President Obama will convene a "jobs summit" at the White House on Thursday (Dec. 3), but talk of a second stimulus package is likely to be muted by the federal budget deficit, as well as next year's midterm congressional elections.
"There's sort of an anomaly here - people want us to do stuff on jobs but they don't want to see a lot of government spending," U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D) said, according to The New York Times , which outlined the competing priorities for Democrats ahead of Obama's summit. The meeting will include economists, academics and business and labor leaders.
Obama himself is sending a signal that "the government has done what it can. It's time to hear from the private sector about what it's going to do," The Times reported.
Some economists have been pushing for a second federal stimulus package to create jobs and help stabilize state finances, which are expected to be in rough shape for up to a decade . Supporters of a second stimulus argue that, without one, severe budget cuts at the state level will extend the national recession.
It's still unclear what kind of steps Congress will take after Thursday's jobs summit. But, "at a minimum," The Times reports, "Democrats want to extend for a year the emergency benefits for the long-term unemployed that were part of last winter's $787 billion stimulus package and are due to expire at the end of December."