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State

Biden tells Illinois crowd stimulus did its job

FILE - In this Nov. 7, 2013 file photo, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. Boosting the federal minimum wage as President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats are proposing would increase earnings for more than 16.5 million people by 2016 but also cut employment by roughly 500,000 workers, Congress' nonpartisan budget analyst said Tuesday. Harkin, author of the Senate legislation, cited other research concluding that a higher minimum wage would create jobs, not reduce them. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
FILE - In this Nov. 7, 2013 file photo, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. Boosting the federal minimum wage as President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats are proposing would increase earnings for more than 16.5 million people by 2016 but also cut employment by roughly 500,000 workers, Congress' nonpartisan budget analyst said Tuesday. Harkin, author of the Senate legislation, cited other research concluding that a higher minimum wage would create jobs, not reduce them. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

GRANITE CITY (AP) — Five years since the federal stimulus package was enacted, Vice President Joe Biden says during an Illinois visit that it's done its job.

The Delaware Democrat told several hundred gatherers in a warehouse at a Mississippi River port in Granite City that the spending measure staved off a U.S. depression.

Republican critics have called the stimulus effort a wasteful failure.

Biden says America must continue spending on infrastructure. He says that's what the U.S. always has done, from the Erie Canal to the transcontinental railroad and the interstate highway system.

President Barack Obama signed the $787 billion spending bill called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009.

Biden was joined by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and Gov. Pat Quinn.

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