Building on a jobs forum and road trip to the industrial heartland last week, Obama will highlight fresh spending on highways and other infrastructure, steps to encourage small businesses to hire and new rebates to reward energy efficiency by weatherizing homes, an administration official said. The final measure has been dubbed the cash-for-caulkers program.
"We don't think there is one silver bullet, one plan, one speech or a singular piece of legislation that alone will solve double digit unemployment," the official said in a statement
Under fire from Republicans for bailouts created when they in fact held the White House, Obama has been pressured by Democrats in Congress to review using some money previously earmarked for a $700 billion bank rescue fund that has been returned to the public purse.
Obama said that some of the money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, will be used to pay down the record U.S. budget deficit, but he was open to other options, Reuters eports.
It was also reported, Obama planned to address three main areas: helping small businesses add staff and grow; updating transportation infrastructure; and making homes energy-efficient, according to an administration official who discussed the speech on the condition of anonymity to preview an unreleased text.
The official said Obama's remarks would not represent the sum of the president's plan, but rather an outline for the way forward. It was a similar line other White House officials used to preview the remarks.
"We've got quite some way to go," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters on Monday. "The president is not going to unveil the silver bullet idea. ... If there was one idea to do this, I assume it would have been done sometime in the intervening 22 months" since the recession began, The Washington Post reports.
ABC News quoted Barack Obama as saying, "he fact that having gotten the financial crisis under control, having finally moved in the positive territory when it comes to economic growth, our biggest challenge now is making sure that job growth matches up with economic growth."
In his remarks today, the president will likely push green jobs, especially for the weatherization of businesses and homes. The president's economic team is also discussing various incentives for small businesses, possibly for hiring and for expansion, ABC News reports.
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