President Obama continued to sell his jobs stimulus Wednesday, announcing faster payments by the federal government to small businesses. Speaking at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, Obama declared," today I'm ordering all Federal Agencies to make sure those small business owners to get paid a lot faster than they do now. In many cases it will be twice as fast. That puts more money in their pockets quicker and means they can hire folks quicker."
The federal government relies on small businesses for nearly $100 billion annually through contracts. The government currently has up to 30 days to make payments to companies owed money for goods and services. The White House wants to cut that in half.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney stressed the importance of small businesses in job creation saying, "small businesses must receive, in a timely and efficient manner, the money that the federal government owes them for the goods and services that the government has accepted."
Speaking to reporters on Air Force One Wednesday, Carney said, " By taking actions that will enable these payments to be made as promptly as possible, we will improve cash flow for small businesses and provide them with a more predictable stream of resources, thereby preserving and increasing small business participation in federal contracting."
Carney couldn't say how quickly the reimbursement plan might be implemented, but told reporters the president's Jobs Council "played a critical role" in the concept.
But critics of the president say much like the first stimulus, they doubt other measures of his proposed jobs bill will be successful at helping small businesses hire new workers. Other measures taken by the Obama administration haven't panned out the way the White House expected. As the president spoke in North Carolina, a state most politicos say he must win for re-election next year, back in Washington a hearing got underway investigating the administration's handling of a loan guarantee to the now bankrupt company Solyndra which recently laid off more than 1,000 workers.
While the president was in Raleigh to promote his American jobs plan, he also visited WestStar Precision, a small manufacturer which recently expanded. To Costa Rica. Now half of its employees are located outside the U.S.