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Obama to unveil new jobs proposal in September speech

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Obama's jobs plan: What's taken so long?
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Obama will work on his new jobs proposal during his upcoming vacation
  • Obama will address the nation about jobs just after Labor Day
  • The president's economic team has been working on a package of new job-growth initiatives
  • The debt-reduction "super committee" will get a plan from the president

Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama will unveil a new job growth package in a speech to be delivered in early September, a senior administration official told CNN Wednesday.

The president intends to spend much of this fall pushing a sharply divided Congress to pass the plan, the official said.

The administration has not finalized that package, but it's likely to include tax cuts, spending on infrastructure and measures designed both to assist the long-term unemployed and bolster certain struggling sectors of the economy, the official said.

The White House noted that the plan remains a work in progress. Obama intends to continue refining it during his upcoming vacation in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, a senior official told CNN.

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The official stressed that the plan will not simply rehash current administration proposals, such as overhauling the patent approval process.

Another administration official noted that the White House has been actively consulting with various economic and business experts, including the chief executive officers of numerous companies.

The economy promises to be the dominant issue of Obama's 2012 re-election campaign. The national unemployment rate in July was 9.1%, with about 14 million Americans out of work. The unemployment rate has not been below 8.8% since March, 2009, two months into Obama's presidency, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Obama told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday that external factors such as the Japan tsunami, the European debt crisis and rising gas prices caused by the unrest in North Africa and the Middle East have been an impediment to job growth.

The president insists unemployment would have been worse without various initiatives launched since he took office, including the controversial 2009 economic stimulus plan.

"The truth is, everything we have done has been related to jobs, starting back with the Recovery Act," Obama told Blitzer. "And that's the reason why we have seen over two million jobs created over the last 17 months in the private sector."

Obama also plans to revisit the issue of deficit reduction this fall. The president, according to a senior administration official, will present a proposal for more than $1.5 trillion in savings to the 12-member congressional "super committee" established as part of the recent deal to raise the nation's debt ceiling.

The official stressed that any costs imposed by new job growth initiatives would be covered by the savings Obama proposes to the committee.

It remains unclear whether Obama will address his debt reduction proposal during the September jobs speech, an administration official said.

CNN's Brianna Keilar, Alan Silverleib and Jessica Yellin contributed to this report.