Congressional staffers to be briefed Friday on ISIS

The Obama administration is sending intelligence officials to Capitol Hill on Friday to bring senior congressional staffers, and possibly House members, up to date on the latest developments in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), according to a House aide.

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There will be a “staff briefing, and it’s committees and select leadership staff,” the aide told The Hill.  “Obviously, I can’t rule out that a member might show up, but it’s a staff briefing.”

Reuters reported Thursday that officials from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) would conduct the briefing. The aide could not confirm those details.

The wire service said the briefing would be for members and staff of the House Armed Services, Foreign Affairs and Intelligence panels, as well as the defense and foreign operations appropriations subcommittees.

“We brief lawmakers and staff regularly on a variety of topics. We defer to them to discuss their schedules,” ODNI spokeswoman Kathleen Butler said in a statement to The Hill.

News of the staff briefing comes as congressional lawmakers prepare to return to Washington after their five-week August recess.  A number of committees already have scheduled hearings and briefings to examine the administration’s strategy for defeating the group.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Thursday sent a memo to GOP lawmakers announcing that he expected the White House to dispatch officials to Capitol Hill some time in September to bring members up to speed on the battle against the terrorist group.

“I anticipate that Administration officials will be up to brief all members. In addition, a number of other briefings by outside experts are currently being planned,” he wrote. “These hearings and briefings will be absolutely critical in helping us take the appropriate steps necessary to achieve our objective: the defeat of our terrorist enemies.”