With NATO air strikes appearing imminent, 40 lawmakers met with President Clinton Tuesday morning. They emerged to say the president had urged them not to send the wrong signal to Serb leaders.
Several Republicans said Senate leaders are reconsidering plans for a resolution later Tuesday that would require congressional approval to fund any U.S. military mission in Kosovo as part of a NATO force.
Virginia Sen. John Warner told reporters at the White House, "Put yourself in a cockpit ready to take off." He said pilots would like to know that Congress and the people are behind them.
Meanwhile, CBS White House Correspondent Bill Plante reports that there is absolutely no reason to be optimistic that military force can be avoided in Kosovo.
That was the word from the White House Tuesday morning in the wake of U.S. special envoy Richard HolbrookeÂ's second meeting with Serb leader Slobodan Milosevic.
The U.S. and NATO say Milosevic must accept a NATO-led force as part of any peace deal.
"As we reported to President Clinton and Secretary [of State Madeleine] Albright, commitments were not forthcoming from the Yugoslav authorities," Holbrooke told reporters after a second day of talks with Milosevic.
"Accordingly, we have been instructed to go to Brussels now and report and meet with our NATO allies and then return to Washington," Holbrooke said.
Although Holbrooke told Milosevic of the array of powerful forces set up to move against him, the Yugoslav leader stood firm against allowing peacekeeping forces in his country.
Many members of Congress came away from the White House meeting showing strong support for President Clinton, despite deep differences over his policy, in order to show American unity.
"My impression is action is not too far down the road," said Kentucky Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell.