House approves gold medal for British prime minister
Capitol Hill-AP -- The House has voted to award the Congressional Gold Medal to British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
The resolution called Blair "a staunch and steadfast ally" of the U.S. during a very trying and historic time. New York Congressman Peter King said probably no British prime minister "has been there when America needs him more than Tony Blair."
House approval by a voice vote came only after some lawmakers questioned the justification for the U-S and British-led war on Iraq.
Several House lawmakers noted that Blair is under fire from the British parliament over the accuracy of the intelligence that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. Congressman Jim McDermott wondered whether Congress was trying to influence the outcome of the investigation by awarding the medal to Blair.
Blair would be the first British leader to receive Congress' most prestigious award since Winston Churchill was honored posthumously in 1969. The Senate already has approved giving Blair the medal.