President Obama assured his jobs council today that he is taking their recommendations to boost the economy seriously, and that his administration has made "substantial progress" in implementing their proposals.
With the economy expected to take center stage in the upcoming presidential election, Obama told business leaders on the council today "what we haven't seen is a bunch of white papers sitting on a shelf somewhere collecting dust."
"We have tried to take very seriously everything that you've proposed and to try to integrate it into not only legislative proposals, but also the executive proposals out there," Obama said.
Since the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness was created last February, the president claimed his administration has acted on 33 of their 35 executive action recommendations, implementing 16 of them.
In a new report out today, the council is calling for an overhaul of the corporate tax system, expanded domestic drilling and new regulatory reforms, among other proposals.
The long-term recommendations, a year in the making, have been met with support from Republicans, particularly the call for significant tax reform and increased domestic oil production. "President Obama's own panel of experts has endorsed the approach to job creation House Republicans have been pursuing for more than a year," House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said.
"American job creators understand that we must ease the regulatory burden on small businesses, foster private-sector innovation, transition to a more competitive tax system, and utilize the vast energy resources we have here at home. Nearly 30 House-passed job bills are awaiting action in the Senate, most of which address the recommendations made today. With American small businesses still suffering from the misguided policies implemented by the president, there is no excuse for these pro-growth bills to collect dust any longer," Boehner said.
The council's "Road Map to Renewal" claims the corporate tax system is outdated and "hurts both business competitiveness and American workers." Instead, the report recommends a "simpler, more competitive" tax system that lowers corporate tax rates to "internationally-competitive levels" and broadens the corporate tax base.
The council calls for an "all in" energy strategy, which includes expanding and expediting domestic production of fossil fuels. "As a nation, we need to take advantage of all our natural resources in order to spur economic growth, create new jobs, and reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil. Over the long-term, innovation and technological advancements will greatly reduce America's reliance on fossil fuels. Until then, however, we need to be 'all-in,'" the report reads.
As the president continues to mull a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, the report says, "policies that facilitate the safe, thoughtful and timely development of pipeline, transmission and distribution projects are necessary to facilitate the delivery of America's fuel and electricity and maintain the reliability of our nation's energy system."
In addition, the council calls for reforms to further reduce the "regulatory burden" on U.S. businesses and encourage economic growth.
Reacting to the proposals, the president said today he was "pleased to see that there's consistency and shared urgency about America playing to win."