President Barack Obama has signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, known familiarly as the economic stimulus package, into law. At a ceremony in Denver, Colorado, Obama said that the $787 billion package, one of the largest public spending initiatives since World War II, does not mean the end of the nation's economic difficulties. "What makes this recovery plan so important is not just that it will create or save three and a half million jobs over the next two years," said Obama in remarks before signing the bill. "It's that we are putting Americans to work doing the work that America needs done in critical areas that have been neglected for too long - work that will bring real and lasting change for generations to come." The new law includes tax cuts intended to boost consumer spending and funding for infrastructure projects such as road-building, improvement of power grids, and renewable energy installations. Support for the package has been mixed, with Republicans in Congress calling it flawed and irresponsible spending. But the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) issued a statement of support for the stimulus. "Manufacturers recognize that immediate action is needed to address the unprecedented challenges faced by all sectors of the economy," the group said. "We view this bill as a very positive first step in promoting our nation's economic revitalization."
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