Obama's Jobs Council Shutting Down Thursday
Obama met with the council only a few times. During the last meeting, in February 2012, the president and the council highlighted an engineering education initiative alongside school deans.
"The president treated his jobs council as more of a nuisance than a vehicle to spur job creation," said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.
The council's main product was report, "Roadmap to Renewal," that was released in January 2012. The council also organized a series of meetings across the country last year with business owners, elected officials and academics; Obama didn't attend those election-year sessions.
Critics have argued that the council's primary purpose was to create the appearance of action at a time when the nation was pining for something to rein in soaring joblessness. The administration acted on many of the council's recommendations, including suggestions to streamline permitting and small business loans, increase tourist visas and boost energy efficiency.But the White House was at odds with several council members on tax policies, particularly a proposal to exclude overseas corporate earnings from U.S. taxes. That idea divided even the jobs council, whose membership included labor and Obama's political allies. "It was helpful in terms of putting a spotlight on a variety of issues, but particularly helpful in the area of entrepreneurship," said AOL co-founder Steve Case, a member of the panel, in an interview. "There's still work to be done, but we did make good progress." The council's dissolution also comes as White House aides are optimistic about the prospects for a second-term detente with business. During Obama's first term, business leaders bristled at his harsh depiction of "fat-cat bankers" and his efforts to impose regulations, tax policies and spending initiatives they argued were unfriendly to business. Obama aides hope the warming of ties between the president and the business world can benefit the White House in future fiscal debates with Republicans.
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