Obama signs stimulus bill

Obama says legislation will "set our economy on a firmer foundation"

February 17, 2009

President Barack Obama signed the $787 billion economic stimulus bill into law on Feb. 17 in Denver, Colo.

Obama said the legislation, a mix of tax cuts and one of the biggest public spending programs since World War II, would “set our economy on a firmer foundation.”

The bill will pump money into highway, bridge and other infrastructure projects, health care and renewable energy. States will receive billions of dollars to head off deep cuts and layoffs.

The bill also includes a $400 tax break for most individual workers and $800 for couples, and it will provide financial incentives for people to start buying again. Poor people and laid-off workers will see increased unemployment benefits, food stamps and subsidies for health insurance.

“I don’t pretend that today marks the end of our economic problems. Nor does it constitute all of what we have to do to turn our economy around. But today 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,” Obama said.

Presidential spokesman Robert Gibbs told the Associated Press that the White House was open-minded about another stimulus effort, but he stressed there were no plans in the works for one.