Stimulus pace to accelerate
Plan’s spending will speed up, Biden says
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama plans to announce Monday how his administration is speeding up implementation of his $787 billion economic stimulus plan, Vice President Joe Biden said Friday.
“On Monday the president and I will be announcing our plans to ramp up the Recovery Act implementation over the summer,” Biden said.
Speaking at the White House, Biden said he and Obama are doing so because despite signs of the stimulus package’s success, “we still have a long, long way to go in the road to recovery.”
Biden spoke not long after the Labor Department reported that U.S. nonfarm payrolls had declined by 345,000 in May. It was the fewest jobs lost in eight months. Biden welcomed the news but said there would be more setbacks before the economy recovered.
“A lower job-loss rate is not our goal,” Biden said. “We will not be satisfied until we’re adding jobs on a monthly basis” while getting Americans into stable jobs with dependable incomes, he said.
The White House has been criticized for the slow pace of stimulus spending. But Biden has said the pace will quicken come summertime.
House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio seized on the jobs report as evidence that the stimulus package isn’t working the way the White House said it would.
“Today’s announcement that the unemployment rate hit a 26-year high of 9.4 percent demonstrates how much middle-class families, small businesses, and workers are struggling during one of the worst economic downturns in decades,” Boehner said in a statement. He said the economy has lost more than 2.5 million jobs since the stimulus took effect 100 days ago.
“The Democrats’ widely-panned ‘stimulus’ has not only loaded unprecedented debt onto our children and grandchildren, it also has failed to meet its most basic economic goals,” Boehner said Friday.
The White House has said more than 150,000 jobs have been saved or created by the first 100 days of the stimulus.