Administration officials will brief members of the Senate on Wednesday regarding the U.S. involvement in Libya, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced Tuesday.
The classified briefing by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will take place at 5 p.m. Wednesday, hours after administration officials are set to brief House members on Libya.
“We’re having a briefing tomorrow at 5 o’clock, a classified briefing — Secretary Clinton, Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen,” Reid told reporters Tuesday afternoon.
He added that he encouraged Senate Democrats to challenge the officials on Libya, and if they are not satisfied after the briefing, they are welcome to introduce legislation on Libya.
“I’ve told my caucus, ‘Come loaded with all your questions; ask questions in this classified setting, and then if in fact you want to do more legislatively, you’re entitled to do that,’ ” Reid said. “The War Powers Act we believe is valid, is very clear, setting forth timelines that I read to my caucus today.”
Three congressional committees are holding hearings on Libya this Thursday. The House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the House Armed Services Committee will hold hearings Thursday morning, while the Senate Armed Services Committee holds a hearing on Libya 2 p.m. Thursday.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters Tuesday that he thought Wednesday’s classified briefing would serve as “an opportunity to follow up further on what’s happening in the last 24 hours in Libya and with the questions.”
“The president’s remarks were a step in the right direction, didn’t answer every question, but we’ll continue to pose those to Secretary Clinton and Secretary Gates tomorrow,” McConnell said.