U.S. President Barack Obama is stepping up the pace of government spending to stimulate the American economy. The goal is to create or save 600,000 jobs in the next three months.
The president says there has been modest progress since he signed the $787 billion economic stimulus package into law. But he says it is not enough.
"We are still in the middle of a very deep recession that was years in the making," he said.
Mr. Obama says the May unemployment figures released last week were not quite as bad as expected, but still show there is a great deal of work to be done to get the economy back on track. He says it is time to build on the roughly 150,000 jobs created or saved in the initial three months or so of the stimulus program.
"The goal here is that we are going to create or save 600,000 jobs over the next 100 days," the president said.
During a meeting with his cabinet, Mr. Obama instructed government agencies to accelerate the pace of stimulus spending. Much of the money will be poured into construction projects and summer youth programs.
Republicans have slammed the stimulus effort from the start, saying all the tax dollars being spent will send the federal budget deficit soaring and do little to promote economic recovery.
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