Economic Stimulus — Jobs Bills

Updated: March 15, 2012

Since the economy began to falter in 2007, Congress has passed what amounts to three stimulus bills — a bipartisan $158 billion package of tax cuts signed by President George W. Bush in early 2008; a $787 billion bill pushed by President Obama when he took office in 2009 in the wake of the financial system’s collapse; and a tax cut and unemployment fund extension agreement reached by Mr. Obama and Congressional Republicans in 2010 and extended again to cover 2012.

While Republicans have derided the 2009 stimulus as a failure, the consensus among economists has been that it helped stave off deeper job losses and supported a modest recovery.

2011 Obama Jobs Bill: Blocked by Republicans

After Republicans took control of the House in January 2011 following their big midterm victories, the debate in Washington focused on spending cuts, not stimulus. But with economic growth stalling in the late summer of 2011, unemployment still stubbornly high and the risk of a “double dip’' recession rising, Mr. Obama went before Congress in September to push for a $447 billion package of tax cuts and new government spending.