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White House defends $800B stimulus as a key to ending the recession

The White House launched a fresh effort Monday to defend the economic stimulus passed at the beginning of President Obama’s tenure as Republicans sought to pillory the law enacted five years ago.
Obama and congressional Democrats passed the $800 billion stimulus, known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, as a response to a deep recession that started in December 2007 and, by the time Obama took office, was costing 800,000 jobs per month. In the five years since, the law has become a Rorschach test for judging Obama’s response to one of the greatest economic calamities in U.S. history. The nation's unemployment rate topped out at 10 percent in October 2009 and has slowly declined in the years following. It now stands at 6.6 percent.
The White House and Democrats argue the stimulus made a massive difference, helping end the recession. According to a report released Monday by the White House Council of Economic Advisers, the stimulus saved or created an average of 1.6 million jobs a year from 2009 through 2010.