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White House, Republicans in new stimulus spat

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WASHINGTON – The White House and its Republican foes opened a new skirmish over President Barack Obama’s 800-billion-dollar stimulus plan Thursday, on the second anniversary of the bill’s enactment.

Vice President Joe Biden, who was charged with ensuring the massive infrastructure spending and tax cutting bill was not consumed with fraud, insisted the act did its job.

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But Republicans, seeking to extend their political assault on President Barack Obama as a big spending, deficit-busting liberal, branded the plan a failure which defied common sense.

The White House argues that the stimulus bill was a success simply because it staved off a repeat of a second Great Depression, and that the economy, now growing again, has come a long way out of the mire.

It also uses government data to show that the economy was in far worse shape when Obama took over than previously thought, and argues that the bulk of massive job losses were the result of Republican economic policies.

Biden argued that the Recovery Act was never intended to fill the massive hole blown in the economy by the worst financial crisis since the 1930s.

“The Recovery Act wasn’t designed to bring back the economy,” Biden said, adding that it had succeeded in stabilizing the dire situation in 2009, building a platform for long-term growth and making government more responsive.

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“We set out to prove we could do something big, well,” Biden said, styling the bill as an attempt to prove to Americans that the government could function and tackle a massive crisis.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said at a cabinet meeting on the stimulus plan that the administration should be “proud” of its work.

“The stimulus plan worked. I don’t care what anybody says, I don’t care what anybody has written,” LaHood said.

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“We ought to be mighty proud of it.”

The White House cites data by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office as saying that the stimulus plan is responsible for as many as 3.6 million jobs and for reducing the unemployment rate by two percent.

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It says that average growth of three percent over the last six quarters is largely due to the bill.

Republicans however sought to use the stimulus plan as evidence of what they see as a lack of seriousness by Obama on cutting a budget deficit predicted to hit 1.65 trillion dollars this year.

“Within a year of its passage, the so-called Stimulus bill had become a national punch-line,” Senate Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell said, seizing on rosy administration predictions that the plan would drive unemployment by now below seven percent.

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“The bottom line here is that two years after the President told us he was investing in our future, here?s what we have to show for it: higher unemployment than they predicted and trillions more in debt.

“The fact is, dangerously high debt has actually slowed the recovery, making it harder to create private sector jobs.

Republican House of Representatives speaker John Boehner said that the legacy of the stimulus bill was clear.

“It failed. After two years and a trillion dollars, the American people are still wondering: where are the jobs?”

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According to official data, the January unemployment rate fell a surprisingly strong 0.8 percentage points from December to 9.0 percent.


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Trump rages at Sally Yates minutes before she testifies in the Senate: Greatest political crime of the century!

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President Donald Trump lashed out at former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates on Wednesday, just minutes before she was set to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“Sally Yates has zero credibility,” Trump tweeted, as Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was delivering his opening statement.

“She was a part of the greatest political crime of the Century, and ObamaBiden knew EVERYTHING! Sally Yates leaked the General Flynn conversation? Ask her under oath. Republicans should start playing the Democrats game!“

Graham is accusing former Justice Department officials of abusing their power by surveilling some Trump’s associates during their investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

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2020 Election

Trump makes pitch on Catholic TV: ‘Catholics like their Second Amendment so I saved the Second Amendment’

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President Donald Trump this week made a pitch to Catholic voters based on his assertion that he "saved the Second Amendment."

In a Tuesday interview with the Catholic TV network EWTV, correspondent Tracy Sabol asked Trump if he had a message for Catholic voters.

"Well, I think anybody having to do with, frankly, religion, but certainly the Catholic Church, you have to be with President Trump when it comes to pro-life, when it comes to all of the things, these people are going to take all of your rights away, including Second Amendment," the president said, "because, you know, Catholics like their Second Amendment. So I saved the Second Amendment."

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‘Jim Acosta is a fake reporter!’ Trump angrily denies reports that he ‘still doesn’t get’ coronavirus threat

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CNN's Jim Acosta must have struck a nerve with President Donald Trump.

Trump angrily denied Acosta's reporting that some members of the president's coronavirus task force were alarmed that Trump kept trying to change the subject during Tuesday's meeting about the deadly pandemic, and sources familiar with the White House meeting feared he still doesn't understand the gravity of the situation.

“He still doesn’t get it,” the source said. “He does not get it.”

As some members of the task force tried to stress the dire nature of the situation to the president during the meeting, the source said Trump repeatedly attempted to change the subject.

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