By Roberta Rampton
WASHINGTON Jan 25 President Barack Obama will
announce a new plan next week to help Americans who continue to
struggle to find jobs even as the economy recovers from
recession, his senior adviser, Dan Pfeiffer, said on Saturday.
Obama's efforts to help the long-term unemployed are part of
an economic strategy he will lay out in his annual State of the
Union address on Tuesday and expound upon during a four-state
tour, Pfeiffer said in a mass email from the White House.
"With some action on all our parts, we can help more job
seekers find work, and more working Americans find the economic
security they deserve," Pfeiffer said in his email.
Obama has vowed to address the gap between rich and poor in
America, and has said he will do what he can - even without help
from a deeply divided Congress that, so far, has shown little
willingness to spend money on new programs.
He has said he will take executive actions to push forward
his agenda, as well as the power of the highest office in the
nation to motivate business and community leaders to take
A White House official said Obama will announce in his
Tuesday speech new executive actions on retirement security and
job training to help middle-class workers "expand economic
opportunity" - a key theme of the speech.
Already this year, Congress thwarted Obama's efforts to
extend jobless benefits for people who have been unsuccessfully
seeking work for more than six months.
Benefits for 1.5 million Americans expired at the end of
2013. The Senate failed in mid-January to agree on a plan to
renew the benefits.
Obama will hammer home his economic plans during a two-day,
four-state trip to Prince George's County, Maryland, and
Pittsburgh on Wednesday, and Milwaukee and Nashville on
Thursday, an official said.
Vice President Joe Biden will visit Monroe Community College
in Rochester, New York, on Wednesday to talk about "education
and workforce development," the White House said. He will be
accompanied by his wife, Jill Biden, who is a community college
After Obama's trip, he will return to the White House "to
outline new efforts to help the long-term unemployed," Pfeiffer
said in his statement.
Obama had promised earlier this month that he would bring a
group of chief executive officers to the White House in an
effort to persuade them to hire more people from the ranks of
the long-term unemployed.
"We're going to try to work with CEOs to make a pledge that
we're going to take a second look at these Americans who are
very eager to get back to work and have the capacity to do so,
but aren't getting the kind of shot that they need," Obama said
on Jan. 14 ahead of a meeting with his cabinet.