July 11th, 2009
01:14 PM ET
3 years ago

Obama defends $787B stimulus bill

WASHINGTON (CNN) – After a week of increasing Republican criticism of Democrats’ $787 billion stimulus bill, President Obama is using his weekly address to defend the massive piece of legislation which has in many ways come to define his young administration thus far.

“In a little over one hundred days,” Obama says in Saturday’s address, the stimulus plan “has worked as intended.”

“As a result of the swift and aggressive action we took in the first few months of this year, we’ve been able to pull our financial system and our economy back from the brink,” Obama also says.

The nearly $800 billion bill “wasn’t designed to restore the economy to full health on its own, but to provide the boost necessary to stop the free fall,” the president says in his weekly address.

Answering attacks on the stimulus bill in the last week for failing to create as many jobs as projected, Obama says the bill is still the process of yielding projects and employment.

“[I]t’s led to new jobs building roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects, thousands of which are only beginning now. In the months to come, thousands more projects will begin, leading to additional jobs,” the president says.

In Saturday’s address, Obama also responds to critics who believe the $787 billion bill is not sufficient to turn around the economy and who are, therefore, pushing for another stimulus package.

“[A]s I made clear at the time it was passed, the Recovery Act was not designed to work in four months – it was designed to work over two years. We also knew that it would take some time for the money to get out the door, because we are committed to spending it in a way that is effective and transparent. Crucially, this is a plan that will also accelerate greatly throughout the summer and the fall. We must let it work the way it’s supposed to, with the understanding that in any recession, unemployment tends to recover more slowly than other measures of economic activity.”

Obama’s defense of Democrats’ stimulus package comes on the same day that Republicans’ used their weekly address to slam the Obama’s economic recovery plan.

"Simply put, this is now President Obama's economy and the American people are beginning to question whether his policies are working," House Minority Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia says in Saturday’s GOP address.

Cantor’s dig topped off a week that included the release of warring online videos about the stimulus plan and a House committee hearing where Republicans and sometimes even Democrats were critical of the stimulus bill’s effectiveness.

soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. Zach K

    I agree with Obama. The package was only a slither of the deficit the last president put us in. And if McCain was elected, the stock market would have definitely crashed if nothing was done.

    We avoided a depression with this deal, we are still in a recession, but I know by the end of this year, we will be out of this mess and focus on reforming health care and other objectives.

    July 11, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
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