Office Hours 9/13/11 or "We Need the American Jobs Act Now": David Plouffe Answers Your Questions on TwitterPosted byon September 13, 2011 at 6:30 PM EST
Today, David Plouffe, Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor, answered your questions on the American Jobs Act during a special session of White House Office Hours. See a recap of the Twitter Q&A below, or over on Storify.
If you didn't have a chance to join us live, there are more Office Hours focused on the American Jobs Act this week. Take a look at the schedule and be sure to follow @WHLive for more chances to engage.
- Posted byon September 13, 2011 at 4:22 PM EST
Yesterday, President Obama sent The American Jobs Act to Congress and urged Congress to pass the bill right away to get the economy moving. Organizations and businesses continue to respond to the President’s call to put partisanship aside and do what is right for the American people. Here is what organizations around the country are saying about the American Jobs Act:
UNITE HERE, John W. Wilhelm, President
On behalf of UNITE HERE’s 250,000 members who work in the hotel, food service, gaming and manufacturing industries, I applaud the President’s vigorous and inspired push to put America back to work. We join him in calling for the Congress to act and to act now!
Public Transportation Association (APTA), William Millar, President
On behalf of the more than 1,500 members of the American Public Transportation Association I commend President Obama for his remarks last night that highlighted creating and supporting jobs through investing in transportation infrastructure. The $50 billion in direct funding proposed in the American Jobs Act will go a long way to jump start needed transportation investments. Every $1 billion in public transportation investment supports or creates 36,000 jobs. Also, for every $1 invested in public transportation, $4 is generated in economic returns.
International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers (IFPTE), Gregory J. Junemann, President
The President’s plan is needed now, more than ever, and we encourage all Americans and every member of Congress to get on board in pushing this plan into law. President Obama made a great speech in outlining his plan for the restoration of the nation’s economy. And he called on all of us—each and every one of us—to support him. We must answer his call with meaningful action. Reach out to every member of Congress and demand the swift passage of the American Jobs Act.
Fraternal Order of Police, Chuck Caterbury, National President
President Obama has presented us with a sound, no nonsense, blueprint for getting Americans back to work and jumpstarting the economy. We support and applaud this effort and will work to ensure its passage by Congress.
What You Missed: Open for Questions with News One, Hello Beautiful, Black Planet, The Urban Daily & TheGrioPosted byon September 13, 2011 at 1:09 PM EST
President Barack Obama drops by an Interactive One panel discussion in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Sept. 12, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Yesterday, the White House hosted an "Open for Questions" event with InteractiveOne, a network of sites that includes NewsOne.com, TheGrio.com, TheUrbanDaily.com, HelloBeautiful.com, and BlackPlanet.com. During the discussion, President Obama made a surprise appearance to speak about the American Jobs Act that he sent to Congress earlier in the day and to answer questions.
Administration officials including Melody Barnes, Director of the Domestic Policy Council; Shaun Donovan, US Secretary for Housing and Urban Development; Jason Furman, Principal Deputy Director of the National Economic Council; Marie Johns, Deputy Administrator of the US Small Business Administration; and Ambassador Ron Kirk, US Trade Representative answered questions on a range of topics submitted by InteractiveOne readers, as well as questions from a live audience and from Twitter.
Watch the video of President Obama's surprise visit or check out the full panel discussion below:
- Posted byon September 13, 2011 at 11:45 AM EST
On Thursday, September 15th at 2:00PM EDT, the White House will host a special “Open for Questions” event.
Last week, President Obama unveiled the American Jobs Act before a Joint Session of Congress and yesterday the President sent the American Jobs Act to Congress. This plan puts more people back to work and puts more money in the pockets of working Americans. On Thursday, September 15th at 2:00PM EDT Obama Administration officials will answer questions submitted through Facebook, Twitter, and the White House website during a live event that you won’t want to miss.
Participating Obama Administration include:
- Brian Deese, Deputy Director of the National Economic Council
- Jon Carson, Deputy Assistant to the President & Director of the Office of Public Engagement
Right now, you can submit questions through:
On September 15th at 2:00 p.m. EDT, you can watch and engage live:
- Posted byon September 13, 2011 at 11:18 AM EST
On Saturday, I visited the Port of Miami to see firsthand the success story of American agriculture and the jobs it is creating. Despite historic natural disasters, our agriculture business is booming.
Last year, almost $920 million in agricultural goods moved through the port, nearly double the amount from 2006. And this year it’s on pace to exceed that total by 8.5 percent. Those exports alone are helping support nearly 8,400 American jobs.
At the same time, the port is beginning work on a major tunnel and a deep-dredge project that will provide jobs for construction workers to keep it among the busiest in the nation. These are steps - much like those proposed by President Obama in the American Jobs Act – that are already underway to grow the economy and create jobs.
- Posted byon September 13, 2011 at 8:58 AM EST
Ed. Note: The following is cross-listed with the Department of Transportation blog.
Last week, as President Obama addressed Congress on the American Jobs Act, Kirk Bergstrom, a construction engineer from Centennial, Colorado, who personifies our economic challenges, sat in the First Lady’s box.
Here's what I mean. Kirk Bergstrom is a stand-up guy, one of those Americans who has played by the rules all his life. He went to college to improve his opportunities. He developed his skills and experience through more than a decade working in his field. He got married and began raising a family. He was doing all the right things.
Then, when the recession began, he was laid off from a company he'd been with for 11 steady years. He was picked up by another construction company, but was laid off again. Hired back by his original company, he was again let go when the projects dried up.
For long stretches during this period--three months, six months, another six months--Kirk was unemployed. But even then he would not give up. He took part-time work in a warehouse while his wife struggled to hold down different part-time jobs. The bills--mortgage, utilities, groceries--piled up.
"My wife and I," Kirk says, "would sit up at night and just stare at each other, not knowing what to say."
- Posted byon September 12, 2011 at 11:00 PM EST
New data released today on income and poverty in 2010 underscore the need for Congress to pass the President’s American Jobs Act without delay. With the first full year of data following the deepest recession since the Great Depression now in, we see an unacceptably high poverty rate and families struggling to get by on less income.
- Posted byon September 12, 2011 at 6:48 PM EST
Hi everyone. I’d like to invite you to a very special edition of “Open for Questions” on Wednesday, September 14th, at 4:00PM EDT. Please join me and senior White House officials as we field questions on how the American Jobs Act will impact young Americans. I'll moderate this conversation with:
- Michael Pyle, Special Assistant to the President, National Economic Council
- Roberto Rodriguez, Special Assistant to the President for Education Policy
We’ve already received a number of questions about the American Jobs Act, like:
- How will the President’s plan support young entrepreneurs?
- Will the plan help prevent police, firefighters and teacher layoffs?
- What programs will the American Jobs Act support on youth employment?
On Wednesday, we'll answer these questions, and many more. So, send us your questions and please be sure to tune in for the live video chat. Here's how you can participate:
Right now, you can:
- Posted byon September 12, 2011 at 5:52 PM EST
Today, President Obama sent a message to Congress with the American Jobs Act of 2011 and a section-by-section analysis of the legislation. The American Jobs Act is composed of the kinds of proposals to put Americans back to work that both Democrats and Republicans have supported. That's why President Obama is urging Congress to pass the bill right away to get the economy moving. As the President stressed this morning, this is not a time to play politics:
It’s not okay at a time of great urgency and need all across the country. These aren’t games we’re playing out here. Folks are out of work. Businesses are having trouble staying open. You’ve got a world economy that is full of uncertainty right now -- in Europe, in the Middle East. Some events may be beyond our control, but this is something we can control. Whether we not -- whether or not we pass this bill, whether or not we get this done, that’s something that we can control. That’s in our hands.
Read the letter to Congress, the full American Jobs Act, and the section-by-section analysis below:
- Posted byon September 12, 2011 at 2:45 PM EST
This morning, President Obama was joined by Vice President Biden as well as teachers, veterans, small business owners, construction workers and first responders, as he called on Congress to pass the American Jobs Act right away:
On Thursday, I told Congress that I’ll be sending them a bill called the American Jobs Act. Well, here it is. This is a bill that will put people back to work all across the country. This is the bill that will help our economy in a moment of national crisis. This is a bill that is based on ideas from both Democrats and Republicans. And this is the bill that Congress needs to pass. No games. No politics. No delays. I’m sending this bill to Congress today, and they ought to pass it immediately.
- Posted byon September 12, 2011 at 11:20 AM EST
As President Obama said in his address to a joint session of Congress, he is sending over the American Jobs Act to be passed right away. The bill is a set of ideas supported by both Democrats and Republicans to put Americans back to work.
During the President's address to Congress, the White House invited students and young adults to watch the speech and have senior administration officials answer their questions on the President's new jobs proposal.
Senior staff and policy experts will continue to answer questions about the American Jobs Act in the coming days. Use the hashtag #WHChat on Twitter to get answers live during scheduled Office Hours. And tune in for a special Open for Questions with Interactive One today starting at 4 p.m. EDT at WhiteHouse.gov/live.
Find out more about the American Jobs Act
- Posted byon September 12, 2011 at 10:24 AM EST
Ed. Note: The following is cross-listed with the Department of Education blog.
In his speech to Congress, President Obama laid out two job programs critical to ensuring every child has the opportunity for a world-class education.
He proposed to invest $30 billion to put hundreds of thousands of construction workers, engineers, boiler repairmen, and electrical workers back to work rebuilding and modernizing our aging public schools and community colleges. And he proposed an additional $30 billion to keep hundreds of thousands of educators facing potential layoffs and furloughs in classrooms where they belong—instead of on unemployment lines.
In the global economy, the nation that out-educates America will out-compete America. But the hard truth is that a number of nations are now out-educating the U.S.—and the antiquated conditions of many public schools are limiting children’s access to the 21st century tools and skills needed to compete in a knowledge economy.
The average public school building in the United States is over 40 years old. Many school buildings are even more antiquated. Today, the digital age has penetrated every nook of American life—with the exception of many of our public schools.
Most classrooms have changed little from a century ago. In fact, 43 states report that a third or more of their schools fail to meet the functional requirements necessary to effectively teach laboratory science—even though hands-on science education is vital for the jobs of the future. That’s no way to provide a world-class education.
Cash-strapped school districts meanwhile face an enormous $270 billion backlog of deferred maintenance and repairs. Tragically, children in the nation’s poorest school districts often attend schools with crumbling ceilings, overcrowded classrooms, and facilities that lack basic wiring infrastructure for computers, projectors, and other modern-day technology.
- Posted byon September 12, 2011 at 9:30 AM EST
On Friday, after traveling to the University of Richmond to discuss the American Jobs Act, President Obama hosted a conference call for over 1,100 state, local and tribal officials to explain how the plan would put people back to work in communities across the country.
The President thanked the officials on the call for their ongoing support, as well as their input and ideas that helped shape the American Jobs Act through listening sessions, calls and meetings over the past month. The President then laid out his policy ideas to help create more jobs immediately, including proposals to:
- Provide $50 billion in immediate investments for highways, transit, rail and aviation;
- Provide $10 billion to create a National Infrastructure Bank;
- Invest $35 billion to prevent layoffs of up to 280,000 teachers while also keeping tens of thousands of police officers and firefighters on the job;
- Modernize at least 35,000 public schools with $25 billion in infrastructure investments and $5 billion to improve community colleges; and
- Put construction workers back on the job with $15 billion to rehabilitate and refurbish hundreds of thousands of vacant homes in communities across America.
Office Hours 9/9/11 or “Gotta sign off, headed to #WHTweetup”: Brian Deese Answers Your Questions on TwitterPosted byon September 9, 2011 at 7:28 PM EST
Earlier today, we brought back White House “Office Hours”, a question and answer session with Administration officials on Twitter to hear from you and answer your questions, submitted using the hashtag #WHChat, on the new White House twitter account @WHLive.
Today, Brian Deese, Deputy Director of the National Economic Council answered your questions about the American Jobs Act, announced by President Obama in a joint session of Congress and designed to create more jobs now, and put more money in the pockets of working Americans.
If you missed this session, check out the schedule for upcoming chances to join.
- Posted byon September 9, 2011 at 5:01 PM EST
Last night, President Obama laid out the American Jobs Act – a set of ideas supported by both Democrats and Republicans that will put people back to work and put more money in the pockets of working Americans. He urged Congress to pass it right away.
Today, we’ve seen reports from economic analysts and statements from CEOs. All of their statements underscore the same message: the American Jobs Act will create jobs and is good for the American people. It will grow the economy, help middle class families and strengthen communities across the nation.
Here’s a quick rundown from the experts:
Moody’s Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi: “The fiscal boost from the jobs package next year would be larger than in the first year of the 2009 economic stimulus, said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. Zandi, who was briefed on the plan before the president’s speech, forecast passage of the entire jobs package would add 2 percentage points to economic growth next year and bring down the unemployment rate by 1 percentage point compared with current policy, under which a temporary payroll tax cut and an extended unemployment benefits both expire Dec. 31.”
This morning Economic Forecasting FirmMacroeconomic Advisers issued a report: “We estimate that the American Jobs Act (AJA), if enacted, would give a significant boost to GDP and employment over the near-term. The various tax cuts aimed at raising workers’ after-tax income and encouraging hiring and investing, combined with the spending increases aimed at maintaining state & local employment and funding infrastructure modernization, would: Boost the level of GDP by 1.3% by the end of 2012, and by 0.2% by the end of 2013. Raise nonfarm establishment employment by 1.3 million by the end of 2012 and 0.8 million by the end of 2013, relative to the baseline.”
On CNN last night, Pimco CEO Bill Gross said, “Well, I think it's significant, Piers. I mean, it's $450 billion in terms of a proposal. That is 3% of GDP. If it's passed, you know, it could lead to hundreds of thousands of jobs.”
In a statement last night, Citigroup Chairman Richard Parsons said, “The President's proposed combination of personal and business tax relief, targeted spending to support infrastructure, and aid to states offers several direct and innovative ways of creating jobs and bolstering our economy. The President's focus on assisting small business is spot on, since small business is the engine of job creation.”
The President will continue to make his case directly to the American people about the importance of passing the American Jobs Act. He discussed his strategy to rebuild the economy at University of Richmond this afternoon and he’ll travel to Ohio and North Carolina next week.
This package will keep cops on the beat, first responders on the job, and teachers in the classroom. This package will put folks back to work by rebuilding our roads and upgrading our schools. Plain and simple, this package will create jobs and help rebuild the economy. The time for obstruction and gridlock is over. Congress needs to put country ahead of politics, and pass the American Jobs Act.
Find out more about the American Jobs Act
- Posted byon September 9, 2011 at 4:47 PM EST
Ed. Note: Cross-posted from the USDA Blog.
Last night, I went to the Capitol to hear the President address Congress about the way forward to grow the economy and create jobs.
There is no doubt that these have been tough times. And it’s very tough for the many Americans who are looking for work. So we’ve got to keep finding ways to help the unemployed in the short term and rebuild the middle class over the long term.
The American Jobs Act that President Obama laid out this evening will have an immediate impact. It will create jobs now. And it is based on bipartisan ideas that both Democrats and Republicans have supported in the past.
Americans living in rural communities know well that the specific ideas in the bill work.
- Posted byon September 9, 2011 at 4:13 PM EST
The purpose of the American Jobs Act, which President Obama presented to Congress last night, is simple: Put more people back to work and put more money in the pockets of working Americans. The President's plan will rebuild the economy the American way -- based on balance, fairness and the same set of rules for everyone from Wall Street to Main Street.
The American Jobs Act offers benefits for workers and for business owners -- to see what impact the Jobs Act will have in your community, click on the link below for your state.
Find out more about the American Jobs Act
- Posted byon September 9, 2011 at 3:30 PM EST
Ed. Note: The following is a cross-post that originally appeared on the Office Of Science and Technology Policy blog.
President Obama just unveiled the American Jobs Act, an ambitious plan to create jobs across the country and put more money in the pockets of American workers and businesses – all without adding a dime to the deficit.
The President’s jobs plan, specifically crafted to garner quick bipartisan support, also promises to dramatically accelerate the pace of American innovation and the success of U.S. entrepreneurs, who have historically been responsible for virtually all new job growth across the country. Here are five highlights:
Boosting access to capital for high-growth companies: America’s most innovative companies need equity capital to grow and hire faster. As part of the President’s Startup America initiative, the Administration will work to unlock this capital through smart regulatory changes that are consistent with investor protection. This means reducing the disproportionately high costs that smaller companies face when going public, as well as raising the cap on “mini” public offerings (Regulation A) from $5 million to $50 million. It also means responsibly allowing startups to raise money through “crowdfunding” – gathering many small-dollar investments that add up to as much as $1 million. Right now, entrepreneurs like these bakers and these gadget-makers are already using crowdfunding platforms to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in pure donations – imagine the possibilities if these small-dollar donors became investors with a stake in the venture. Steve Case, chairman of the Startup America Partnership, noted after he joined the First Lady as a guest at the President's speech, that "High-growth entrepreneurial businesses have been responsible for nearly all of the net jobs created in the last three decades – so policies that make it easier for entrepreneurs to start and expand companies must be at the epicenter of any jobs effort. While Republicans and Democrats don't seem to agree on much these days, they do agree that entrepreneurs hold the key to a bright economic future. Therefore, I hope both parties will put politics and partisanship aside, and work together to ensure the success of the next generation of great American companies."
Turning job-seekers into job-creators: Through innovative use of Federal unemployment insurance funds, all 50 states will have the flexibility to support long-term unemployed workers who create their own jobs by starting their own companies. A few states already have these self-employment assistance (SEA) programs, many of which have been remarkably successful. For example, SEA allowed two unemployed software developers to co-found a new mobile advertising company in 2009 – and today that company has raised $6.5 million in venture capital, employs 28 workers, and plans to hire many more.
Unleashing innovation in wireless high-speed Internet: Bipartisan, job-creating legislation will speed deployment of high-speed wireless Internet service to at least 98% of Americans, including those in remote rural communities like the students using online learning tools who met the President on his trip to Marquette, Michigan. By freeing up spectrum through private-sector incentive auctions, this plan will also reduce the deficit while creating a nationwide, interoperable wireless network for public safety, as recommended by the 9/11 Commission.
Modernizing more than 35,000 schools: Investing $25 billion in K-12 school infrastructure will put thousands of construction workers back on the job—with new science labs and Internet-ready classrooms a priority, in keeping with the President’s Educate to Innovate campaign to make American students the world’s best in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
Making government services transparent to job creators: The President has directed both his CIO and CTO to launch BusinessUSA within 90 days. This one-stop online platform will provide access to information about the full range of government programs and services businesses need to compete globally – and it will represent the next major accomplishment of the Open Government Initiative.
The President’s jobs plan includes plenty of other important initiatives to fuel innovation and entrepreneurship, including $1 billion to support NextGen air traffic modernization, a new National Infrastructure Bank, and skills-based training for low-income youth and adults to help them enter the innovation economy. It will put Americans back to work in the near term, while further strengthening our long-term foundation for growth. We believe Congress should come together in response to the President’s call to action, and “Pass this bill right away.”If you would like to find out more about the American Jobs Act, you can watch a special enhanced version of the speech, featuring charts and other relevant information here.
Aneesh Chopra is U.S. Chief Technology Officer.
Tom Kalil is Deputy Director for Policy at OSTP.
Find out more about the American Jobs Act
- Boosting access to capital for high-growth companies: America’s most innovative companies need equity capital to grow and hire faster. As part of the President’s Startup America initiative, the Administration will work to unlock this capital through smart regulatory changes that are consistent with investor protection. This means reducing the disproportionately high costs that smaller companies face when going public, as well as raising the cap on “mini” public offerings (Regulation A) from $5 million to $50 million. It also means responsibly allowing startups to raise money through “crowdfunding” – gathering many small-dollar investments that add up to as much as $1 million. Right now, entrepreneurs like these bakers and these gadget-makers are already using crowdfunding platforms to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in pure donations – imagine the possibilities if these small-dollar donors became investors with a stake in the venture. Steve Case, chairman of the Startup America Partnership, noted after he joined the First Lady as a guest at the President's speech, that "High-growth entrepreneurial businesses have been responsible for nearly all of the net jobs created in the last three decades – so policies that make it easier for entrepreneurs to start and expand companies must be at the epicenter of any jobs effort. While Republicans and Democrats don't seem to agree on much these days, they do agree that entrepreneurs hold the key to a bright economic future. Therefore, I hope both parties will put politics and partisanship aside, and work together to ensure the success of the next generation of great American companies."
- Posted byon September 9, 2011 at 2:42 PM EST
President Obama today said that he is "an eternal optimist" who believes in America, and in our democracy and that Congress will do the right thing, and pass the American Jobs Act,
Speaking to students at the University of Richmond, the President discussed why the actions he laid out last night in a joint address to Congress need to be taken quickly:
It will create more jobs for construction workers. More jobs for teachers. More jobs for veterans. More jobs for young people. More jobs for the long-term unemployed. It will provide a tax break to companies if they hire new workers. It will cut payroll taxes in half for every small business owner and every working American. It will jumpstart an economy that has stalled, and it will give companies the confidence that, if they hire new workers and they invest in their businesses, then there are going to be customers there who can afford to actually buy the things they’re selling.
Passing this jobs bill will put people to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and our crumbling bridges. And it will also help us rebuild our schools. I just -- in the back, I was taking some photos with folks who had helped out to organize this event, and there was a young lady who is a teacher. And she said, “I heard your speech last night. I really appreciate it. I’m teaching eighth grade English, and I teach in a trailer.” We shouldn’t have people teaching in trailers. We shouldn’t have kids learning in trailers. They should have classrooms with Internet and science labs.
You’ve got aging bridges on I-95 -- need to replace them. You’ve got schools... that need to be upgraded. There are millions of unemployed construction workers across America ready to put on their tool belt and get dirty. I don’t know about you -- I don’t want the newest airports, the fastest railroads, to be built in China. I want them to build -- I want them to be built right here in the Unites States of America.
- Posted byon September 9, 2011 at 1:35 PM EST
On Thursday, President Obama introduced the American Jobs Act, and called on Congress to pass it quickly so we can put more people back to work and put more money in the pockets of working Americans. Now organizations and businesses are adding their voice to the call for action
Teamsters, Jim Hoffa, General President
“Congress must pass President Obama’s plan now. The jobs crisis is an American problem. It isn’t President Obama’s problem and it isn’t a Republican or Democratic problem. All Americans need to come together to create good jobs for the good of our economy and the good of our country.”
Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Mary Kay Henry, President
“Tonight, President Obama displayed the leadership America needs by laying out a strong agenda to get America back to work. The proposals he outlined are an excellent starting point in the crucial effort to create good jobs now.”
United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), Joseph Hansen, President
“President Obama’s plan for job creation, including a private fund to rebuild our roads and schools, a tax cut for companies that hire workers and help for the long-term unemployed, is a good start. The nation’s job crisis demands leadership from President Obama, but he cannot revive the economy alone. Bold leadership is also needed from Republicans in Congress and the business community in order to create jobs that can support a family and rebuild the middle class.”
Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), Terry O’Sullivan, General President
“We applaud President Obama's bold, smart, progressive plan for putting Americans back to work. At its foundation, The American Jobs Act is based on something we’ve always believed – if America wants to continue being a great nation, it needs to outbuild its rivals and ensure it has the greatest transportation system in the world.”
The Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association (SMWIA), Joseph J. Nigro, General President
“Last night, President Obama displayed the leadership America needs by outlining out a strong agenda to get America back to work. Action is needed on these proposals now to get America moving again.”