Washington (CNN) – The council of economists, executives and labor leaders created to advise President Barack Obama on spurring job creation will officially cease to exist this week, the White House announced Thursday.
The Council on Jobs and Competitiveness was created in January 2011 by executive order, and its charter mandated that it would expire after two years. A White House official said Thursday that the council's charter would not be renewed.
While the unemployment rate has fallen from 9.1% in January 2011 to 7.8% last month, more than 12 million Americans remain out of work, a figure that both Democrats and Republican say is too high.
The news also comes the day after a Commerce Department report showed the U.S. economy contracting for the first time in more than three years. Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the nation's economic growth, contracted at an annual rate of 0.1% from October to December, the report said. It was the first quarterly contraction since the second quarter of 2009, amid the so-called "great recession."
The White House official said Thursday the plan had always been to disband the jobs council after two years, just as the president's Economic Recovery Advisory Board broke up after its two-year charter expired in 2011.
According to the White House website, the last time the jobs council met was over a year ago, on January 17, 2012. The infrequency of the meetings became fodder for Obama's rival on the presidential campaign trail.
"In the last six months, he has held 100 fundraisers," GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney said in July. "And guess how many meetings he's had with his jobs council? None. Zero. Zero, in the last six months. So it makes it very clear where his priorities are."
Romney and other Republicans criticized the council as merely a tactic to appear focused on job creation, rather than actual commitment to any ideas coming from the private sector. On Thursday, Republicans continued those complaints as the White House moved to end the panel.
"To understand the abysmal nature of our economic recovery, look no further than the president's disinterest in learning lessons from actual job creators," Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, wrote in a statement. "Whether ignoring the group or rejecting its recommendations, the president treated his Jobs Council as more of a nuisance than a vehicle to spur job creation."
The White House official said the council's recommendations "were considered in the context of the President's broader economic policy and job creation agenda, and while we didn't agree with every one of their ideas, most of their recommendations were acted on by the administration."
The official pointed to green building initiatives, a new website for the Small Business Administration, and boosts to tourism programs as examples of the president acting on suggestions from his jobs council.
The White House has long struggled to make and keep in the business community, thanks to contentious policy fights over financial and health care reforms. Obama famously dubbed Wall Street as "fat cat bankers" and bashed health insurers for raising premiums and denying coverage.
The tension grew worse during the election, when business groups doubled down their contributions to defeat Obama. The financial sector spent more $50 million supporting the Romney, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
The White House official said Obama would begin a new effort for business outreach in his second term that would expand upon the priorities promoted by the jobs council, including promoting entrepreneurship and small business.
The official also said the White House had been in contact with business leaders since November's election, including on Wednesday, when senior aides held a call with top executives to discuss the latest push for immigration reform. Former AOL CEO Steve Case, Motorolla's Greg Brown, General Motors Dan Akerson and Deloitte's Joe Echevarria were all on the call, the official said.
I'm going to agree. There is much to be learned from these councils but he's not even met with them in eons. What was the point? so many in Washington seem to act like they know exactly what they are doing and clearly they don't. They need help. Little disheartening, this situation that your post describes.
According to the White House website, the last time the jobs council met was over a year ago, on January 17, 2012…..And The Beat Goes On.. LOL
That's actually sort of shocking. They've been on the payroll for a year, with no meetings? Sheesh. Wonder how much we spent on this council? The idea of it is great, but it doesn't sound like it was utilized well! I totally agree with cutting it if it's useless and pointless, why spend the money on something that isn't even really doing anything?
I would think with the very very slow increase in jobs we're seeing, NOW would be a perfect time to take advantage of such a council. I'm sure we would all be amazed at how often something like this goes on in the gov't....all of these councils and committees formed, more money spent...yet with little results.
It's actually kind of ironic that those people on the council will now be laid off, can be counted among America's unemployed. It's kind of funny in a way!
I don't know if these councils are paid and typically they have jobs that allowed them to have the knowledge to be on the council. My dad's been on a few and other than travel, I think it was on a volunteer basis. He's had consulting jobs he's been paid for but I believe the ones for the govt. were based on using his knowledge to help without payment for doing so. Doing a good deed for the country type of thing.
But business leaders of our country have much to offer Washington and it is a shame that in the last two years, Obama basically ignored the group that he himself set up. I'm thinking he could have used their input.
Respectfully, President Obama doesn't do anything that doesn't benefit his own personal agenda.
Job creation isn't high on his priority list, as far as "leaving a legacy" is concerned.
If the job-market suddenly turned around and we had ZERO % unemployment, we'd all stand up and cheer momentarily, but we'd then point at something else that needs to be fixed (IE: the deficit and the debt). Nothing would be written in the history-books about the unemployment rate dropping during his 2nd-term in office, because that's simply him doing HIS JOB.
But if he gets OBAMACARE passed, or a massive overhaul/reform of the IMMIGRATION policy, THAT'S what will be written about in the history-books.
All he's interested in doing right now, is making sure his name is etched in stone. Will immigration reform help the unemployment rate? Will immigration reform help the deficit? Will immigration reform help the debt? Will immigration reform help with anything, other than vote-getting? NOPE.
BUT, if he legalizes 11 MILLION people, overnight, he'll go down in history as the most benevolent, most loved, most diverse, president in US history.
No, no... President Obama won't be remembered for dropping the unemployment rate (which he can't do anyway), but he WILL be remembered for making the mexicans legal, and ramming ACA down the throats of the American people.
He won't be remembered for his spending, of that I'm certain. Revisionist history is ALREADY happening. I saw an article over in the CE-Forum, saying something along the lines of... 'this president's spending is the lowest of any president since eisenhower' or something like that, and that all the spending that's been reported, has been trumped up to make him look bad.
And you know what...? People are buying it. The media is making this guy look like he's spent nothing, when we all know differently.
“He won't be remembered for his spending, of that I'm certain. Revisionist history is ALREADY happening. I saw an article over in the CE-Forum, saying something along the lines of... 'this president's spending is the lowest of any president since eisenhower' or something like that, and that all the spending that's been reported, has been trumped up to make him look bad.
And you know what...? People are buying it. The media is making this guy look like he's spent nothing, when we all know differently”
Yes, the History Books will make it look like The Heavens opened up and The Gods lowered Obama to us.
JFK is a perfect example. You very seldom hear that he barely won the election (some doubt he really did because of his Father’s ties to Underground Crime), he appointed his Brother Robert toAttorney General of the United States even though he had no experience in any state or federal court
There was a possibility he wasn’t going to be re-elected (about 3 months before his assassination, his approval rating dropped to about 53% after the assassination they jumped to the 70s), and he was the one that got us involved in Vietnam even though he was highly advised against it.
I didn’t bring these things up to run JFK down, but these things are all but excluded form history and you have to research to find them. Obama will be portrayed in the same light.
I wonder who is going to be the first to twist my words.
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