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President Obama / Jim Mone, AP

While he and aides promote the disputed health care law, President Obama also found time Wednesday to defend another big part of his legacy: The 2009 stimulus bill.

The $831 billion in spending programs and tax incentives surfaced as Obama discussed transportation policy in a St. Paul, Minn., railroad depot renovated under a federal infrastructure grant program.

"These are competitive grants that we created as part of the Recovery Act, also known as the stimulus - which actually worked despite what everybody claims," Obama said.

Everybody?

While no doubt some Democrats would defend the 2009 stimulus bill - saying it stabilized an economy at risk of meltdown after the 2008 financial crisis - Republicans say federal spending programs have been a drag on growth.

During the recent five-year anniversary of enactment of the stimulus, a series of Republicans noted that unemployment remains high and millions of Americans have left the workforce.

"Five years and hundreds of billions of dollars later, millions of families are still asking 'where are the jobs?'" said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "More Americans are living at or below the poverty line. Median household incomes are down."



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Obama: The stimulus bill worked

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