White House report shows positive benefits of economic stimulus

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) reiterated that report's findings.

“The Recovery Act brought our economy back from the brink and put millions of Americans back to work," Reid said in a statement. "But there is still more work to be done, and many Nevadans are still struggling to make ends meet. That’s why Democrats are focused on creating jobs by investing in clean energy, rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure and educating our work force to compete in a global economy."

Economic growth was revised downward to an annual rate of 2.8 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, compared with the estimated pace of 3.2 percent in January, according to a recent Commerce Department report.

The nation's unemployment rate dropped to 8.9 percent in February, the lowest level since April 2009, and the Federal Reserve said this week that the jobless rate would remain between 8.8 percent and 9 percent this year. 

By the 2012 presidential elections, the Fed said it expects the rate to drop to between 7.6 percent and 8.1 percent, a slight improvement over earlier estimates.

The Fed offered a more optimistic assessment of the economic recovery this week, saying that the recovery is on "firmer footing" and the jobs market was "improving gradually."

Congressional Republicans have consistently argued that the economic stimulus didn't work — and if it had, the unemployment rate would be lower and economic growth would be accelerating. 

GOP lawmakers on both sides of the Capitol are trying to recover any unused stimulus funds for deficit reduction.