Washington (CNN) - February 17th marks the two year anniversary of the stimulus package as well as the two year anniversary of politicians and political organizations using the measure as a political football.
Signed into law by President Obama in February 2009, the bill passed Congress with minimal Republican support. Democrats said it would encourage job creation and promote investment. Republicans criticized the original $787 billion price-tag and argued that it green lighted new spending instead of tax cuts. Thursday GOP groups continued their critique of the measure and President Obama.
"What has been the result of nearly $1 trillion spent on the so-called 'stimulus'? Twenty-one months of unemployment at or above 9 percent, 2.6 million jobs lost, unsustainable budget deficits and an ever-growing national debt," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement Thursday.
"Unfortunately, during the past two years, the $814 billion stimulus effort has failed to produce the jobs and economic recovery that had been promised," a statement from the National Republican Congressional Committee reads.
Democratic groups have been noticeably quiet today, but the president has not shied away from publically plugging the bill in the past. The Obama administration credits the measure with saving or creating two million jobs and Vice President Joe Biden will commemorate the occasion by releasing a lessons-learned report titled "Competition Brings Results" at a cabinet meeting today.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will be on hand to talk about how funding can promote good government and encourage innovation.
"One year later, it is largely thanks to the recovery act that a second depression is no longer a possibility," the president said on the one-year anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. "It's laying out the foundation for where we need to go."
White House spokesperson Liz Oxhorn said the act is credited with "saving as many as 3.6 million jobs and lowering the unemployment rate by as much as 2 percent."
"We agree with the experts that the Recovery Act helped rescue the economy in a time of crisis – now it's time to work together on winning the future by out-innovating, out-educating, and out-building the rest of the world," Oxhorn said in a statement.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee released a web video Thursday targeting vulnerable senators who are up for re-election in 2012 and voted for the measure. The spot shows Democratic senators, including Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, Florida Sen. Bill Nelson and Montana Sen. Jon Tester, touting the bill. The video juxtaposes their comments with the unemployment rates in their respective states.
"Two years of liberal economics have failed America," the ad reads. "Happy anniversary."
In an e-mail, NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh said the anniversary "seemed like an important point to look back on what they said then, versus the current economic situation their respective states are in today."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell detailed the pork in the bill as an example of what "the administration meant by investment."
"If you can't cut a turtle tunnel when the country is 14 trillion dollars in the hole you've got problems," the Kentucky Republican said on the Senate floor Thursday. "The bottom line here is that two years after the president told us he was investing in our future here is what we have to show for it: higher unemployment than was predicted and trillions, trillions more in debt."
– CNN Senior White House Correspondent Ed Henry contributed to this report