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Brown-Waite backs bill to give Tony Blair congressional medal

By JEFFREY S. SOLOCHEK
Published April 2, 2003

U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Brooksville, wants to give British Prime Minister Tony Blair one of the nation's top honors, recognizing his contributions to the United States.

Brown-Waite has introduced a bill to give Blair the Congressional Gold Medal, which Congress created in 1776. Past recipients have included George Washington, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Mother Teresa and Winston Churchill.

"America has many allies, but as we have seen in recent months, we can count on Great Britain to fulfill the duties of a true friend in tough times," Brown-Waite said in a news release Tuesday. "I applaud Tony Blair's extraordinary leadership and his continued support of the United States."

Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C., first filed a bill to honor Blair last week. The Financial Services Committee oversees the Congressional Gold Medal awards on the House side, and committee member Brown-Waite volunteered to sponsor the companion bill, spokeswoman Caryn McLeod said.

Brown-Waite has wrapped herself in wartime rhetoric since the war with Iraq began. Last month, she filed a bill that would allow family members of soldiers buried in France and Belgium to exhume the remains and bring them home to "patriotic soil."

Also this week, Brown-Waite will preside over the House tonight and Thursday night until the close of business.

[Last modified April 2, 2003, 02:03:29]

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