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Carney: 'Ridiculous' to criticize defunct White House jobs council

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The council, created in 2011, has met in full only four times in its two-year existence and was up for re-authorization this week. The administration says it will instead find different ways to encourage job growth, including a "new effort" to engage business leaders on issues like immigration.

But Republicans say the decision to end the jobs panel, coming just one day after the government announced the nation's gross domestic product had shrunk for the first time since the depths of the recession, is a sign that the president is not doing enough to spur jobs growth.

“To understand the abysmal nature of our economic recovery, look no further than the president’s disinterest in learning lessons from actual job creators,” said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), in a statement. “Whether ignoring the group or rejecting its recommendations, the president treated his Jobs Council as more of a nuisance than a vehicle to spur job creation.”

“Over the past four years, President Obama has seemed far more interested in political show votes and tax gimmicks than actually focusing on what Americans need: more jobs,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement. "In fact, for more than a year, he was too focused on politics to regularly meet with or adopt the advice of the very Jobs Council he created amidst so much fanfare"

On Thursday, Carney responded angrily when pressed on how seriously the president could have worked with a jobs council he so rarely met with.

"I appreciate the fact that you are more concerned with meetings than progress," he told one reporter, saying the line of questioning "conveniently ignores all the work the president has done" to foster economic growth.

"It was a two-year charter and the charter has expired," Carney said. "We'll continue to engage with the business community."

The press secretary also dismissed questions about whether the council could be considered a success.

"It was very helpful. A number of its ideas were acted upon by this administration," Carney said, adding Obama had "amply demonstrated just that in recent months and will continue" to engage with the business community.

A White House official said that on Wednesday, senior administration officials held a call with more than a dozen business leaders. The president also is planning meetings with outside groups next week, although Carney indicated there would not be a formal structure to those meetings.