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News About the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Today marks the one-year anniversary of President Obama signing the Recovery Act into law.  Members of Congress and Obama Administration officials are holding events this week to mark the local impact -- and other legislation in the works to help create jobs and grow small businesses.

USA Today - Assessing the Recovery Act: 'The best is yet to come'

First, we think the Recovery Act is working because of the progress we've made in slowing job loss…Independent economists believe that, thanks to the Recovery Act, about 2 million people are on the job today who would not have work otherwise.

Second, the Recovery Act is working because it is helping hard-hit families get through tough economic times… these tax cuts and direct aid to individuals are the largest parts of the Recovery Act -- more than half of all Recovery Act spending has gone to cut taxes or provide relief to seniors, veterans and the unemployed.

Third, we know that the Recovery Act is working because we can see the results all around us. Thousands of road projects are not only creating jobs -- they are making for faster, safer transportation. Superfund sites are being cleaned up and commuter rail tracks are being repaired. Work is underway on water, weatherization and construction projects -- creating jobs now, and making critical improvements in our nation's infrastructure for the future.

Year Two of the Recovery Act will build on the successes of Year One, continuing to generate jobs while seeding the transformative investments needed to ensure that our economy remains the world's strongest. [2/17/10]

The Philadelphia Inquirer (Pennsylvania) - How the stimulus rescued America

Cut through all the numbers, though, and this is what you find: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act saved us from plunging into a second Great Depression.

84,000 additional Pennsylvania jobs: Wall Street's excesses have robbed Pennsylvania of more than 200,000 jobs since the recession began two years ago. By contrast, the stimulus kept tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians - our neighbors, friends, and relatives - employed.

189,000 Pennsylvanians kept out of poverty: This is a major success by any measure. Extended unemployment benefits, tax credits for struggling families, and enhanced food-stamp benefits, among other provisions, kept those Pennsylvanians hit hardest by the recession from falling into poverty last year.

$80 billion to U.S. consumers in the third quarter of 2009 alone: Is it any wonder that the economy started growing again when this money began making its way to Main Street?

With the enactment of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act a year ago, Congress took the first major step toward bringing the economy back from the brink. And it worked. [2/17/10]

New York Times - Judging Stimulus by Job Data Reveals Success

Perhaps the best-known economic research firms are IHS Global Insight, Macroeconomic Advisers and Moody's They all estimate that the bill has added 1.6 million to 1.8 million jobs so far and that its ultimate impact will be roughly 2.5 million jobs. The Congressional Budget Office, an independent agency, considers these estimates to be conservative.

..the stimulus package, flaws and all, deserves a big heaping of credit. “It prevented things from getting much worse than they otherwise would have been,” Nariman Behravesh, Global Insight's chief economist, says. “I think everyone would have to acknowledge that's a good thing.” [2/17/10]

U.S. Department of Education - Secretary Duncan, Congressman Connolly Visit Riverside Elementary for One Year Anniversary of Recovery Act

Today, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly highlighted the positive impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) at Riverside Elementary School in Alexandria, Va. To date, Virginia has received $1,372,041,529 in stimulus funding which has been used to support over 5,000 jobs and drive reform. Fairfax County has received over $49 million which has been used to support nearly 600 jobs and drive reform. At Riverside Elementary, the bulk of the $333,000 awarded was used to support a successful extended learning time program and parent workshops.

“Stimulus funding was able to not only support nearly 600 jobs in Fairfax County but keep critical initiatives, like Riverside's extended learning time program and parent workshops, off the chopping block,” said Duncan. “This unprecedented investment has been critical to keeping teachers teaching and students learning.”

“In addition to preventing teacher layoffs, the Recovery Act is increasing aid for disadvantaged children, modernizing classrooms and increasing Individuals with Disabilities Education Act funds,” said Connolly. “With most local and state governments still facing serious budget challenges, these federal resources could not have come at a more critical time for Northern Virginia children.” [2/17/10]

The Providence Journal (Rhode Island) - A year later, mayors say federal stimulus funds helping

On the eve of President Obama's signing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law, U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin met with the mayors of Providence, Warwick, Cranston, and Johnston to discuss how the federal money has helped Rhode Island.

While Rhode Island and the country as a whole have a long way to go, the congressman said, 'Recovery Act resources helped cushion us through this recession and will help us lay strong economic foundations for the future.'

Through the 4th quarter of 2009, the President's council of economic advisors estimate stimulus funds helped create or save 8,000 jobs in Rhode Island. Also, by the end of December, more than 80,000 Rhode Islanders had received expanded unemployment benefits. [2/16/10]

KMOX 1120-AM (Missouri) - Carnahan: Recovery Act aimed high, hit the target

Missouri Congressman Russ Carnahan says the U.S. would have eventually pulled out of the Recession, but not as quickly if the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act hadn't been signed into law one year ago Wednesday.

He made his comments before touring the St. Louis City Police Academy Tuesday, where 50 additional stimulus-funded police officers are currently being trained.

Carnahan pointed out the Recovery Act was designed to prop up the hard-hit industrial sector, not hold it up indefinitely.

'This was always going to be temporary,' Carnahan responded after KMOX News asked what happens once the stimulus money runs out.  'I think people got that.  It was to be a jolt of investment into our economy in key sectors to save us from the brink.' [2/16/10]

The Hill - Stimulus dollars for health centers was economic boon, report says

The $2 billion channeled to community health centers by last year's stimulus bill paid back to the economy on a two-for-one basis, according to researchers at George Washington University.

The result has been $3.2 billion in economic activity as the federally funded safety-net providers spent their funding boost on expanding and improving their facilities, beefing up their information technology systems and hiring and holding onto medical personnel and staff, according to a report issued by the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative…

The practical result will be that nearly 3 million additional patients will be able to obtain medical care at community health centers by 2011, bringing the total number of people served to 21 million each year, roughly 40 percent of whom are uninsured. [2/16/10]

For a White House analysis of the Recovery Act, please click here.