White House ‘disappointed’ by business rhetoric

In a letter to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the White House said
Wednesday that it was disappointed by recent criticism from business

In the letter, signed by White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel
and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, the two top aides say the business
community and the Obama administration agree more often than they

{mosads}“While we may not agree on every single issue, we should always
remember that there is much that we agree on and that we are all
working toward the same goal of putting Americans back to work and
getting our economy back on track. The stakes are far too high for us
for to be working against one another,” Emanuel and Jarrett say in the

“That is why we were surprised and disappointed at the rhetoric we
have heard from some in the business community — rhetoric that fails to
acknowledge the important steps this administration has taken every
single day to meet our shared objectives.”

In the letter, the aides remind the chamber that the trade group
supported the stimulus package. They credit the recovery effort with
saving or creating 3.5 million jobs and said it help turn the corner on
the economy, with six months of private sector job growth.

The letter was in response to an open letter the chamber sent to
President Obama and Congress on Wednesday. In that letter, the business
association said new laws and regulations being proposed and passed by
Capitol Hill and the White House were creating uncertainty for
investors as well as hurting America in the global marketplace.

“Through their legislative and regulatory proposals — some passed,
some pending, and others simply talked about — the congressional
majority and the administration have injected tremendous uncertainty
into economic decision making and business planning. In the process, we
are also eroding our competitive position globally, as other nations
take steps to cut taxes, reduce regulations, and restrain the appetites
of government,” the chamber letter says.

In response, Emanuel and Jarrett say Obama has taken
several steps to ensure job growth as well as cut government spending.
They mention several policies, such as his initiative to double U.S.
exports in five years, including tax cuts in the stimulus package and
establishing the debt commission to help bring down the national
deficit. The two aides also say that the new healthcare reform law,
which the chamber lobbied heavily against, will bring $100 billion in
savings over the next decade.

Emanuel and Jarrett say in the letter, however, that White House
will not accept “a return to the lax regulation of the financial
industry” or let oil-and-gas companies fend off “needed changes to the
outdated regulations that are partially responsible for one of the
worst environmental crises in American history.”

The chamber and other business groups have opposed the financial
services reform bill and have warned against over-regulation in
the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

“We know that the
Chamber of Commerce may have a different approach to some of these
issues, but we also have different responsibilities,” Emanuel and
Jarrett say in the letter.

“Your responsibility is to your constituent organizations, and ours
is to look after the health and safety of the American people and the
national interest. Sometimes that leads to disagreements, but it should
never prevent an open, respectful and healthy dialogue, and we look
forward to pursuing that with you in the months and years to come.”


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