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Despite promised action by Republicans when they won the Senate, gridlock continues on Capitol Hill. But it's not just partisanship as usual. Divisions within the GOP have slowed routine government business — and may delay enactment of the federal budget.

Also, Israel has been spying on Iran nuclear negotiations, and as Yemen gets closer to civil war, US forces have withdrawn — leaving behind expensive equipment and a crucial intelligence network. 

Photo: (L-R) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio (Speaker John Boehner

Israel Spied on Iran Nuclear Negotiations 6 MIN, 17 SEC

Six-party talks on Iran's nuclear program have been happening behind closed doors but, since the beginning, Israel has been spying on the conversations — and feeding the information to members of Congress to sour them on the deal. That's according to an exclusive report in today's Wall Street Journal. The reporter is Adam Entous in Jerusalem.

Shortly before Prime Minister Netanyahu's address to a meeting of Congress, Secretary of State John Kerry issued a kind of warning. "We are concerned by reports that suggest selective details of the ongoing negotiations will be discussed publically in the coming days. I want to say clearly that doing so would make it more difficult to reach the goal that Israel and others say they share."

Adam Entous, Washington Post (@adamentous)

Can the Republican Congress Get Anything Done? 33 MIN, 23 SEC

Winning the Senate put Republicans in charge of both houses of Congress, and leaders promised an end to gridlock. But the major accomplishment so far -- Keystone XL Pipeline approval — was vetoed and homeland security funding barely passed. Now, protection of sex-trafficking victims and confirmation of the first black woman Attorney General are being delayed, and the big challenge: will contrasting proposals for Pentagon spending hold up passage of the entire federal budget? Can the Republicans actually govern? The answer could be crucial for next year's presidential election.

Ted Yoho, US House of Representatives (@RepTedYoho)
Manu Raju, Politico (@mkraju)
Norman Ornstein, American Enterprise Institute / Atlantic (@NormOrnstein)
James Antle, Washington Examiner (@jimantle)
Amy Davidson, New Yorker magazine (@tnyCloseRead)

Raju on parties digging in over Loretta Lynch nomination
Davidson on Lynch confirmation
New York Times on Senate gridlock despite McConnell's changes
Antle's 'Devouring Freedom: Can Big Government Ever Be Stopped?'
Politico on budget battle, GOP leaders corralling restive conservatives
American Enterprise Institute on the House defense budget as a statement of American weakness

It's Even Worse Than It Looks

Norm Ornstein and Thomas E. Mann

US Forces Leaving Yemen and the Opportunity to Gather Intelligence 9 MIN, 59 SEC

The government of Yemen is still fighting with Shiite militias backed by Iran. Civil war is all but inevitable. That's led to the closing of the US Embassy and the withdrawal of American Special Forces. Seán Naylor, who reports on intelligence and counter-terrorism for Foreign Policy magazine, has more on what Americans have left behind.

Seán Naylor, Foreign Policy magazine (@SeanDNaylor)

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