White House jobs council laid off: Job done?
January 31st, 2013
12:44 PM ET
2 years ago

White House jobs council laid off: Job done?

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.

CNNMoney's Jennifer Liberto and Annalyn Kurtz, and CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report


Filed under: Jobs • President Obama
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Fair is Fair

    The jobs council is laid off???? Hahahahahahahahahaha... oh that's rich.

    January 31, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  2. Ancient Texan

    Oh No ! And after all the good work they've done, and all the jobs they've generated. Sarcasm, except for those that Jeffery Imelt of GE moved to China.

    January 31, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  3. target

    Mission Accomplished! Thanks 0bama!

    January 31, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  4. Name lynn

    Now the people can see how its feel to be laid off. the middle people wants job just like the soooo call big people. We have childern food bills an house notes a utilities bills to pay also.

    January 31, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  5. Mike C

    There was a Job's council? Another major Obama fail!!!!

    January 31, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  6. steve

    Might as well disband it. Nothing it recommends would get to the floor of the house for a vote.

    January 31, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    They got paid for nothing. They didn't ever do anything.

    January 31, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  8. yasmine

    thanks to the GOP who refuse to move on job creation... the theme they claim during the 2010 mid-terms

    January 31, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  9. m murphy

    the so called big people dont need help as much as the poor-little people do the poor would like 2 know what it feels like to pay bills and be able to put food on the table or fix a leaking roof

    January 31, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  10. Padraig

    Yes, job level have been SLIGHTLY up but not enough to turn this nation around. They should be laid off not only from this council and their job if they are working for the government.

    January 31, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    We didn't need a council, this economy is Now FULLY RECOVERED. Any bad news is because the GOP CONTROL the house of represenitives.

    January 31, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  12. Nametodd harrison

    What pro growth economic policies came out of this? Job creation was nothing other than more borrowing for government projects... the problem? There is only so much of "other peoples money" to spend. This jobs council was a joke... good ridance.

    January 31, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  13. tim

    The courts ruled Obama down on his unconsitutional appointments.Those are the facts seldom found in this bias acticle Vary typical of cnn.It would be nice to see some honest reporting instead of the pres. campaign news media.

    January 31, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  14. Tim

    The symbolism is priceless. Obama cannot even keep his jobs council employed. And we wonder why the economy continues to be a mess under Obama?

    January 31, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    Mike C wrote:

    There was a Job's council? Another major Obama fail!!!!
    ---------------------
    Unemployment is a 1.5 points lower. The GDP is at least 6 points higher.

    BTW, George W. Bush had economic advisors and he never saw fit to lay them off.

    January 31, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  16. Jim Salentine

    Yasmine, you're misinformed. We Republicans are more apt to promote job growth than the Democrats. If you can get past all of the rhetoric spewing from this Administration and the Democrats you'd realize that they thrive on the economic turmoil. We Republicans have always strived for every American to reach their full potential without government interference.

    January 31, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    Nametodd harrison

    What pro growth economic policies came out of this? Job creation was nothing other than more borrowing for government projects... the problem? There is only so much of "other peoples money" to spend. This jobs council was a joke... good ridance.
    --------------
    Do you have any idea of what you're actually talking about? Name one "pro growth" policy that you would have enacted. Anybody, name one or two. Just be sure to explain how the policy would be effective.

    January 31, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  18. Getoverit

    @Anonymous
    We didn’t need a council, this economy is Now FULLY RECOVERED
    -----------–
    That is probably the funniest thing I have ever seen posted here!

    January 31, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  19. Jim Salentine

    Why not, I see you are another Democrat broken record. We do ask for tax cuts, but across the board. For this economy to thrive we need less people on the dole and more producing. With the the Democrats' passion to tax and spend without constraint, we are destined to become just another third world failed country.

    January 31, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  20. freedom

    He wants this country to implode. It doesn't matter if you have free contraceptives, who you sleep with, or what race you are – how are you going to feed your family and put a roof over your head without a job? Oh yeah – I guess that's the 47% everyone got so freaked out. You know, the ones who don't think we need job growth in this country, because the government is going to do everything for them, including wipe their.....?

    January 31, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |