President Obama brought together business leaders to create the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness—a nonpartisan group tasked with developing achievable initiatives to invest in the American economy and create jobs. Following the President’s direction, the Jobs Council has conducted multiple listening and action sessions around the country with businesses and local leaders, holding six different sessions in this year alone.
The Obama administration has taken action to implement 90% of the Jobs Council’s recommendations that require executive action, and just today, it announced that—consistent with a Jobs Council call to make infrastructure permitting more efficient and effective—it is expediting five major port projects. At the same time, President Obama has put forward a jobs plan, incorporating ideas from the Jobs Council, that could create at least 1 million jobs now.
Hoping to turn attention away from his record of outsourcing and offshoring U.S. jobs, Mitt Romney is driving a false attack about President Obama’s Jobs Council. The Romney campaign falsely claims that the President failed to listen to his Jobs Council and “live up to his promises” to champion the initiatives the Council put forth. Once again, Romney is getting the facts all wrong.
Here’s a look at what the Jobs Council and President Obama have pushed for:
Education and job training: President Obama’s Jobs Council recommended investing in a partnership between businesses and post-secondary educational institutions. President Obama then proposed the Community College to Career Fund, which would establish partnerships between schools and employers and train 2 million people for the high-demand, high-skilled jobs of the future.
Investing in infrastructure: The Jobs Council called for investments in our crumbling infrastructure. President Obama has put forward a plan for investments in our roads, schools, electric grids, and other infrastructure projects that would create jobs in the short term and promote long-term competitiveness. And the Obama administration has put forward a process for streamlining the review of infrastructure projects across the country.
Supporting American innovation: The Jobs Council agreed with President Obama’s proposal to expand and make permanent the Research and Development tax credit. More than two-thirds of America’s R&D spending comes from the private sector. Expanding and making permanent the R&D tax credit will help us catch up to countries that offer more favorable tax treatment for research and development—keeping the U.S. competitive.
Helping small businesses grow: The Jobs Council called for efforts to remove barriers for small businesses that are seeking to raise new capital. President Obama pushed for and signed into law the JOBS Act to make it easier for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.
By the end of 2011, the Jobs Council had offered dozens of proposals that would help spur job growth and economic development in the U.S. Of the 60 recommendations for executive actions that don’t require Congressional action, the Jobs Council reported that the Obama administration has implemented or made significant progress towards 54, a full 90%.
In addition, President Obama has pushed Congress to pass the American Jobs Act—which would support the jobs of about 325,000 teachers—and other infrastructure investments and aid to communities to help retain and hire first responders. He also called on Congress to create a Veterans Jobs Corps and wants to give small businesses a 10% income tax credit for businesses that hire or raise wages in 2012 to encourage over $200 billion in new hiring and pay raises.
Yet despite the President’s continued efforts to pass job initiatives, Republicans have stood shoulder to shoulder to block the President’s plan, stalling measures that could create at least 1 million jobs. And of the Jobs Council proposals that require legislative action, only 20% have been implemented by Congress.
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