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Last summer he addressed a packed house at Invesco Field at Mile High to accept his party’s nomination for president at the Democratic National Convention.
Exactly four weeks from his inauguration, President Barack Obama was back in Colorado – this time at Denver’s Museum of Nature and Science – to sign the $787 billion federal stimulus package into law.
Obama savored his biggest legislative victory in Congress yet signing into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the most sweeping economic recovery package in our nation’s history.
"Today does not mark the end of our economic troubles," said Obama in his remarks at the Feb. 17 signing. "But it does mark the beginning of the end – the beginning of what we need to do to create jobs for Americans scrambling in the wake of layoffs; to provide relief for families worried they won’t be able to pay next month’s bills; and to set our economy on a firmer foundation, paving the way to long-term growth and prosperity."
Obama added that what makes this recovery plan so important is not just that it will create or save 3.5 million jobs over the next two years. "It’s that we are putting Americans to work doing the work that America needs done in critical areas that have been neglected for too long, work that will bring real and lasting change for generations to come," he said.
The House and Senate passed the measure Feb. 13 largely along party lines. Virtually all House and Senate Democrats voted for the bill. All House Republicans voted no.
Hailed by Obama as a "major milestone on our road to recovery," the plan drew support of only three Senate Republicans: Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.
"I think the economic stimulus package will give a major boost to our economy, especially here in the St. Louis area with the closing of so many auto-related plants," said Angela McNeal, a UAW Local 136 member who works at Chrysler LLC’s St. Louis Assembly North facility in Fenton, Mo. "Hopefully, it will create thousands of good-paying jobs and restore consumer confidence," added McNeal, whose plant operates on one shift.
Like Obama, UAW Local 550 retiree James Clark believes the plan, a balanced mix of tax cuts and investments, will take time to work. "I hope it does and the money flows down to the working folks. We just have to be patient," said Clark of Indianapolis.
President Obama encourages the nation’s taxpayers to go to www.Recovery.gov "so every American can go online and see how their money is being spent."