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Utah lawmakers halt efforts to recall, censure Romney over Trump impeachment vote

Instead, they'll offer a resolution to thank Trump for all he's done for the state.
Image: Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, walks through a hallway at the state Capitol in Salt Lake City
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, walks through a hallway at the state Capitol in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020.Laura Seitz / AP

Utah lawmakers said Tuesday they won't consider proposals to censure or recall U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney following his vote to convict President Donald Trump at his impeachment trial.

Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson said the Republican caucus decided not to advance either proposal following a "robust debate" behind closed doors. Instead, Wilson will be present a citation thanking the president for his administration’s work on issues "critical to Utah."

The citation will also urge Congress to put the contentious process behind them.

Utah Senate leaders have already signaled support for that idea, but little appetite for publicly rebuking Romney.

Romney returned to Utah the day after his vote, which set off a wave of national GOP anger, to explain his decision to legislative leaders. That seemed to mollify some concerns from lawmakers, one of whom had introduced a resolution to publicly rebuke the Republican lawmaker and former presidential candidate.

A second, separate proposal didn't mention Romney but would have created a way to recall a sitting senator. It likely would have been unconstitutional if passed, experts said.

Support for Trump isn't as strong in Utah as in other conservative states, but Romney's vote to convict on the abuse of power article following an emotional speech did stir Republican anger.