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GRANITE CITY, Ill. (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.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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