The $819 billion economic stimulus package, signed into law February 2009 less than a month after Barack Obama became president, is the largest stand-alone spending bill in US history. It included tax cuts, as well as new spending for public works, education, clean energy, technology, and health care.
House Republicans united to oppose the bill, which they dubbed a job killer because it added to an unsustainable national deficit. Three centrist Republicans joined Democrats to break a filibuster in the Senate.
The stimulus bill would become campaign grist for tea party opponents, who said it focused on saving public-sector jobs, rather than stimulating private-sector job creation, and did not “create or save” 3.5 million jobs in two years, as the White House had promised.