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White House says stimulus plan boosting tech innovation

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • NEW: Biden touts CBO report on economic growth created by stimulus bill
  • White House analysis says stimulus plan will lower the cost of electric vehicle batteries
  • The analysis also claims stimulus plan will cut solar power costs in half by 2015
  • Republicans have repeatedly argued the stimulus plan is ineffective

(CNN) -- The Obama administration stepped up its defense of the controversial $862 billion economic stimulus plan Tuesday, releasing an analysis that conluded the measure is helping to spark major technological advances in energy production, among other things.

According to the analysis, the package's $100 billion "innovation" investment has helped put the United States on track to cut the cost of solar power by 50 percent in the next five years.

The report also predicted that the cost of electric vehicle batteries will drop 70 percent by 2015. The country's total capacity to generate renewable energy, it said, will double by 2012.

Additionally, the analysis said that medical investments funded by the Recovery Act will lower the cost of a personal human genome map to under $1,000 over the next five years -- a development that could have significant ramifications for health care.

The stimulus act is helping to "pave the way for game-changing breakthroughs in transportation, energy and medical research," Vice President Joe Biden said while unveiling the report. "We're planting the seeds of innovation, but private companies and the nation's top researchers are helping them grow, launching entire new industries, transforming our economy and creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs in the process."

Administration officials, saddled with near double-digit unemployment and a sluggish economic recovery, have repeatedly defended the stimulus act in the face of GOP criticism over its effectiveness.

Later Tuesday, Biden noted a new Congressional Budget Office report that said the Recovery Act raised the level of economic output from April to June by at least 1.7 percent.

A statement by Biden said the report also found that the stimulus spending reduced unemployment by at least 0.7 percent over the same period.

The findings of the non-partisan CBO made it "impossible for even the most cynical, bent-on-rooting-for-failure critics to deny" the Recovery Act's impact, Biden's statement said.

Last week, President Barack Obama touted the administration's economic accomplishments during stops in Seattle, Washington, and Columbus, Ohio. Biden defended the administration's auto industry bailout during a stop in Ohio on Monday.

Fifty-seven percent of the public, however, disapproves of how Obama is dealing with the economy, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released in July.