President Barack Obama Thursday signed a bill intended to create jobs.
He said the measure is helpful, but "by no means enough."
The president praised several congressional Republicans who joined majority Democrats in voting for the bill. It includes billions of dollars in tax breaks and money for highway programs.
President Obama said the U.S. economy has lost eight million jobs in recent years. He said the economy is growing again and may soon may be adding jobs instead of losing them. Mr. Obama said this bill is intended to accelerate that process.
Republican critics say the bill is designed to help Democrats in an election year, and will do little to boost the economy.
The bill cuts taxes on businesses that hire unemployed people through the end of the year. It also will give companies an extra $1,000 if the new workers stay on the job for a year.
The speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, says the bill will support small businesses and create 300,000 jobs.
Mr. Obama says he hope this bill is the first in a series of packages that put Americans back to work.
President Obama is facing intense pressure to reduce U.S. unemployment rate which is a bit below 10 percent. He says creating jobs is his top priority.