President Barack Obama promised Monday to deliver more than 600,000 jobs through his $787 billion stimulus plan this summer, with federal agencies pumping billions into public works projects, schools and summer youth programs.
Obama is ramping up his stimulus program this week even as his advisers are ramping down expectations about when the spending plan will effect a continuing rise in the nation's unemployment.
Many of the stimulus plans that Obama announced Monday already were in the works, including hundreds of maintenance projects at military bases, about 1,600 state road and airport improvements, and federal money states budgeted for 135,000 teachers, principals and school support staff.
The administration had always viewed the summer as a peak for stimulus spending, as better weather permitted more public works construction and federal agencies had processed requests from states and others.
But Obama now promises an accelerated pace of federal spending over the next few months to boost the economy and produce jobs.
"We have a long way to go on our road to recovery but we are going the right way," Obama said in a written statement prepared for his public announcement of the additional summer stimulus activity.
"Our measure of progress is the progress the American people see in their own lives. And until that progress is steady and solid, we're going to keep moving forward. We will not grow complacent or rest. Surely and steadily, we will turn this economy around," the statement said.