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News About the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

USA TODAY (Editorial) - Don't blame the stimulus for high unemployment

The stimulus, enacted at a time when the economy and stock market were in free fall, sent a powerful message that government was going to do whatever it took to head off another Great Depression. The data show that almost as soon as the stimulus was enacted, the rate of job losses began to slow dramatically.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, in a report released Tuesday, confirmed the beneficial impact. CBO said that in the fourth quarter of last year, 1.4 million to 3 million jobs were either created or retained as a result of the stimulus. In the first quarter of this year, CBO expects as many as 3.9 million jobs will be created or retained.

It's impossible to know what would have happened in some parallel universe with no stimulus. But, as bad as the unemployment rate is, it could have been much worse in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. In fact, the CBO's report says the unemployment rate would have been between 10.5% and 11.1% without the stimulus.

The stimulus won't make things the way they were before the meltdown, when an unemployment rate of about 5% was the norm. That's likely to take years to achieve as governments and consumers work through the massive debts they have piled up. But there's little question the stimulus ensured that an ugly recession wasn't a lot uglier. [2/24/10]

The Hill - CBO: Stimulus created as many as 2.1 million jobs

The federal stimulus act created between 1 million and 2.1 million jobs in the final portion of 2009, according to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report  released Tuesday.

In addition, the nonpartisan CBO estimated that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) helped boost the gross domestic product (GDP) by between 1.5 percent and 3.5 percent over the baseline had the bill not been enacted during the fourth quarter of 2009.

'Economic output and employment in 2009 were lower than CBO had projected at the time of enactment,' CBO economists said in a Director's Blog post. 'But in CBO's judgment, that outcome reflects greater-than-projected weakness in the underlying economy rather than lower-than-expected effects of ARRA.'

The CBO projects the stimulus will kick into higher gear in 2010, boosting GDP by between 1.4 and 4 percent and tamping down the unemployment rate by between 0.7 and 1.8 percent. [2/23/10]

The Washington Times - Stimulus created jobs, but no real optimism

A new government analysis says the stimulus act funded between 1 million and 2.1 million jobs as of December and kept the economy humming at a faster rate than it would otherwise…

The Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday said the $862 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, signed a little more than a year ago, was responsible for lowering the unemployment rate by between 0.5 percent and 1.1 percent in the final three months of 2009, and added 1.5 percent to 3.8 percent to the country's gross domestic product.

'The policies that were enacted in the stimulus bill are increasing GDP and employment relative to what they otherwise would be,' said Douglas Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office. [2/24/10]

Valley Courier (Colorado) - Salazar announces stimulus funds for seniors

Tuesday, U.S. Congressman John Salazar announced that $72,910 in federal funding has been allocated to the Costilla County Senior Citizens Club. The funding comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and will be distributed through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Community Facilities Program.

On this funding, Congressman Salazar offered the following statement: “I am very proud of the efforts that Costilla County has made over the years to grow and furnish this facility. This will be a wonderful center for our seniors and a great asset for the community. I'm honored to have helped provide the funding to make the Costilla County Senior Center a reality.” [2/23/10]

Reuters - Stimulus helps improve US infrastructure-Oberstar

More than half of the funds for transportation in the U.S. economic stimulus plan passed a year ago have now been obligated, and much of it is fixing the country's decaying infrastructure, the congressional committee overseeing the funds said on Tuesday.

According to Rep. James Oberstar, the Minnesota Democrat who chairs the House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, 24,000 miles of roads are being improved and 1,100 bridge repairs made.

Alongside employing people, the $64.1 billion included for infrastructure was intended to boost maintenance that could prevent accidents…

Oberstar said the stimulus transportation elements have created 280,000 direct, on-project jobs, and that when indirect and induced jobs are added to the mix, they kept 890,000 people employed. [2/23/10]

Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal (California) - San Jose State gets $5M biotech stimulus funding

A federal biotechnology stimulus grant of $5 million has been awarded to the San Jose State University Research Foundation.

The grant will benefit the university's clinical laboratory scientist training program, which is launching a new initiative called the California Statewide Biotechnology Clinical Laboratory Consortium Project. It's designed to identify, recruit and educate up to 200 students for jobs as medical laboratory technicians, clinical laboratory specialists, clinical genetic molecular biologists and cytogeneticists.

“This is tremendous acknowledgment of San Jose State's leadership in fostering critically needed education and training initiatives,” San Jose State President Jon Whitmore said in a statement. [2/22/10]

Salisbury Post (North Carolina) - VA receives $5.7M grant

U.S. Sen. Kay R. Hagan, D-N.C., announced Monday that the Hefner VA Medical Center in Salisbury has received $5.7 million for building renovations.

The funds were part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the stimulus package.

'The stimulus funds will be used to repair elevators, pipes and heating and air conditioning systems, which will boost the economy in the Central Piedmont while ensuring that we honor our commitment to our veterans,' Hagan said in a press release.

Medical Center Director Carolyn Adams added, 'this funding provides an important economic boost for our community and allows the facility to complete many energy saving initiatives.' [2/23/10]

The Huntsville Times (Alabama) - $3.47M grant clears way for Calhoun energy center

Calhoun Community College will receive $3,470,830 million to build a center for clean energy.

The funding is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded $225 million in health care and high-growth, training grants to various institutions and organizations.

Calhoun's award will help to train dislocated, incumbent and unemployed workers for jobs that apply energy-efficient techniques.

'Projects funded through these grants will be conducted in partnership with the public work force system, businesses and other organizations to guarantee that training leads to jobs,' [Janet Kincherlow Martin, Director of Public Relations at Calhoun]. [2/24/10]

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