Obama Cabinet fans out for economic push

Labor Secretary Tom Perez said Monday that he and other Cabinet secretaries would be "out and about" throughout August to promote President Obama's economic plan. 

In an appearance on the Bill Press Show, Perez said that he'd be visiting "north, south, east and west" to promote the president's new push on middle-class jobs, which Obama debuted in a speech at Knox College in Illinois last month.

"We're taking the case directly to the American people," Perez said.

The effort highlights how the White House is trying to seize momentum during the recess ahead of tough budget battles in the fall.

Perez said his events would focus on inspiring job creation and new economic growth.

"I am going out because people asked what's the most important thing for the Department of Labor?" Perez said. "It's jobs, jobs and more jobs. And we're talking about across the nation the president's plan to grow the economy from the middle out, the grand bargain for the middle class. So we're going out there to talk about skills, skill development."

Other Cabinet secretaries have already announced other appearances to promote infrastructure improvements, major construction projects and the importance of education.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on Friday will travel to St. Louis to help dedicate the construction of a park-like structure built over the highway that separated the Gateway Arch from the rest of downtown.

Jewell will arrive from Wyoming, where on Thursday, she and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan are participating in a panel discussion on Native American education.

President Obama, meanwhile, will travel to Phoenix on Tuesday where he is expected to give a speech on homeownership. Last week, Obama visited an Amazon.com factory in Chattanooga, Tenn., and a week earlier the port in Jacksonville, Fla.

White House press secretary Jay Carney wouldn't confirm the push by the Cabinet secretaries when asked last Wednesday about whether they would travel to promote the president's agenda during the August recess. But Carney did say the effort was not a topic of conversation during a Cabinet retreat at Camp David last month. 

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