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Obama Will Sign Stimulus Package into Law on Tuesday

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009 was passed by the House and Senate last Friday and President Obama will sign the legislation into law on Tuesday in Denver, Colorado.

Governor Ritter said, "The decision by President Obama to sign the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act here in Colorado is a history-making honor and privilege for our state. It is a testament to the President's belief that this package will help people in states all across America."

Lawmakers' earlier estimate of the cost of the stimulus package was $789 billion, but the Congressional Budget Office released a report on Friday with a revised estimate of $787 billion.

President Obama spent the last couple of weeks travelling across the country to gain public support for the huge spending package.

In his weekly address on Saturday, President Obama said, "This week, I spent some time with Americans across the country who are hurting because of our economic crisis. People closing the businesses they scrimped and saved to start. Families losing the homes that were their stake in the American Dream. Folks who have given up trying to get ahead, and given in to the stark reality of just trying to get by."

Obama says his economic recovery package will save or create 3.5 million jobs over the next two years. The U.S. economy has lost 3.6 million jobs since the start of the recession in December 2007.

The President said that the stimulus package is a major milestone to recovery and thanked Members of Congress for making it happen. The plan includes money to rebuild infrastructure, modernize health care, upgrade school buildings, invest in clean energy, and improve broadband networks for rural areas. Obama has spoken many times about these important investments to keep the U.S. competitive into the new century. The package also extends funding for unemployment benefits and health care coverage for those who've lost their jobs.

Obama also acknowledged the skeptics who worry that the massive amount of government spending won't fix the nation's economic problems. Many fear that the stimulus package will only add to our troubles by increasing the federal deficit. Obama said he knows that Washington hasn't set a very good example in recent years and that it's time for Washington to start doing things differently.

"That’s why our goal must be to spend these precious dollars with unprecedented accountability, responsibility, and transparency. I’ve tasked my cabinet and staff to set up the kind of management, oversight, and disclosure that will help ensure that, and I will challenge state and local governments to do the same," Obama said.

A new government website - - will be up for taxpayers to check on where the money is going once the plan is up and running. Obama encourages every American to check up on the government's spending, and to post comments and questions. He said, "Ultimately, this is your money, and you deserve to know where it’s going and how it’s spent."

Obama said that the stimulus package isn't the end of what we do to turn around the economy; it's the beginning. "The problems that led us into this crisis are deep and widespread. Our response must be equal to the task."

"For our plan to succeed, we must stabilize, repair, and reform our banking system, and get credit flowing again to families and businesses. We must write and enforce new rules of the road, to stop unscrupulous speculators from undermining our economy ever again. We must stem the spread of foreclosures and do everything we can to help responsible homeowners stay in their homes," Obama said.

"And in the weeks ahead, I will submit a proposal for the federal budget that will begin to restore the discipline these challenging times demand. Our debt has doubled over the past eight years, and we’ve inherited a trillion-dollar deficit – which we must add to in the short term in order to jumpstart our sick economy," Obama said. "But our long-term economic growth demands that we tame our burgeoning federal deficit; that we invest in the things we need, and dispense with the things we don’t. This is a challenging agenda, but one we can and will achieve."

Obama said he was reminded of words spoken by President John F. Kennedy in another time of uncertainty, "Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks."

Obama closed his address, "America, we will prove equal to this task. It will take time, and it will take effort, but working together, we will turn this crisis into opportunity and emerge from our painful present into a brighter future. After a week spent with the fundamentally decent men and women of this nation, I have never been more certain of that. Thank you."

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Thursday, 09 July 2020

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