After intense negotiations and several false starts, President Barack Obama signed the controversial $787 billion stimulus bill into law on February 17, 2009.
""We have begun the essential work of keeping the American dream alive in our time," he said in a press conference. "Now, I don't want to pretend that today marks the end of our economic problems... 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 is hopeful that the bill, which he has made the centerpiece of his young presidency, will jumpstart America's collapsing economy, but critics (including nearly every Republican in the Senate) see the bill as a waste of taxpayer dollars.
Read the Opposing Views debate, "How Will Obama's Stimulus Affect America?"
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