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November 26, 2008 > Obama outlines plans to create US jobs

Obama outlines plans to create US jobs

Submitted By AP Wire Service

WASHINGTON (AP), Nov 22 _ President-elect Barack Obama on Saturday sought to bring some relief to Americans anxious about their economic futures, outlining a plan to create 2.5 million jobs with public works programs that will rebuild roads and bridges, modernize schools and create alternative energy sources.

The new recovery plan being developed aims to create millions of new jobs by January 2011. Obama wants Congress to approve it quickly so he can sign it shortly after his inauguration.

``These aren't just steps to pull ourselves out of this immediate crisis; these are the long-term investments in our economic future that have been ignored for far too long,'' Obama said in the weekly Democratic radio address.

He called the plan ``big enough to meet the challenges we face'' and said that it will jump-start job creation and lay the foundation for a strong economy.

``We'll be working out the details in the weeks ahead, but it will be a two-year, nationwide effort to jump-start job creation in America and lay the foundation for a strong and growing economy,'' Obama said.

Also Saturday, Obama named longtime spokesman Robert Gibbs as White House press secretary. Gibbs went to work for Obama's Senate campaign in 2004 and was communications director while Obama was in the Senate.

Obama's new director of communications will be Ellen Moran, who is executive director of the Washington women's political group EMILY's List. Moran will join a team of longtime close advisers who will work closely with Obama on a daily basis.

Her deputy in the White House will be Dan Pfeiffer, who is communications director for Obama's presidential transition team. He helped manage the press operation on the Obama campaign.

Moran will be in charge of getting Obama's message out. EMILY's List, a group that backs female Democratic candidates who support abortion rights, was an active supporter of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton during the presidential primary. Moran also has worked for the AFL-CIO labor federation and has helped plan inaugurals for President Bill Clinton.

Obama is poised to name much of his economic team Monday and Tuesday in events in Chicago.

The president-elect is virtually certain to offer Congressional Budget Office chief Peter Orszag the job of directing the White House Office of Budget and Management, and Orszag is likely to accept, Democratic officials said Saturday.

In his radio address Saturday, Obama acknowledged that evidence is growing the country is ``facing an economic crisis of historic proportions.'' He noted turmoil on Wall Street, a decrease in new home purchases, growing jobless claims and the menacing problem of deflation.

The Obama Web site on Saturday said his plan will ``save or create'' 2.5 million jobs. Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs confirmed later Saturday that the plan ``will save and create'' the 2.5 million jobs.

Obama said he was pleased Congress passed an extension of unemployment benefits this week, but added, ``We must do more to put people back to work and get our economy moving again.''

He cautioned, ``there are no quick or easy fixes to this crisis, which has been many years in the making, and it's likely to get worse before it gets better.'' But Obama said Inauguration Day ``is our chance to begin anew.''

The Labor Department reported that claims for unemployment benefits jumped last week to the highest level since July 1992, providing fresh evidence of the weakening job market.

Obama outlined the recovery plan a day after senior Democratic officials disclosed that he intends to name Timothy Geithner, the president of the New York Federal Reserve, as his treasury secretary.

The news sent the U.S. stock market soaring on Friday.

If nominated and confirmed by the Senate, Geithner, 47, would assume chief responsibility for tackling an economic slowdown and credit crunch that threaten to create the deepest recession in more than a generation.

In his current post in New York, he has played a key role in the government's response to the financial crisis and has worked closely with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

As a Treasury Department official during the administration of former President Bill Clinton, Geithner dealt with international financial crises and played a major part in negotiating assistance packages for South Korea and Brazil.


Associated Press writers Liz Sidoti, David Espo and Will Lester contributed to this report.

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