US President Barack Obama has addressed a joint session of Congress for the first time, warning that the nation faces a "day of reckoning".
The president's speech lasted nearly an hour and came days before his first budget as US leader.
The speech brought the audience to its feet more than 30 times, but with its references to the $787bn economic stimulus bill the Republicans opposed, it was not universally well-received.
It took more than five minutes for the president to reach the dais because of the crowd of well-wishers - and the crush was a similar size on the way out as members of the audience tried to get a handshake or a photo.
The speech made reference both to the healthcare and education reforms Mr Obama plans, and also the desire not to fritter away tax dollars.
The address looked and felt like the State of the Union speech, which normally comes at about this point in the political calendar.
As America comes to terms with the depth of the economic recession, President Obama's speech struck an optimistic tone - America would bounce back.