WASHINGTON — To help the economy, a group of corporate and labor leaders advising President Barack Obama is calling for sweeping changes in government policies, from liberalized immigration and less restrictive regulations to a more business friendly tax system and greater spending on infrastructure.
The president's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness is putting the names of some of the country's top corporate CEOs as well as the head of the AFL-CIO behind proposed initiatives and policy overhauls likely to please and irritate Democratic and Republican partisans alike.
The council, headed by GE chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt, will release its 50-page report today during a meeting with Obama in Pittsburgh.
Topping the council's list is a plea for improvements in the nation's network of roads and bridges, for airport upgrades and modernized ports, and for updated electric grids and water and wastewater systems.
The report calls for eased immigration rules, including automatic work permits or provisional visas to foreign students after they earn science, technology, engineering or math degrees from U.S. colleges. Also proposed are reduced regulations and an end to some capital gains taxes on investments.