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White House plans private briefing on Libya for Congress next week

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and other military and intelligence officials are expected to provide a classified briefing to members of Congress on Wednesday, according to a Democratic aide.

March 24, 2011|By Lisa Mascaro, Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Facing congressional criticism over President Obama's handling of the military campaign in Libya, top administration officials will hold a closed-door briefing with lawmakers next week when Congress resumes, sources said.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and other military and intelligence officials are expected to provide a classified briefing on Wednesday to members of Congress, according to aides.

The White House has come under growing criticism from members of Congress over the scope of the U.S.-led operation and the cost to taxpayers.

Photos: A meeting with prisoners held by rebels in Libya

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) sent Obama a letter to the White House this week with pointed questions about the president's military strategy and commitment of U.S. forces. The briefing came at Boehner's request, his office said.

Lawmakers on both the political left and right have raised concerns about the military engagement and pressed Obama to consult more directly with Congress.

The White House held a briefing last week for congressional leaders, and administration officials briefed congressional staff earlier this week, but many questions from lawmakers remained.

lmascaro@tribune.com

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