House GOP meets on Swallow. IRS official: White House not involved. Hatch, Lee raise Obamacare in immigration debate.
Happy Wednesday. The Cincinatti IRS official at the center of the scandal over targeting tea party groups during the last election says he had no communications with the White House or even his bosses about pulling aside the groups he was concerned about. The top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released the full transcript of the official's interview after GOP Chairman Darrell Issa refused to do so. [WaPost] [HuffPost]
Topping the news: House Republicans meet today to decide how to handle the scandal surrounding AG John Swallow. [Trib]
-> House Majority Leader Brad Dee, R-Ogden, said that it is "highly likely" today's GOP caucus will lead to an investigation and possible impeachment. [DNews]
-> House Speaker Becky Lockhart, though, says such a decision may not come today. [UtahPolicy]
Tweet of the day: From @jasoninthehouse: "I want a pair of these Hairy 'Anti-Pervert Stockings' http://gawker.com/these-hairy-anti-pervert-stockings-are-big-in-china-514083632"
In other news: An "anti-corruption rally" is scheduled for today at the Utah Capitol Rotunda where the liberal-leaning Alliance for a Better Utah will protest against Swallow. [Trib]
-> Utah gun-lobbyist Clark Aposhian, who was stripped of his weapons after he was charged with domestic violence, is seeking restoration of his right to own firearms. [Trib] [Fox13]
-> Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee make their voices heard on Obamacare and its relationship to the proposed immigration reform bill. [Trib]
-> Meanwhile, Lee says immigration reform supporters must get 70 votes for their legislation in the Senate or its bust in the House. [TheHill]
-> For a bit of good news, the state learned that it will end its fiscal year with a $200 million surplus. [UtahPolicy]
-> Concerned that the deal might short-change residents, Gov. Gary Herbert reaffirms his decision not to sign an agreement with Nevada for sharing groundwater under the Snake Valley, although he's not ruling out further negotiation. [Trib] [DNews]
-> The Salt Lake City Council voted in favor of an $8 million property tax increase, the majority of which will go toward the Capital Improvements Budget, which maintain the city's streets, parks and public transit. [Trib]
-> Weber County residents are getting the most out of their public library, with use at an all-time high. But to carry out much-needed upgrades and expansion, voters will have to agree to a property tax hike. [Trib]
-> Environmental group Western Resource Advocates presents PacifiCorp with a two-pronged plan to save money and cut pollution at its Bridger power plant in Wyoming, which sends most of its electricity to Utah. [Trib]
-> He wasn't an elected leader but many folks saw him as the unofficial mayor of Sugar House. Bob Evans died last week after a bout with cancer. [Trib]
-> Paul Rolly notes vandalism to a school bus on the Jordan District was caused by a school board member. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley's guest Matt Wuerker gives his take on the GOP's publicity tactics toward President Barack Obama. [Trib]
Nationally: According to the Congressional Budget Office, the proposed immigration bill would cut the federal budget deficit by almost $1 trillion in the first two decades, showing that the benefits outweigh the costs. [Politico] [NYTimes]
-> A new obstacle to the immigration bill arose Tuesday when Speaker John A. Boehner announced that he won't bring an immigration measure to the floor unless it has the support of the majority of House Republicans. [NYTimes]
-> NSA chief, Gen. Keith Alexander, told the House Intelligence Committee that government-sanctioned surveillance programs have helped thwart move than 50 potential terrorist plots. [NYTimes] [WaPost] [Politico]
-> Google has asked that a gag order preventing it from speaking out about data requests it's received be loosened in an attempt to reassure users that their privacy is being protected. [WaPost]
-> In a vote that was split almost completely down party lines, the House approved a ban on most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. [WaPost] [Politico]
-> Vice President Joe Biden returned to the issue of gun control on Tuesday, saying he's optimistic that Congress will pass gun safety measures. [WaPost] [Politico] [NYTimes]
Where are they?
Rep. Rob Bishop meets with Emery County Commissioner Ethan Migliori and economic development director Mike McCandless, talks to representatives from Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield and attends the weekly Republican Study Committee meeting.
Rep. Chris Stewart attends a Space Subcommittee hearing, speaks at the E15 Fuel for Thought rally, meets with high-schoolers from Koosharem and attends the National Association of Manufacturers reception.
SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams speaks at the Salt Lake County Fiscal Conference and the Clear the Air Challenge, tours the Union Pacific intermodal facility, offers remarks at a seminar at the Hinckley Institute, meets with state Senate President Wayne Neiderhauser and addresses the National Association of Women Business Owners at its annual awards banquet.
SLC Mayor Ralph Becker attends the Clear the Air Challenge kick off, joins SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams on a tour of the Union Pacific intermodal facility and opens his doors to constituents.
President Barack Obama meets with German President Joachim Gauck at Bellevue Palace in Berlin, has a one-on-one meeting and lunch with Chancellor Angela Merkel, speaks at the Brandenburg Gate, talks to Peer Steinbrueck of the Social Democratic Party and has dinner with Merkel before heading back to D.C. with his family.
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Thomas Burr and Isobel MarkhamTwitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/i_markham