‘The Rundown’: Utah Republicans on board with earmarks

Your Wednesday morning Utah political cheat sheet

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Good Wednesday morning Utah, and happy Cinco de Mayo!

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Jill Biden visits Utah today

First Lady Jill Biden stops in Utah today to visit a vaccine clinic and an elementary school.

The Tribune’s Matt Canham sets the scene ahead of Biden’s stop here.

Follow The Tribune’s reporting team on Twitter or our homepage for complete coverage of the first lady’s visit:

Salt Lake Tribune - @sltrib

Tribune Politics - @SLTribPolitics

Matt Canham - @mattcanham

Courtney Tanner - @CourtneyLTanner

Leia Larsen - @LeiaLarsen

Becky Jacobs - @ruthyjacobs

Show me the money

This year, the U.S. House of Representatives moved to reinstate earmarks, which allows lawmakers to request funding for specific projects.

According to PBS Newshour’s Lisa Desjardins says 106 House Republicans and every House Democrat, save California’s Katie Porter, has made an earmark request in upcoming spending bills.

According to Desjardins’ list, all four of Utah’s House members have made some earmark requests to the appropriations committee.

Sens. Mike Lee and Mitt Romney have signed a letter vowing to uphold the Senate GOP’s ban on earmarks.

Here’s what you need to know for Wednesday morning

A months-old text message from newly-elected GOP chairman Carson Jorgensen is causing a ruckus in the Republican Party. The text message suggests Jorgensen is spoiling for a fight top elected Republicans, but he says things are being taken out of context [Tribune].

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall released her $350 million budget proposal for next year. The Tribune’s Leia Larsen breaks down what’s in the proposal, including more money for affordable housing and improving residents’ quality of life on the city’s west side [Tribune].

State health officials announced Tuesday night Utah had reached the benchmarks set by the Utah Legislature to lift all COVID-related restrictions ahead of the deadline [Tribune].

President Joe Biden says he wants 70% of adults in America to have at least one coronavirus shot by July 4 [CNBC].

Donald Trump discovers blogging. The former president announced with much fanfare he was launching a new communications platform, but it’s really just posting to his webpage [Fox News].

A federal judge accused the Justice Department of misleading her and Congress about the advice they received from top officials about whether former President Trump should have been charged with obstructing justice in the Russia investigation. The judge ordered the public release of a memo from former Attorney General Willam Barr on the subject [NYT].

House Republicans are set to dump Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney from her leadership spot as she continues to rip former President Trump for lying about the results of the 2020 election. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was caught on a hot microphone trashing Cheney saying, “I’ve had it with her” [Axios].

Sen. Mitt Romney is one of the few Republicans in Congress defending Cheney [Tribune].

New York’s Elise Stefanik is quickly becoming the favorite to replace Cheney [Politico].

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellin said interest rates might need to rise slightly to keep the economy from overheating, but she’s still not worried about inflation [Reuters].

Labor shortage! Montana will stop paying extra weekly unemployment benefits as many businesses in the state are struggling to find workers [ABC News].

Lawyers for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was convicted of murdering George Floyd, are asking for a new trial after a picture of a juror wearing a Black Lives Matter shirt surfaced [WaPo].

Cha-ching! Pfizer reported $3.5 billion in revenue last quarter. About a quarter of that came from its COVID-19 vaccine [NYT].

Pfizer says it will seek clearance for the use of its COVID vaccine on children as young as 2 in September [NYT].

You’re not imagining things. Your city is getting hotter. NOAA released new climate normals that reveal weather across the U.S. is warming up [CNN].

Wednesday’s Utah news roundup


  • Why this Salt Lake City group is making vegan, plant-based meals for the homeless [Tribune].

  • What may move in when Draper prison moves out? How about a central park and housing — lots of it? [Tribune].

  • Some residents nervous about a proposed RV resort that could put 500 units on 110 acres in Garden City [Herald Journal].

  • Incarcerated youth in Utah now getting college opportunity [Fox 13].

  • Republican leaders ask to examine Federal Government child trafficking efforts [ABC 4].


  • New Utah laws take effect Wednesday — what changes for you? [Deseret News].


  • How Utah women are deciding if they will be vaccinated against COVID-19 before giving birth [Tribune].

  • More than 1.3 million Utahns have gotten at least one COVID-19 shot [Tribune].

  • Watch: Pandemonium at Granite school board meeting over K-12 mask order [KUTV].

Local news

  • State defends Weber State in sexual harassment case, blames professor accused of misconduct [Standard-Examiner].

  • Summit County councilor worried about Park City’s plans for contaminated soils [Park Record].

  • Cache Valley restaurants struggle to find staff amid business boom [Herald Journal].

On the opinion page

  • Timothy Egan: Some statues tell lies. This one tells the truth [Tribune].

  • Pepper Trail: We blame the trees, but whose fault is it? [Tribune].

  • Patricia Sadoski: Now is the time to honor all nurses for their work through the pandemic [Tribune].

You say it’s your birthday?!!

Happy birthday to former state Rep. Brad Dee and Mark McGrath, Taylorsville Community Development Director.

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