Obama to Unveil Jobs Plan in Major September Speech
(CBS/AP) WASHINGTON - Seeking a jolt for the economy, President Barack Obama will lay out new ideas for speeding up job growth and helping the struggling poor and middle class in a major speech in early September, the White House confirmed Wednesday.
The president's plan is likely to contain tax cuts, jobs-boosting infrastructure ideas and steps that would specifically help the long-term unemployed, a senior administration official told the Associated Press. The official emphasized that all of Mr. Obama's proposals would be fresh ones, not a rehash of plans he has pitched for many weeks and still supports, including his "infrastructure bank" idea to finance construction jobs.
White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer confirmed the planned speech on Twitter, saying it would take place after Labor Day and include "meaningful, new initiatives to grow the economy and create jobs."
On a related front, Mr. Obama will also present a specific plan to cut the suffocating long-term national debt and to pay for the cost of his new short-term economic ideas.
His debt proposal will be bigger than the $1.5 trillion package that a new "supercommittee" of Congress must come up with by late November.
The president will then spend his fall publicly pressing Congress to take action as the economic debate roars into its next phase. Both the economic ideas and the plan to pay for them will be part of Mr. Obama's speech, although the address will focus mainly on the jobs components.
Since Mr. Obama is almost sure to face political opposition from Republicans, particularly in the House, he is already preparing to lobby the American public for support if Congress tosses his ideas aside. That would set up an issue for his re-election campaign next year.
Republican leaders were already voicing their criticism, with Brendan Buck, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, tweeting: "We really don't need another speech - just a plan, like, on paper. Seriously, just drop it in the mail. Podium not required. Thanks."
The administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said no final decisions on the economic package have been made.
Seeking re-election in a dispiriting economic time for the nation, Mr. Obama's rollout plan allows him to come into September swinging after one of the roughest periods of his presidency.
Mr. Obama has hinted about new economic ideas for days as the Republican presidential contenders take whacks as his record. Mr. Obama's economic team has been hashing out the new package since he and Congress struck a last-minute debt deal in late July to prevent a debilitating government default.
Mr. Obama has been rumbling through the Midwest all week, lobbying the locals along the way to help him pressure a divided Congress into working with him. He has one day of his bus tour left on Wednesday before returning to Washington and heading on a vacation with his family.
As president, Mr. Obama is under unparalleled pressure to start showing more economic progress. His own job is expected to depend on it.
Nearly 14 million people are unemployed. Many millions more have given up looking for jobs or haven't found a way to move from part-time to full-time work.