One the first anniversary of the passage of the federal stimulus package Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden said that the measure has yet to kick in to full gear.
Biden, whose office has overseen the implementation of the $787 billion measure, said that the plan is now entering its second phase of operation.
Democrats and Republicans have spent days leading up to the stimulus act's first anniversary ramping up their arguments over whether it succeeded or failed to bring the economy back to life.
The stimulus is one of the items with which critics have expressed frustration amid an economic environment that remains bleak. But Biden insisted that it has helped the economy from sinking deeper into recession.
"Yes, [Americans] have gotten their money's worth," Biden said of the stimulus.
But Republicans have said Democrats have went back on their promises that the stimulus would create job growth sooner.
The office of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) circulated an e-mail Wednesday morning containing a quote from Council of Economic Advisers Chairwoman Christina Romer who said in Oct. 2009 that job growth spurred by the stimulus would take place in the second half of that year.
"Most analysts predict that the fiscal stimulus will have its greatest impact on growth in the second and third quarters of 2009," she said. "By mid-2010, fiscal stimulus will likely be contributing little to growth.”
But Biden acknowledged he understood critics who say that the administration has spent too much time focusing on healthcare in its first year and not enough time on the economy.
"We get it, we understand why they're angry. Look we are in good shape compared to the Congress," he said. "No one in Washington is in good shape...But what it is reflects is voter reality. It reflects the reality that Washington right now is broken."
"I have never seen it this dysfunctional," he added.