Today’s edition of quick hits:
* The final vote on this was 97 to 2: “The Senate passed a bill Tuesday to ensure a fund to compensate victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks never runs out of money – and that first responders won’t have to return to Congress to plead for more funding. The vote came after intense lobbying from ailing 9/11 first responders – including one who died shortly after testifying before Congress last month.”
* Best of luck to the new prime minister: “Boris Johnson faces perhaps the most daunting immediate challenge of any incoming British prime minister since Winston Churchill during World War II.”
* Some 11th-hour drama: “One of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s longtime aides will appear alongside him during his highly-anticipated testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, a spokesperson said Tuesday, but is not expected to be sworn in.”
* Cesar Sayoc: “The man who mailed pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and supporters of liberal causes before the 2018 midterms is a steroid-addicted sexual abuse survivor who ‘found light in Donald J. Trump,’ federal defenders representing him say.” Their memo also pointed Sayoc being influenced by Fox News.
* 35 doesn’t sound like a lot: “More than 2,000 migrants who were in the United States illegally were targeted in widely publicized raids that unfolded across the country last week. But figures the government provided to The New York Times on Monday show that just 35 people were detained in the operation.”
* EPA: “The Environmental Protection Agency’s inspector general will investigate allegations that William L. Wehrum, the agency’s former air quality chief, violated ethics rules when he met with former clients from his days as a lawyer and lobbyist for the oil, gas and coal industries.”
* No good can come of this: “President Donald Trump recently spoke to top House Intelligence Republican Devin Nunes about replacements for the country’s intelligence chief – the latest sign that Dan Coats’ tenure may be short-lived.”
* The so-called “Medicare Extra” plan gets interesting scrutiny: “A plan by liberal think tank Center for American Progress to offer Americans a choice between Medicare or private insurance would cost $2.8 trillion over 10 years and cover 35 million people who would otherwise go uninsured, according to an outside analysis commissioned by the organization.”
* I have real concerns about this commission: “Prominent human rights organizations, presidential candidates, Democratic senators and religious leaders are sounding the alarm over the Trump administration’s new Commission on Unalienable Rights. A trio of letters sent Tuesday to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and obtained by NBC News, accuse the State Department of sidelining rights of women and the LGBTQ community in favor of religious liberty.”
* Investing in low-income kids sounds like a good idea: “When the Safety Net Pays for Itself: A new study finds government programs for adults often lead to more government spending, but programs for low-income children return taxpayer dollars over time.”
* There’s no excuse for Republican opposition to Medicaid expansion: “A nationwide Medicaid expansion would have prevented more than 15,000 deaths, according to a new analysis published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.