GOP marks stimulus anniversary by claiming act's failure

Republicans marked the first anniversary of the stimulus act by noting still-high unemployment in the year since the bill was signed.

House and Senate Republican leaders took aim at the $787 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which was signed into law by President Barack Obama one year ago today, characterizing it as having failed to revive the economy.

"In the first year of the trillion-dollar stimulus, Americans have lost millions of jobs, the unemployment rate continues to hover near 10 percent, the deficit continues to soar and we’re inundated with stories of waste, fraud and abuse," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement. "This was not the plan Americans asked for or the results they were promised.”

"Today’s anniversary of the Democrats’ trillion-dollar ‘stimulus’ marks one year of broken promises, bloated government, and wasteful spending," House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement. "Americans are asking 'where are the jobs' but all they are getting from Democrats who control Washington is more spending and more debt piled on the backs of our kids and grandkids."

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) meanwhile asserted that the stimulus was tied to other Democratic policies, like cap-and-trade climate legislation and health reform.

"It’s been a year, and the President and Speaker Pelosi are still trumpeting a stimulus program that most Americans intrinsically know has failed to achieve the goals that were set for it," Cantor said. 

The statements are part of a pitched battle between Republicans and Democrats on Wednesday over how the stimulus is seen, a year after its enactment.

Democrats have sought to claim success for the stimulus, and have waged a campaign highlighting GOP lawmakers as "hypocrites" for having accepted stimulus funds for their states or districts after having voted against its passage and claimed its failure.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has also seemed to have staked the fate of her House majority on the stimulus, having issued 260 statements on the legislation over the past year.

But Republicans seem to believe the stimulus is a winning issue for them, the best example of that being a web video released by the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), seeking to tie vulnerable Senate Democratic incumbents to the stimulus act.

This post was updated at 10:17 a.m.

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