Good Wednesday morning. Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today.
• Television crews have been positioned outside the offices of the special counsel and the federal courthouse. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are desperate for hints. Publishing houses are scrambling to produce instant books of the findings. Newspapers are deploying small armies of reporters. The special counsel’s report has Washington spinning, and it hasn’t even been filed yet.
• In declaring that impeaching President Trump is “just not worth it” without waiting for the evidence from the special counsel, Speaker Nancy Pelosi may be setting a far-reaching precedent that will empower presidents for decades to come.
• The Trump administration’s annual budget proposal envisioned a series of cuts that contrasted with the president’s own words of support for both programs and people — including some groups that make up his political base.
• Former Vice President Joe Biden moved even closer to entering the presidential race, telling a gathering of firefighters who serenaded him with chants of “Run Joe Run” that he was on the verge of announcing his campaign.
• As the Democratic field has moved to the left, grass-roots organizers see openings to push more niche issues like reparations, court-packing and eliminating the filibuster.
• Women say a culture of harassment, discrimination and exclusion lives inside the Veterans Affairs medical system as they try to use the government benefits they earned with military service.
• Senate Republicans introduced a measure to curtail future presidential emergency declarations in a last-ditch attempt to head off an embarrassing rebuke of Mr. Trump by his own party.
• The Senate will vote later today to cut off military aid for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, in another rejection of the president’s defense of the kingdom over the killing of a dissident journalist.
• The United States is withdrawing all remaining diplomatic personnel from its embassy in Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, because of worsening conditions in the country. The withdrawal is a blow to Mr. Trump, who had resisted President Nicolás Maduro’s order for all American diplomats to leave.
• Two weeks of talks between the United States and the Taliban ended Tuesday without a breakthrough. But two American officials said they were close to a final agreement on one crucial element of a framework for ending the long war: a Taliban promise to not allow terrorist attacks from Afghanistan.
• The Trump administration plans to close many of its immigration operations abroad, cutting back on a crucial support system for those who wish to come to the United States.
Today’s On Politics briefing was compiled by Isabella Grullón Paz in New York.
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