By Sam Youngman and Daniel Strauss - 03/18/11 04:12 PM EDT
President Obama will brief members of Congress on Friday afternoon on the situation in Libya just before he addresses the nation.
The White House announced Friday that Obama has invited a bipartisan group of lawmakers to the Situation Room to consult on Libya. Obama is scheduled to deliver a statement to the public at 2 p.m.
Among those expected to participate are: House Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerThe Trail 2016: The establishment comes around Pete King: Cruz 'gives Lucifer a bad name' White House: Boehner was just being honest about Cruz MORE (R-Ohio), Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorNRCC upgrades 11 'Young Guns' candidates Cruz, Kasich join forces to stop Trump 'Never Trump' groups collide with Kasich, Cruz MORE (R-Va.), Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidOvernight Energy: Dems block energy spending bill for second day Senate GOP hardening stance against emergency funding for Zika Senate Dems block spending bill over Iran amendment — again MORE (D-Nev.), Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellOvernight Finance: House rejects financial adviser rule; Obama rebukes Sanders on big banks Senators roll out changes to criminal justice bill Sanders is most popular senator, according to constituent poll MORE (R-Ky.) and Sens. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), Saxby ChamblissSaxby ChamblissWyden hammers CIA chief over Senate spying Cruz is a liability Inside Paul Ryan’s brain trust MORE (R-Ga.), Dick DurbinDick DurbinSenators roll out changes to criminal justice bill Let the Democratic veepstakes begin Senate Democrats push climate change bond bill MORE (D-Ill.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), John KerryJohn KerrySenate confirms Obama's long-stalled ambassador to Mexico The challenge: Reaching 350 million youth worldwide Obama’s Iran playbook gives hope to Darfur MORE (D-Mass.) and Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinIntel leaders push controversial encryption draft Democrats block energy spending bill over Iran amendment Durbin: Iran amendment could kill energy bill MORE (D-Calif.).
Also scheduled to attend are Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), Howard Berman (D-Calif.), Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.).
Some lawmakers have already left Washington and will participate in the briefing by phone.
A White House official said Sen. John McCainJohn McCainOvernight Defense: House panel approves 0B defense bill McCain fundraiser faces felony drug charges in Arizona GOP senator blocks Obama Army nominee over Guantanamo MORE (R-Ariz.) had been invited but could not participate. The official did not know if Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamGOP warms to Trump Trump address gets mixed reaction from GOP Graham tears into Trump’s ‘pathetic’ foreign policy speech MORE (R-S.C.) had been invited.
Gadhafi’s forces have retaken towns that fell to rebels over the past week, and the Libyan dictator on Thursday warned of an assault on the city of Benghazi, the last stronghold of his opponents.
On Friday, in response to the UN resolution, Gadhafi reportedly ordered a ceasefire in Libya, one of the conditions of the resolution.
But Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonShonda Rhimes: Election crazier than plot of 'Scandal' Sanders cutting spending in Indiana Overnight Defense: House panel approves 0B defense bill MORE said Friday the U.S. wanted more than just promises by the Libyan government that it would hold a ceasefire.
“We are going to be not responsive or impressed by words, we would have to see actions on the ground and that is not yet at all clear,” Clinton said. “We will continue to work with our partners in the international community to press Gadhafi to leave and to support the legitimate aspirations of the Libyan people.”
On Thursday, Gadhafi threatened to "cleanse" Benghazi.
Clinton said the U.N.’s passage of the resolution is just one step the international community is taking to remove Gadhafi from power and stop violence in the Libya.
“While this resolution is an important step, it is only that, an important step,” Clinton said.
She added that the top priority for the international community was to impose an immediate ceasefire and stop Gadhafi's military forces from killing Libyan civilians.
“Again, I want to take this one step at a time. We don't know what the final outcome will be,” Clinton said. “The first and overwhelmingly urgent outcome is to end the violence.”
The next step, Clinton said, was to “operationalize” the no-fly zone resolution.
The measure approved by the U.N. allows “all necessary measures” to protect Libyan civilians. This could include setting up a no-fly zone over Libya’s skies, but could also include air strikes on Libyan forces threatening Benghazi.
NATO may be getting involved.
Adm. James Stavridis, U.S. European Command chief and NATO's supreme allied commander, tweeted Friday: "On #Libya -- we are in detailed planning for a wide variety of contingencies from #NATO."
Stavridis is considered a contender to replace current Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen when his term expires this Fall.
Separately, in Yemen, 30 protesters against that country's government were reportedly killed by security forces and government loyalists, which drew condemnation from Obama. He called on Yemen's president to allow peaceful demonstrations.
"It is more important than ever for all sides to participate in an open and transparent process that addresses the legitimate concerns of the Yemeni people, and provides a peaceful, orderly and democratic path to a stronger and more prosperous nation," the president said in a statement.
John T. Bennett contributed.
This post was last updated at 1:39 p.m.