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A year into stimulus, large chunk remains

The Obama administration says that stimulus spending is ahead of schedule, despite critics' complaints that the program has fallen short of its goals.

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One year into the record-size economic stimulus effort, much of the Recovery Act's $787 billion remains to be spent.

As of January, government outlays from stimulus programs total $179 billion, and $119 billion has flowed out in the form of tax cuts. That still leaves a lot of money to distribute – most of it this year. In many cases, the remaining funds are already allocated, or "obligated" in government jargon, for use in particular programs or contractor projects.

To supporters of the stimulus, the unspent billions mean the economy will still be getting a strong push from the programs for much of 2010. But President Obama said Wednesday that the economy needs additional fiscal support.

"I expect congress to pass additional measures as soon as possible," Mr. Obama said, even as he praised the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's (ARRA) accomplishments so far.

Critics, including many Republicans in Congress, say the act has been falling far short of its objectives for job creation.


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