and cost up to $3 million. Legislative attorneys told the committee to expect to be sued. [Trib] [Fox13] [ABC4] [UtahPolicy] [DNews]

-> Mitt Romney is the latest big name Republican to criticize a plan pushed by Sen. Mike Lee to attempt to block any federal spending bill that funds Obamacare. Romney warned in a New Hampshire fundraiser that a potential government shutdown would hurt the GOP and not stop the health reform law. [FoxNews] [APviaCBS]

-> Lee made The Hill's "top 100 people to watch" because of his involvement in the drive to strip Obamacare funding. [TheHill]

-> Amidst criticism over high pay and bonuses for top execs, UTA is planning a pay cut for its part-time drivers. The labor union that represents the drivers is threatening to file a grievance if the authority goes ahead with the cut. [Trib]

Tweet of the day: From @thesidetrack: "If (when) I'm ever caught up in a possibly career ending scandal the only interview I'm doing is Doug Wright."

Congratulations: to the Trib's very own Thomas Burr, who was honored Tuesday night with the prestigious National Press Club’s Washington Regional Reporting Award for the third time in four years. [Trib]

In other news: Herriman Mayor Joshua Mills announced his resignation effective Saturday, saying new circumstances with his job at political consulting firm M&M Communications Group mean he no longer has enough time to fulfill his mayoral responsibilities. [Trib] [DNews]

-> Pat Bagley gives his take on the use of PEDs in Major League Baseball. [Trib]

-> Paul Rolly discusses the controversial choice of R&R Partners for the state Health Department's anti-tobacco advertising partner. Critics say R&R has a conflict of interest because it has worked to weaken an anti-smoking law in Nevada. [Trib]

-> Cuts to Valley Mental Health services have been capped at 730 consumers, less than half the 2,200 clients who were originally due to be transitioned to other providers. The transfer of a respite program to the county's managed care contractor Optum Health will save enough money to prevent further cuts. [Trib] [DNews]

-> Tooele City Council is considering banning e-cigarettes in public places over concerns they contain chemicals which could be harmful to those in the vicinity. [Trib]

-> The Jordan School Board has approved a bond resolution to raise $495 million to spend on new schools and renovation projects. Residents of the area, who would face an annual $240 property tax increase, are due to vote on the plan in November. [DNews]

-> The Salt Lake City School District voted for a tax increase, costing owners of a $250,000 home another $27 per year. The $3.2 million raised by the new tax would fund school programs and teacher raises. [Trib]

-> According to a new report released by the U.S. Department of Interior's Office of Policy Analysis, Utah is sixth in the nation for economic contributions generated by public lands. [DNews]

Nationally: Former President George W. Bush has undergone surgery to place a stent in a blocked artery in his heart. He is said to be recovering well. [WaPost] [Politico]

-> The White House has launched a new website to help business-owners navigate the Affordable Care Act. [WaPost]

-> Former President Bill Clinton explains why he decided to become a vegan and gives some insight into his new diet. [AARP]

-> In response to growing criticism that the GOP doesn't reflect the electorate, Republican groups are working to improve outreach to female potential congressional candidates. [NationalJournal]

-> Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., are leading an effort to the pressure on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to use the threat of a government shutdown to defund Obamacare. [TheHill]

-> In a speech in Phoenix, AZ on Tuesday Obama celebrated the extent of the housing market recovery thus far and stressed that there is still a way to go. [Politico] [WaPost] [NYTimes]

Where are they?

  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz attends a Real Salt Lake game.
  • Gov. Gary Herbert meets with the Governor's Economic Council, talks to Rocky Mountain Power's Rich Walje and Kevin Boardman and attends the Mansion Artist Series.
  • SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams attends a Wasatch Summit meeting and joins a Utah Association of Counties meeting.
  • SLC Mayor Ralph Becker attends a Wasatch Summit meeting and talks to officials about the new performing arts center.
  • President Barack Obama participates in a social media Q&A with Zillow, talks to troops and their families at Camp Pendleton in California and returns to D.C. in the evening.

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]

-- Matt Canham and Isobel Markham

Twitter.com/mattcanham and Twitter.com/i_markham

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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