Obama signs jobs bill
By Michael D. Shear
President Obama signed an $18 billion jobs bill into law in a Rose Garden ceremony this morning, providing tax breaks for businesses that hire previously unemployed workers and extending funding for infrastructure and transportation projects.
The measure, which Obama signed in front of an audience of business executives and lawmakers, is the first of what Democrats hope will be a series of election-year bills that will help put people back to work before the midterm elections in the fall.
"I hope it is a prelude to further cooperation in the days and months to come, as we continue the work of digging out of this recession and rebuilding our economy in a way that works for all Americans," Obama said Thursday.
Obama praised the handful of Republicans who supported the measure, thanking them for being willing to "break out of the partisan morass in Washington" to support it.
The president signed the legislation, as he often does, by signing his name one letter at a time with several different pens. The pens are then presented to key lawmakers as mementos of the effort.
Afterward, Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden (D) shook hands with Obama and was overheard joking that the ceremony would serve as a warm up for the health care vote if it comes later this week.
"I'm going to need more pens," Obama responded.
Michael D. Shear
March 18, 2010; 11:57 AM ET
Categories: 44 The Obama Presidency , Barack Obama , Economy
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