| WASHINGTON, July 11
WASHINGTON, July 11 President Barack Obama is
enlisting several major U.S. and multinational companies to draw
attention to an initiative aimed at helping small businesses
expand and hire workers.
The president will meet on Friday with representatives of
household name firms such as Apple, AT&T, Coca
Cola and Johnson & Johnson to spotlight the
corporate giants' pledge to pay their smaller suppliers within
The speedy payout puts more money in the coffers of smaller
firms and helps them invest and hire workers, the president and
his aides say.
For the larger companies, the initiative ensures that their
own suppliers are robust and "demonstrates a recognition that a
healthy supply chain is good for business," the White House said
in a statement.
Frustrated by a legislative stalemate with the
Republican-led House of Representatives, Obama has vowed to act
unilaterally when he can to achieve his agenda, and the
announcement Friday is typical of the sorts of modest
initiatives the White House has unveiled.
This approach has antagonized congressional Republicans who
say the president has overstepped executive branch authority.
House Republicans on Thursday made public a "discussion
draft" of legislation to authorize legal action against the
president for misusing executive orders and other unilateral
actions to advance his agenda.
The supplier initiative is based on a similar program for
government contractors. The federal government promises to pay
contractors quickly if those companies in turn commit to rapidly
pay the smaller firms that supply them.
The White House says that arrangement affected 172,000 small
businesses and generated over $1 billion for them to invest and
hire workers since it was launched three years ago. The
president was due to renew that program on Friday as well as
announcing the public sector initiative.
Other firms attending the White House event include CVS
, FedEx, IBM, Lockheed Martin,
Honda, Toyota, Rolls Royce,
Ericsson, and Westinghouse are also among
the corporate participants in the White House event.
(Reporting By Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Ken Wills)