President Obama will continue his campaign to bypass Congressional opposition to his jobs agenda Thursday by announcing a new partnership aimed at helping a quarter of a million young people find summer jobs.
The initiative, part of Obama's "We Can't Wait" campaign, is intended to replace a youth jobs fund that would have been enacted had Congress passed the president's $447 billion jobs bill.
"America's young people face record unemployment, and we need to do everything we can to make sure they've got the opportunity to earn the skills and a work ethic that come with a job. It's important for their future, and for America's. That's why I proposed a summer jobs program for youth in the American Jobs Act - a plan that Congress failed to pass. America's youth can't wait for Congress to act. This is an all-hands-on-deck moment," Obama said in a written statement.
The new partnership between the federal government and the private sector commits to creating nearly 180,000 employment opportunities for low-income youth in the summer of 2012, with a goal of reaching 250,000 employment opportunities by the start of summer.
Republicans have pushed back against the announcement.
"Everyone agrees internships are a helpful tool for youth, particularly in this economy. Yet rather than taking credit for programs that companies already had in place, a more constructive use of the White House's time would be calling on Democratic leaders to act on the dozens of House-passed jobs bills still sitting idle in Democratic-run Senate," a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said.