US president-elect Barack Obama turned his focus to the teetering US economy as he outlined a plan to create 2.5 million jobs, and transition officials said he would name a respected Federal Reserve official to the post of treasury secretary.
If confirmed by the Senate, Timothy Geithner, 47, president of the New York Federal Reserve, would be the top Cabinet official in charge of leading the administration's response to the global economic crisis. Word of his likely selection Friday helped send the Dow Jones Industrials soaring 500 points after several days of steep losses.
Obama also will name Lawrence Summers, a treasury secretary under former President Bill Clinton and the former president of Harvard University, to coordinate the federal response to the economic meltdown across several agencies, transition officials said Saturday.
A Democratic official said yesterday Obama will name New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson as commerce secretary.
Officials said that Geithner and Summers would appear with Obama at a press conference in Chicago today.
Obama plans to announce Richardson's selection after Thanksgiving.
As director of the National Economic Council, Summers would help shepherd Obama's new recovery plan, which aims to create millions of jobs rebuilding roads, modernizing schools and creating alternative energy sources by January 2011.
Obama wants Congress to approve it quickly so he can sign it shortly after his inauguration on January 20.
"These aren't just steps to pull ourselves out of this immediate crisis; these are the long-term investments in our economic future that have been ignored for far too long," Obama said in the weekly Democratic radio address on Saturday.
He called the plan "big enough to meet the challenges we face" and said that it will jump-start job creation and lay the foundation for a strong economy.
"We'll be working out the details in the weeks ahead, but it will be a two-year, nationwide effort to jump-start job creation in America and lay the foundation for a strong and growing economy," Obama said.
The announcement of the appointments comes as Obama moves quickly to fill slots for his incoming administration. Also Saturday, Obama named longtime spokesman Robert Gibbs as White House press secretary.
Geithner served as a Treasury Department official during the Clinton administration, where he played a major role in negotiating assistance packages for South Korea and Brazil.
Obama's new director of communications will be Ellen Moran, who is executive director of the Washington women's political group EMILY's List. Moran will join a team of longtime close advisors who will work closely with Obama on a daily basis.
Summers helped the Clinton administration in crafting the US support program for Mexico during its 1995 financial crisis. He later helped lead the US response to the Asian financial crisis of 1997.
The president-elect is virtually certain to offer Congressional Budget Office chief Peter Orszag the job of directing the White House Office of Budget and Management, and Orszag is likely to accept, Democratic officials said Saturday.
In his radio address Saturday, Obama acknowledged that evidence is growing the country is "facing an economic crisis of historic proportions". He noted turmoil on Wall Street, a decrease in new home purchases, growing jobless claims and the menacing problem of deflation.
Obama said he was pleased Congress passed an extension of unemployment benefits this week, but added: "We must do more to put people back to work and get our economy moving again."
He cautioned, "there are no quick or easy fixes to this crisis, which has been many years in the making, and it's likely to get worse before it gets better." But Obama said Inauguration Day "is our chance to begin anew".
The Labor Department reported that claims for unemployment benefits jumped last week to the highest level since July 1992, providing fresh evidence of the weakening job market.
1. What is President-elect Barack Obama’s recovery plan?
2. Describe Timothy Geithner’s previous experience in the Clinton administration.
3. When is Inauguration Day in the United States?
1. Create 2.5 million jobs, rebuild roads, modernize schools and create alternative energy sources by 2011.
2. He negotiated assistance packages for South Korea and Brazil.
3. January 20, 2009.
（英语点津 Helen 编辑）
About the broadcaster:
Bernice Chan is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Bernice has written for newspapers and magazines in Hong Kong and most recently worked as a broadcaster for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, producing current affairs shows and documentaries.