Kid Rock: Embarrassed by the GOP. Senate approves new Interior secretary. Hatch enjoys White House dinner.
Happy Thursday. Kid Rock was a big-time Mitt Romney supporter in the last election, showing up across the nation to perform at the Republican nominee's events and rallying support for the GOP. But, now, the rocker says he's embarrassed that the Republicans have passed laws that prevent his plans to cap ticket prices to his shows at $20 and a host of other things. [Salon] (Warning: Strong language involved)
Topping the news: Sen. Mike Lee says the Senate Judiciary Committee is moving too fast by holding a hearing on an immigration bill that isn't even written yet. [Trib]
By a vote of 87-11, the Senate confirmed REI chief Sally Jewell as Interior Secretary, replacing outgoing Secretary Ken Salazar. While Sen. Orrin Hatch voted for Jewell's confirmation, Lee voted against. [Trib] [WaPost] [Politico]
-> Without giving away any details, Sen. Orrin Hatch says he enjoyed dining at the White House and discussing guns, immigration and the national debt with the president and other Senate Republicans. [Trib]
Tweet of the day: From @KimJongNumberUn: "Missile was supposed to launch by now but it was running on Windows 8." (Please note: This is not the real Kim Jong Un)
In other news: The White House budget plans to slow construction on a major pipeline that would funnel water to the Wasatch Front from the Colorado River, although Interior Secretary Ken Salazar promised to finish the project eventually. [Trib]
-> See what Utahns said about President Barack Obama's budget. [Trib]
-> House lawmakers passed a bill sponsored by Rep. Jason Chaffetz that allows private developers to build hydropower systems on parts of the project that moves water from the Strawberry Reservoir to Salt Lake and Utah counties. [Herald]
-> UTA rolled out a sneak peek of its new Airport TRAX line, which is set to open on Sunday, ferrying riders on six miles of track between downtown Salt Lake City and the airport. [Trib] [DNews] [Fox13] [ABC4]
-> Speaking of the UTA, the agency also says it's considering getting rid of its police force in hopes of cutting costs. [Trib]
-> Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams says he wants to be one of Gov. Gary Herbert's six nominees to an 11-person prison relocation board, to give county taxpayers a voice in the discussion. [Trib]
-> Lawmakers have set an April 19 deadline to decide whether to go ahead with an override session to overturn Gov. Gary Herbert's veto of a bill that would allow gun owners to conceal and carry without a permit. [DNews]
-> Utah Policy's Bryan Schott talks with Herbert about his veto of the Snake Valley pipeline and other pressing issues. [UtahPolicy]
-> In his final months as chairman of the Utah Republican Party, Thomas Wright is pushing for a change in the party's nominating system. [Trib] [UtahPolicy]
-> Pat Bagley offers his take on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner's path forward on immigration. [Trib]
-> Box Elder commissioners are rolling out a sage grouse protection plan - the first of its kind - that includes fire prevention, keeping cheat grass at bay and eliminating ravens.[Trib]
-> An environmental group is suing federal pipeline regulators for failing to do surprise testing, which the group says would have prevented breaches like last month's rupture that spilled 21,000 gallons of diesel fuel near the Bear River Migratory Bird refuge. [Trib]
-> Provo city leaders unveiled additions to a new capital improvement project list, which includes a massive $1.36 million seismic overhaul for the city center. [Herald]
-> Embattled Utah businessman Jeremy Johnson plead not guilty to 86 counts of fraud and money laundering. [Herald] [DNews]
-> Peg McEntee says she supports Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce head Lane Beattie in criticizing Utah's senators for not acting on immigration reform. [Trib]
-> The Wall Street Journal editorial page blasts Sens. Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, R-Tex., for turning the gun debate into a political plus for Democrats with their filibuster plan, referring to Lee and Cruz sneeringly as "GOP wizards" who are painting Republicans into a "political box canyon." [WSJ]
-> Herbert and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell are visiting California on a mission to export jobs to their respective states. [sfexaminer]
Nationally: Sens. Pat Toomey, R-Pa. and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. unveiled a bipartisan gun control deal that would close the "gun show loophole" - requiring that gun sellers conduct background checks on all sales, including online purchases. With Toomey's backing, the legislation may have enough Republican support to push past the 60 votes required to bring the bill to a floor debate. [Politico] [WaPost] [NYTimes] [APviaTrib]
-> A plan to end Saturday mail delivery by the Postal Service was scrapped, saying that a new stopgap measure to keep the federal government afloat through the fiscal year requires six days of mail delivery per week. [WaPost] [NYTimes] [APviaTrib]
Where are they?
Rep. Rob Bishop meets with representatives from the Utah Association of Independent Agents, chairs a Public Lands and Environmental subcommittee hearing, hits an Armed Services committee hearing, meets with officials from the Utah Pork Producers and the Association of Energy Service Companies.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz hits an Aspen Institute breakfast and a National Republican Congressional Committee meeting, meets with Nutraceutical Corporation, meets with regional forester Nora Rasure and meets with representatives from Travel Association.
Rep. Jim Matheson has a No Labels Problem Solvers meeting and meets with representatives of Utah Professional Insurance Agents.
Gov. Gary Herbert hits a Microsoft store grand opening at City Creek Mall, attends an economic summit and travels to California.
SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams has a United Way board meeting, cuts the ribbon at the opening of Momentum Recycling, meets with Francine Giani and Tom Brady of the Utah Department of Commerce and visits after-school programs in Kearns and Magna.
SLC Mayor Ralph Becker is in St. George for the Utah League of Cities and Towns mid-year conference.
WVC Mayor Mike Winder is also in St. George for the Utah League of Cities and Towns mid-year conference.
President Barack Obama meets with members of the Financial Services Forum, has a conference call with local elected officials to discuss youth employment, awards the Medal of Honor to Chaplain Emil J. Kapaun and meets with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
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Thomas Burr and Emily AndrewsTwitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/emilytandrews