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CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Xinhua/Ting Shen via Getty Images.

The White House is barring CIA Director Gina Haspel and other intelligence officials from briefing the Senate on the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, The Guardian reports. The White House did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Why it matters: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis are reportedly scheduled to brief senators on U.S.-Saudi relations following Khashoggi's murder during a closed-door session on Wednesday. Intelligence officials would normally be present at such a meeting, especially given the Senate is set to vote on a measure that could end U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

The backdrop: Haspel's absence will be particularly noticeable, given she was dispatched to Turkey following Khashoggi's death and has reportedly heard an audio recording of the murder.

Go deeper: "I don't speak Arabic": Bolton says he hasn’t listened to Khashoggi tape

Go deeper

Breaking Biden's diplomatic logjam

Expand chart
Data: Center for Presidential Transition via Congress.gov; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The logjam for reviewing and confirming President Biden's ambassadorial picks is finally starting to break.

Why it matters: Biden is far behind his predecessors in the rate at which his ambassadorial picks have been confirmed. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a series of high-profile hearings and votes this week to finally begin chipping away at the backlog.

15 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats brace for staredown over paid family medical leave

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Senior House Democrats are braced for battle with the Senate over whether paid family medical leave — a key priority for progressives — will be included in President Biden’s final budget reconciliation bill, lawmakers and aides tell Axios.

Why it matters: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has indicated he wants to cut the program to reduce the bill's price tag. “Paid family and medical leave must be in the final package,” Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, told Axios on Monday.

48 mins ago - World

Poland showdown is EU's Jan. 6 moment, top official says

Didier Reynders. Photo: Thierry Monasse/Getty Images

Poland and Hungary have forced a moment of reflection on the European Union — similar to the one in the U.S. after the Jan. 6 insurrection, EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders told Axios.

What he's saying: "During many years, we have had in our minds that it was granted that if you are a member of the EU, of course you apply the rule of law; you have full respect for democracy, fundamental rights and so on — maybe with some concerns but with a real intention to adapt your legislation to be in full compliance [with EU law]," Reynders said.