By Sam Youngman - 09/02/10 05:36 PM EDT
President Obama's economic team is looking for ways to accelerate the agonizingly slow economic recovery, but the top White House spokesman on Thursday said a large spending measure is not being considered.
"Some big, new stimulus plan is not in the offing," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said.
National unemployment numbers for August will be released Friday morning. While administration officials do not yet know what those numbers will reveal, analysts widely expect the national unemployment rate will hover near 10 percent for the foreseeable future.
But Gibbs said flatly that a package resembling the first stimulus is off the table as the president's economic team "is looking at a whole host" of possibilities for "targeted measures" that would speed up the recovery.
"This is not purely an academic exercise," Gibbs said.
First and foremost, the White House continues to push for a small-business tax cut and loan package, signaling passage of the bill in the Senate is Obama's top priority for when Congress returns later this month.
Gibbs would not disclose what other measures the president is considering, but Obama said Monday in the Rose Garden he would be going into more detail in coming days and weeks.
The White House is also gearing up for a battle with Republicans and centrist Democrats over the looming expiration of the Bush tax cuts.
Gibbs made clear Thursday that Obama does not support extending the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, but he would not speculate on whether Obama would veto an across-the-board extension.