Going Out of Business: White House Jobs Council

Spokesman Jay Carney says jobs will still be a top priority for Obama.

Posted: 01/31/2013 04:03 PM EST
Going Out of Business: White House Jobs Council

The President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness is now unemployed. Made up of economists, executives and labor leaders when the national unemployment rate was 9.1 percent, it aimed to spur job creation. From the start it had a Jan. 21 expiration date, and the White House has decided its charter will not be renewed.

While some are questioning whether the council has done its job, Republicans are pointing to its ending as a sign that jobs are not a priority for President Obama.

"To understand the abysmal nature of our economic recovery, look no further than the president's disinterest in learning lessons from actual job creators," said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner. "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."

White House spokesman Jay Carney called the criticism "ridiculous."

"It's a little ironic to hear from those who, with great fervor, embraced the policies that helped create the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes, who resisted the policies who have helped lead us out of that crisis and into a period of growth and job creation be critical on this," Carney told reporters during Thursday's daily briefing.

According to Carney, the president didn't agree with all of the council's recommendations but acted on a number of them, including an initiative to retrofit government and commercial buildings to make them more energy efficient. He said that while the council, which has not met in more than a year, will cease to exist, the White House will continue to engage business leaders on job creation on a "variety of fronts."

One of those fronts is immigration, the week's hot topic, and the focus of a discussion between the White House and CEOs on Wednesday.

"I think you've seen across the board a very broad support in the business community for comprehensive immigration reform," Carney said. "And that support is welcome, and I think it's reflective of the growing consensus across the country on the need to move forward with comprehensive immigration reform. It's a matter of benefit to the economy. It's a matter of fairness to the middle class."

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(Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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