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Chaffetz says enough is enough with sports adulation

WASHINGTON — After casting his share of votes honoring sports teams, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, says he is done.

The congressman has started voting "present," to signify that he is doing his job, but also to send a message that the three or four votes a week by the U.S. House of Representatives recognizing accomplishments of athletes is a waste of time.

"There are more important things that we ought to be doing," Chaffetz said Wednesday.

He acknowledges that he co-sponsored similar bills when he was new to the House. But that changed May 20 with a bill that came to the floor to recognize the University of Texas men's swimming and diving team.

"Enough is enough," he said. "This is not what the people of Utah sent me back to do."

Chaffetz said he would rather vote on the federal budget, but he's still awaiting Democratic leadership to bring the budget to the House.

And if adulation needs to be made, it should go to people making advances in science, medicine and technology, not sports, where recognition is plentiful, he said.

This story was reported from Salt Lake City.

— Joseph M. Dougherty