Pelosi Forms Bipartisan Team to Lead Afghanistan Briefings

Posted February 23, 2009 at 5:24pm

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Monday that she has tapped a top Democrat and leading Republican to hold private briefings between Members and administration officials on the state of affairs in Afghanistan.

Pelosi, who just returned from a trip to the region, said she asked House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (Conn.) and House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (Ind.) to hold closed-door, bipartisan briefings in the House chamber. The goal of the meetings, she said, will be for Members to ask questions and learn of relevant classified information about the status of the region.

The call for the meetings comes as President Barack Obama is officially reviewing his Afghanistan policy and seeking the deployment of an additional 17,000 troops to the area.

The Speaker said she spoke to House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Monday morning and “he agreed that we wanted to do this in a bipartisan way and in a timely fashion.”

Administration officials who will be invited to the meetings will include Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair and Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke, according to Pelosi.