Obama, Biden Unveil Plan to Speed Stimulus Spending

Posted June 8, 2009 at 7:43am

Updated: 12:59 p.m.

President Barack Obama on Monday announced he is accelerating the pace of stimulus spending this summer, resulting in new projects that he believes will save or create 600,000 jobs.

The new initiative was presented to Obama in public remarks by Vice President Joseph Biden, who spoke at the top of a Cabinet meeting. Biden said the goal of the new effort was to put some “pace on the ball,— and he outlined several specific projects.

Obama thanked Biden and the Cabinet for their work. “Now we’re in a position to really accelerate,— Obama said. But with job losses still mounting, the president was careful not to sound too pleased.

“I’m not satisfied. We’ve got more work to do,— he said.

Republicans pointed out that the White House predicted earlier this year that the stimulus would keep the unemployment rate below 8 percent. Instead, it rose last month to 9.4 percent. But the pace of job losses last month slowed.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the continued spending was not likely to make headway on improving the economy.

“I’m very skeptical that the spending binge that we’re on is going to produce much good, and even if it does, anytime soon,— McConnell said.

Obama has been hit with reports that the money is not getting out as fast as many would like. The administration is aggressively trumpeting its efforts on the stimulus and relating them to the improving economy.

According to the White House, spending in the upcoming second hundred days after passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will save or create four times the number of jobs as in the first hundred days. More than 150,000 jobs have been created or saved so far and $135 billion of the $787 billion stimulus has been doled out, the White House says.

The new government spending will particularly target public works projects, schools, health and summer youth programs.

Maps detailing the projects planned across the United States can be found on a new Web site, WhiteHouse.gov/Recovery, which is scheduled to be activated Monday.