Eliminating Barriers to Growing our Economy

Throughout today and the rest of the weekend, President Obama will be meeting with governors from around the country. Today, he met with Democratic governors and talked about ways the federal government and the states can work together to create jobs and grow the economy.  In particular, the President talked about ways to accelerate the growing trend of ‘insourcing’ – where companies are bringing jobs back to the United States and making additional investments here in America. The President’s conversation with governors about how we can work together to put Americans back to work and build an economy built to last will continue with a larger, bipartisan group of governors Monday. 

Last year, around this time – along with similar meetings with governors – the President instructed agencies to work closely with State, local, and tribal governments to identify any Federal barriers that prevent efficient use of taxpayer dollars to achieve the best results.

Today we’re releasing a report highlighting examples of where these new partnerships are leading to real benefits for States, which include:

  • More flexibility to design and implement education reforms.  In exchange for agreeing to implement bold reforms around standards and accountability, the Administration is granting flexibility to states from the burdensome mandates of No Child Left Behind. The Administration recently granted waivers to the first 11 States that applied and looks forward to working with additional States. 
  • New job and workforce opportunities through the $37 million Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge to promote economic development in high-growth industries, the $15 million Rural Jobs Accelerator to support jobs development, and $166 million to hire veterans under 2012 grants for Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency (SAFER). 
  • Development of streamlined rules for Federal grants that focus resources on targeting high-risk areas to improve performance and target waste, fraud, and abuse. 
  • A forthcoming Executive Order to clear away the red tape that can slow down the construction of infrastructure projects. 

In addition, in January 2011, the President issued an Executive Order that emphasized the importance of obtaining the views of State and local governments in making and revising Federal regulations to protect public health, welfare, safety, and our environment while promoting economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation. 

The Administration also established the Partnership Fund for Program Integrity Innovation, which brings together stakeholders from across all levels of government, including representatives of all 50 states, to engage in ongoing collaborative forums with Federal agencies and to provide constructive feedback and ideas to improve program administration.  

Jewel James is Special Assistant to the President, Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs
Related Topics: Economy
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