The third anniversary of the Recovery Act

On this day three years ago, with an economy in free fall, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Vice President Biden was at President Obama's side as the new administration steered the bill through Congress and a wave of Republican opposition, enacted it, and watched the difference it made for communities, small businesses, and middle-class families nationwide.

Because of this law, the tide turned, and a second Great Depression was averted. We have now seen 23 consecutive months of job growth, and the private-sector has added nearly 3.7 million jobs. Our manufacturing sector is growing for the first time since 1997. And 7 million Americans were kept out of poverty in 2010, thanks to Recovery Act tax cuts for 95 percent of working families.

Today, the Vice President has an op-ed in the Tampa Bay Times, with an eloquent reflection of what the Recovery Act has meant for our economy and for our country. It's worth reading in full.

"Three years ago today, in his first major act in office, President Barack Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It stirred a great debate. Some called it too big; others warned it was too meager. With just a handful of exceptions, Republicans maligned it as the absolute wrong approach to creating jobs. Today, that argument is settled. The Recovery Act did what we asked of it. Three million jobs were created or saved. Essential investments in keeping teachers on the job, building a domestic clean energy industry, and repairing our roads and bridges have helped to foster the economic growth that we are now starting to see. The president is building an economy meant to last, and the Recovery Act is part of the foundation. …

"The Recovery Act was meant to give the economy the jolt it desperately needed. Three years later, it is clear that jolt got us pretty far down the road. We have a long way to go as we work to reinvigorate manufacturing and ultimately rebuild the middle class. The president and I will not stop—will not rest—until the millions of Americans who have struggled in recent years can look their children in the eye and say, 'Honey, it's gonna be okay.'"