The Washington Post

White House to hold classified briefing on Libya for Congress members next week

Four Obama administration officials will hold a bipartisan, classified briefing for members of Congress next week on U.S. policies and military operations in Libya.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen are slated to update members at 2:30 p.m. next Wednesday in the Capitol Visitors Center auditorium.

The briefing, which is open only to members of Congress, will take place at the request of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

Last Friday, President Obama consulted with 18 members for about an hour and a half shortly before announcing that the United States would take military action in Libya. But the White House has come under sharp criticism since then from lawmakers concerned that Congress has been left out of the loop in the decision-making process or that the U.S. mission lacks a clear endgame.

Criticism of Obama has been more pointed in the House than in the Senate. Boehner on Wednesday sent a letter to Obama detailing a series of questions on Libya that remain unanswered, and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) plans to introduce an amendment that would defund the U.S. military involvement in Libya.

The closed-door briefing will take place one day before Deputy Secretary of State Jim Steinberg is scheduled to testify at a House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing on Libya next Thursday.


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