The federal stimulus act has performed "exactly" as the Obama administration expected it to, Council of Economic Advisers Chairwoman Christina Romer said Sunday.
Republicans renewed their criticism of the stimulus in the aftermath of the March jobs report that showed the unemployment rate stuck at 9.7 percent. But the White House and Democrats and Congress have touted the 162,000 jobs created last month as a sign that their policies are working to spark a recovery.
The economy will be one of the top issues on the campaign trail during the fall midterm elections and the stimulus act, President Barack Obama's first piece of major legislation, will under the microscope.
Romer's comments are likely to raise the ire of Republicans in Congress. On Friday, the office of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) released a memo showing that the stimulus has failed to keep unemployment under 8 percent as the administration said it would do.
But Romer said that the measure has helped the economy "turn the corner" and that experts have credited it for buoying the economy. She added that the administration estimated that the act would "create or save" 3.5 million jobs, which she said it is on pace to do.
Romer said that Democrats should "unquestionably" take credit on the trail for helping turn the economy around.
"I think they should be out there saying they made the tough choices," she said.