Thursday’s Mini-Report, 6.29.17

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* GOP leaders still want to wrap up a deal by tomorrow: “As negotiations continue on a new version of the Senate Republican health care bill, there is growing movement towards preserving some taxes on wealthy Americans, a decision that could anger some conservatives but appease moderates in the search for a compromise.”

* The first decade is bad, the second is worse: “[A] new Congressional Budget Office estimate Thursday [found] that the Republican plan to change how Medicaid payments are calculated starting in 2025 would lead to significantly deeper reductions in its second decade than at the end of the first decade.”

* Oh, to be a fly on the wall for this one: “President Trump will meet next week with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, the White House national security adviser said on Thursday, announcing highly anticipated talks that come amid escalating tensions over Moscow’s interference in the 2016 election and a series of investigations into whether Mr. Trump’s associates colluded with Russia.”

* If Mike Pence’s chief of staff quit after five months on the job, I’d love to know why: “Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff will depart the White House in the coming weeks and will be replaced by a long-serving aide, in the first major staff change of his office, officials said on Thursday.”

* All is not well in the administration: “Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s frustrations with the White House have been building for months. Last Friday, they exploded. The normally laconic Texan unloaded on Johnny DeStefano, the head of the presidential personnel office, for torpedoing proposed nominees to senior State Department posts and for questioning his judgment.”

* The Vatican: “Pope Francis’ top financial adviser Cardinal George Pell was charged Thursday with multiple sex crimes – becoming the highest-ranking Vatican official to be charged with abuse.”

* Worthy scrutiny: “President Trump’s nominee for general counsel of the Transportation Department, Steven G. Bradbury, is coming under fire by Democrats and human rights advocates for his role in providing legal blessing for waterboarding and other torture techniques used by the Central Intelligence Agency on terrorism suspects during the administration of George W. Bush.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Thursday's Mini-Report, 6.29.17