Obama promises speedup of US economic effort

Eager to show action on the ailing US economy, US President Barack Obama promised Monday to speed federal money into hundreds of public works projects in the next few months, vowing that 600,000 jobs will be created or saved. Surrounded by his Cabinet, Obama emphasized what has become a dominant issue of public concern - an economy that keeps bleeding jobs - on the day after returning from a week of diplomacy and sightseeing in the Middle East and Europe. He concentrated in his remarks on the billions of dollars from a taxpayer-funded plan that will be disbursed over the next three months, although much what he was described was already in the works, spurring new debate about just how much the $787 billion stimulus plan is helping so far. "We've done more than ever, faster than ever, more responsibility than ever, to get the gears of the economy moving again," Obama said. Based on the work carried out across a broad spectrum of federal agencies during the first 100 days of the administration, Obama said, "we're in a position to really accelerate."