utah

John Curtis Wins GOP Primary for Chaffetz’s Seat in Utah
Provo mayor had been attacked for his Democratic past

Utah Republican John Curtis won the 3rd District Republican primary on Tuesday. (Courtesy John Curtis Facebook page)

Provo Mayor John Curtis has won the Republican primary to replace former Rep. Jason Chaffetz in Utah’s 3rd District.

With 91 percent of precincts reporting, Curtis had 41 percent of the vote, The Associated Press reported. The other two contenders, former state Rep. Chris Herrod and businessman Tanner Ainge, trailed with 31 percent and 28 percent, respectively. 

Tight Race for Chaffetz’s Utah Seat Due to Outside Spending
Three GOP candidates face off in Tuesday’s primary

Former Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz vacated his House seat in June, triggering a special election in the 3rd District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Republican primary to fill former Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s seat has tightened in the final days before the Tuesday election, thanks to buckets of outside money being poured into the race.

The primary is “certainly not a race [where] I would want to bet the farm on who was going to win,” veteran Utah GOP consultant Dave Hansen said.

Chaffetz to Become Harvard Institute of Politics Fellow
Former House Oversight chairman is now Fox News contributor

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, will join the Harvard Institute of Politics as a fall fellow. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz will join the Harvard Institute of Politics as a fellow this coming fall.

Chaffetz resigned at the end of June after three terms in the House and signed on as a Fox News contributor.

Opinion: Why HELP Could Be on the Way for Obamacare Recipients
Hopeful signs of bipartisan consensus on fixing health care markets

Senate HELP Committee leaders Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray could help spear bipartisan consensus in Congress for a short-term fix for Americans struggling to afford health insurance, Murphy writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Lamar Alexander had barely announced his plans to hold hearings next month on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on stabilizing the insurance markets for Obamacare when the idea started getting panned.

Keep in mind there are no specific hearings scheduled yet, no witnesses, no bill written, and few parameters of what is on or off the table. Alexander, the committee chairman, has only said that he wants a final product to be “small, bipartisan, and balanced,” but he hasn’t said what that means, other than flexibility for states and short-term triage for the exchanges.

CBO Would Disclose Research Models, Data Under Lee Measure
Utah Republican latest to target Congress’ budget scorekeeper

Utah Sen. Mike Lee wants the CBO to ‘show how its models work.’ (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The hits keep coming for the Congressional Budget Office, as Republicans in Congress continue to lash out against the nonpartisan scorekeeper following its unflattering analysis of recent GOP health care proposals.

Republican lawmakers and White House officials in recent months have accused the CBO of partisan bias; called for slashing its budget; singled out individual employees; and suggested the agency is now obsolete.

Palin Endorses Ainge in Chaffetz Seat Primary
Former basketball player endorses former basketball player’s son

Sarah Palin said she was impressed that Tanner Ainge wasn’t a career politician and said he was a “smart businessman.” (Tanner Ainge for Congress)

Former Alaska Gov. and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin got involved in the race to fill Jason Chaffetz’s Utah congressional seat Thursday, endorsing Tanner Ainge in the Republican primary.

Ainge has a law degree and has worked for private equity companies, but has not held elected office. Palin said she was impressed that he “isn’t a career politician!” and described him as a “sharp businessman.”

Bipartisan Health Care Work Taking Shape in Senate
Finance, HELP committees plan hearings after recess

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, right, and ranking member Ron Wyden of Oregon will preside over health care hearings in September. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate Finance Committee is set to hold September hearings on proposals for overhauling federal health care policies, including a plan for reauthorizing a program that serves about 5.7 million children, according to Chairman Orrin G. Hatch announced Thursday.

The Finance panel is taking the same approach as the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, which also announced plans for bipartisan work after Republicans failed last week to advance a partisan measure to roll back much of the Democrats’ 2010 health care law. The HELP Committee plans to hold hearings the first week of September, after returning from the August recess.

HOH’s Summer Reading List
There’s something for everyone in these six books

Clockwise from top left, books by Utah Sen. Mike Lee, Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, the Library of Congress, Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, reporter Joshua Green and Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse make HOH’s summer reading list. (Courtesy Penguin Random House (Lee, Flake and Green), Hachette Book Group (Franken), Library of Congress, and Macmillan Publishers (Sasse))

Recess is one of the few times when Washingtonians can really settle into a good book.

Whether you’re taking time off or just have a quiet office this month, here is HOH’s list of new books for the D.C. congressional nerd to check out this summer.

Opinion: Forget the Moderates, Only the Die-Hards Can Get Health Care Back on Track
Kennedy and Hatch a great example of working across the aisle

Sens. Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, left, and Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts at a 1997 press conference introducing the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If the failure of health care reform taught us anything last week, it’s that somebody somewhere in Washington is going to have to start compromising if anything is ever going to get done.

But if you’re thinking a successful compromise is going to come from moderates like Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, or Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., think again. Although those senators’ roles will be important, all of the moderates from both parties together still don’t have enough votes to pass legislation.

Senate Looks Ahead to Tax, Debt Limit Debates After Recess
McConnell predicts reconciliation process for tax overhaul

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell met Tuesday with Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on raising the debt limit. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

By NIELS LESNIEWSKI and JOE WILLIAMS

Tuesday might not be the last time the Senate leaders address reporters before departing for August recess, but their messages were already setting the stage for September.