Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain addressed a joint session of Congress on Wednesday.
I wonder how Senator Shelby and other Republicans felt about this one.
March 5, 2009
Brown Urges Bold Effort to Shape an Expansion
By BRIAN KNOWLTON
WASHINGTON — Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain urged American leaders on Wednesday to “seize the moment,” in tandem with their European allies, to confront the global economic crisis and prepare for a future that brings “the biggest expansion of middle-class incomes and jobs the world has ever seen.”
Speaking to a joint session of Congress, Mr. Brown called for a clear rejection of protectionist tendencies as the world struggles to recover.
The address came a day after President Obama assured Mr. Brown that the “special relationship” between the countries was as strong as ever, despite what some people have described as coolness in the handling of the prime minister’s visit.
Lawmakers gave the prime minister a warm welcome, interrupting his 45-minute speech at least a dozen times with standing ovations. One of those came after he announced that Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, who has brain cancer, had been granted an honorary knighthood.
Echoing a point that Mr. Obama has begun to make, Mr. Brown argued that a big part of the solution to the financial crisis lay in having confidence that it could be solved. He called for concerted global work to stimulate national economies, bolster banks and improve their oversight, along with efforts to help developing countries endure the downturn.
“While today people are anxious and feel insecure, over the next two decades our world economy will double in size,” Mr. Brown said. “Twice as many opportunities for business, twice as much prosperity and the biggest expansion of middle-class incomes and jobs the world has ever seen.”
He said that the United States would find a rare receptiveness to its efforts to move forward. “Let me say that you now have the most pro-American European leadership in living memory,” Mr. Brown said.
He vowed to continue cooperating closely to fight terrorism, to induce Iran to suspend its nuclear program and to curtail global warming. And he paid tribute to the soldiers of both countries who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Mr. Brown, who was chancellor of the Exchequer, or finance minister, in the Labor Party government of Tony Blair, has been calling for a “global New Deal,” with every country working to end the recession. He has urged greater accountability and transparency, and stricter oversight, for banking and other financial institutions.