July 11th, 2009
01:14 PM ET
10 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. Joe

    If I ran my houshold or my business like this administration is running our country, Id be robbed daily by my poor neighbors and have gone bankrupt for spending more than I make. Wize up America you can't get something for nothing. Look to california if you need a glaring example of Democrat liberal policies run amok.

    July 11, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  2. barrystash

    Obama lied. He lied about the stimulus. His so called health care reform is based on several enormous lies. His defense of the attempted Marxist coup against the Honduran government is based on a series of lies put out by Chavez and other supporters of Obama.

    As the old saying goes "You can fool some of the people some of the time, and all of the people some of the time (Obamots), but you can't fool all of the people all of the time". Obama's time to effect "change" has passed. He is what many of us figured, a Chicago thug and a Marxist opportunist.

    July 11, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  3. barrystash

    He lied. Instead of putting us through a continuing national nightmare he needs to resign.

    July 11, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  4. worriedmom

    Like I said he says what you want to hear and keeps changing his tune. It is so obvious his inexperience is showing through. But he likes spending other people's money. How long will this go before you people that keep defending him, realize he is running our country into serious debt???? Do you handle your personal checking and savings accounts like this??? If so, then that explains why you don't give a toot about this country and its people. Stop the Silver tongue talk and start working for the people whom you were elected to serve!

    July 11, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  5. David In West Virginia

    While the Republican Party criticizes President Obama, America can thank President Bush and his administration for getting us into this mess, paying contractors and Iraqis millions of dollars taken away by the wheelbarrel loads with no accountability and letting our economy go to Hell in a HandBasket yet tell America that the economy was in great shape. Where are all the Repubicans when it comes to criticizing their fellow Republicans and holding hearings for crimes against their President and his Administration for defrauding all of us!!!!!!

    July 11, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  6. Hammerer

    Where are the jobs?

    July 11, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  7. GI Joe

    If you don't see improvement in your state, ASK YOUR STATE REPRESENTAIVES WHY.

    President Obama authorized the money – what is YOUR STATE doing with the money?

    Quit whining on blogs- start holding YOUR politicians accountable.

    July 11, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  8. Larry

    Like people have been saying in these blogs anyone with half a brain understands that measures to fix a bady collapsed economy will not express themselves overnight.

    You Republicans are yelling the loudest, and it's their administration that got us in this mess to begin with.

    Everytime you criticize a very hard-working administration you give us another reason not to vote for you.

    It's easy to figure out. The Republicans got us in this mess. Imagine where we'd be if McCain won the election.

    I'm grateful that our administration

    July 11, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  9. carlos only smarter

    there's your answer ignorant repugnant reptiles.....the beener and idiotic cantor should get their facts before showing their lack of knowledge

    July 11, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  10. Steve in PA

    Yeah, it's creating jobs all right. Government jobs. Who do you think pays for all those guys standing by the side of the road as 1 or 2 works? There is construction where I live. I watched as it took them 8 months to redo a small bridge over a tiny creek at a railroad crossing. 8 months when it should have taken less then 1. They even had a trailer at this location and a person sat in it every work day...for 8 months while nothing was being done, because he "had" to be on-site.

    There's other construction along one of our main highways here in PA. Of course, we are forced down to 1 lane, yet no construction vehicles are to be seen, anywhere. They even removed all the barriers and opened it up July 4th weekend to use, then closed it back down afterwards. This project has been going on for weeks now too. So, who is paying for all these new jobs that no one is doing?

    I'm betting a lot of this is going on across the country too. Who else see's these non-working contruction jobs?

    More Government waste and I'm getting sick of it.

    July 11, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  11. Enough

    What do you expect him to do?? Be honest and admit he doesn't have a clue what he is doing!! Face it folks, he was a college educated community organizer, he has ZERO background experience running a business or even working for one. How is he supposed to understand business and common folk issues?

    July 11, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  12. Louisiana Man

    I think they are losing their minds in Washington. Another stimulus bill? More debt. Obscene. Obscene. Obscene.

    When do you think China will come to collect their IOU's ..... asking for Government land in the District of Columbia as payment?

    July 11, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  13. Ann

    “[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."

    Yes, the Recovery plan is designed to show results when I have to start campaigning for the second term. How can I "allow a crisis to go to waste"?

    I hoped they kept him in Ghana. But those people are not that stupid.

    July 11, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  14. mh

    how can our president go on defending something that is a huge failure? He is such a radical leftist. His socialist way of thinking will never work. He is nothing more than a radical abostionsit, manchurian candidate! Where is the birth certificate???

    July 11, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  15. mike

    I wonder if he really believes what his teleromptor is telling him.

    July 11, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  16. Lee Frandsen

    What does Obama intend to do about the hign rate of job loss? Touring the world countries won't do it. If the stimulus was intended to work in later years, he's done nothing to create jobs or to curb job loss, Yes, he claims to have saved jobs, anyone can say that because it's not provable. During his campaign for president, he said he was going to create 2 million jobs. Well, he's about 14 million in the hole now, As I see it, he has failed.

    July 11, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  17. Carl from MI

    Yeah... because tax breaks for the wealthy and Big Oil will definately help us out of this depression!! Way to go, Republicans!!

    Republicans have dismantled our economy over the past decade... and now it's supposed to be fixed by Obama who's been on the job for six months?

    Right... we've seen the effects of Republican policies... that's why our country's economy is in the dumps in the first place!! How convenient of Republicans to forget that little fact so soon after losing power!!

    July 11, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  18. RR

    Keep moving those goal posts.

    1) Rushing through the stimulus package without anyone reading it will cap unemployment under 9%. WRONG!

    2) Save or create hundreds of thousands of jobs with "shovel ready" projects. WRONG!

    The economy will improve on its own, and Obama will take full credit and say it was the stimulus!

    Doing nothing could not have made things any worse, and this stimulus did NOTHING to save the banking or financial sector. That was the Wall St. bailout, Mr. President. Quit the deceptions.

    July 11, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  19. Reggie Payne

    Excuse me Mr. Cantor, but I'm an American and I'm not questioning the plan, but I am questioning.....you. Where is your plan? Where were you when the previous administration was digging this hole in the first place. Man, you're not even a good Monday morning quarterback. You have done nothing to help Americans but yet you're doing everything to help your party. Your whole party seems to practice "Republican Economic Terroism" 101. Do nothing and hope all fails so the people will come running to the party once again. Man y'all think Americans are really that stupid.

    July 11, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  20. Richard

    Check you headline!
    I really WISH Obama was defending a $787 stimulus bill.
    Your copy editors forgot a few zeros.


    July 11, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  21. Fan of Common Sense

    ECONOMIC INSANITY!!! Government does not create steady, long-term jobs–only the private sector does that. All we are doing by passing these so-called stimulus bills is putting our debt-strapped country deeper and deeper in debt for an insignificant number of short-term construction jobs. When the money dries up, the jobs go away and we are in worse shape than when we started. Governments do not create wealth!

    July 11, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  22. Don From Philly

    What we ought to do is file ethics complaints against all the dems especially Polosi

    July 11, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  23. Steve

    So did the package cost $787 or $787 billion?

    July 11, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  24. Lori reminds the GOP that they've made NO gains in the polls while the Dems STILL hold a significant favorable lead!

    Oh, yes... And the Republicans are one to criticize the President on his policies... yeah... right. Mr. President, there is no need to defend your policies. Bush and the Republicans screwed us for almost a decade and had no respect for the opinions of the American people. The majority of us know that you are at least trying to fix the problem (a problem no President has seen since the Great Depression). They feel that all they have to do is criticize you and your stimulus bill and continue to offer us their same failed policies as their alternative, and somehow we're dumb enough to believe they have the right answers. We Americans aren't that stupid. Time is on your side. We have faith that the economy will recover and are not expecting miracles this year. Like you said on election night, not everyone who voted for you will be happy with EVERYTHING you do, but you will ultimately still have our support for the next 8 years!

    July 11, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  25. Idiot_Pelosi

    You can defend this PORKULUS BILL when you don't raise any taxes or hidden fees. Until then, you are full of it.

    Time for Obummer to GO.

    July 11, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
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