August 24th, 2011
06:06 PM ET
President Obama’s job’s plan is taking shape during his Martha’s Vineyard vacation, but a White House aide was unwilling to say that a framework had been constructed.
“It’s fair to say that there are some detailed policy discussions…and evaluations that are being made,” said Deputy White House spokesman Josh Earnest during his first ever on-camera briefing. But when pressed by CNN on the finer point of a framework, Earnest said “the process is ongoing, I don't have anything more to add to that.”
President Obama spoke Wednesday with two members of his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness about ideas to put Americans back to work.
In a conference call with General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt and American Express CEO Ken Chenault, the president was presented with two initiatives the council is reviewing. One involves increasing the number of engineers graduating from U.S. colleges, the other idea would provide relief for unemployed construction workers by finding them green jobs retrofitting buildings.
Earnest said those ideas could become part of the president’s plan. “It's fair to say that the president expects to draw on the work and expertise of the people who are serving on his jobs council into that policymaking process.”
His comments came on the same day that the Congressional Budget Office delivered a gloomy economic forecast. Unemployment in the U.S. is expected to remain above 8% until at least 2014. The non-partisan CBO also projects that the nation is on track to accrue a $1.3 trillion deficit this year.
President Obama was briefed on the report by Brian Deese, his Deputy Director of the National Economic Council.
Earnest said the report highlights progress that has been made, but admitted that “it also makes clear that there is a lot more that we have to do.”
The job’s plan that White House aides say will include “new ideas” will be announced by the president sometime after Labor Day.