UPDATE 1-Obama aides say stimulus saved millions of jobs

* Romer, Biden to unveil new analysis of stimulus package

* Polls show public mood on economy is souring

* Business group accuses Obama of neglecting jobs
(Adds Chamber of Commerce letter to Obama)

By Caren Bohan

WASHINGTON, July 14 (BestGrowthStock) – Aides to U.S. President
Barack Obama will aim on Wednesday to lift sagging confidence
in their economic leadership by arguing that their policies are
creating millions of jobs and spurring private investment.

A report to be released at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT) will
estimate that Obama’s $862 billion economic stimulus package,
which passed last year, has saved or created 3 million jobs and
is on track to meet its goal of 3.5 million jobs by the end of
this year.

The analysis from the White House Council of Economic
Advisers will say that government funding of clean energy,
economic development, construction projects and other
initiatives is spurring “co-investment” by private-sector
firms, according to a U.S. official who previewed the report.

Vice President Joseph Biden and CEA Chairwoman Christina
Romer are to present the findings and Romer is scheduled to
testify on it at 2 p.m./1800 GMT on Wednesday on Capitol Hill.

The report comes a day after a pair of polls raised red
flags for Obama and his Democrats, who appear vulnerable four
months before November congressional elections. Republicans are
seeking to overturn Democratic dominance in both houses of the
U.S. Congress.

A survey by the Washington Post-ABC News showed 54 percent
of Americans disapproved of Obama’s leadership on the economy.
In a CBS News poll, only 40 percent of Americans said they
approved of Obama’s handling of the economy.

On Wednesday, one of the most influential U.S. business
groups accused Obama of neglecting job creation and sowing
economic uncertainty with burdensome tax and regulatory
policies. [ID:nN14271758]

In an open letter to the president, the U.S. Chamber of
Commerce said Obama and Democrats in Congress “took their eyes
off the ball” on the goal of creating jobs.

“They neglected America’s number one priority — creating
the more than 20 million jobs we need over the next 10 years
for those who lost their jobs, have left the job market, or
were cut to part-time status-as well as new entrants into our
workforce,” said the letter, which the Chamber released ahead
of a “Jobs for America” event that will bring together
officials from the group as well as lawmakers and other
policymakers.

The letter adds to a growing chorus of criticism the Obama
administration has faced lately from the business sector.

SLUGGISH PACE OF RECOVERY

Obama has highlighted the dire state of the economy he
inherited when he took office in January 2009, and has claimed
credit for stopping an economic freefall in which employers
were shedding workers at a rate of 700,000 a month.

The economy has been creating private-sector jobs in recent
months, but at a slow pace. The U.S. unemployment rate remains
at a stubbornly high 9.5 percent, fueling Americans’
frustrations with the sluggish pace of the recovery.

Republicans have sought to portray the stimulus package as
wasteful and ineffective and have highlighted continued
weakness in the labor market to argue that the package, also
known as the “Recovery Act,” did not live up to its billing.

In excerpts of testimony Romer plans to give to Congress’
Joint Economic Committee, she says government spending is
“leveraging” and encouraging private investment.

“We estimate that the $100 billion of Recovery Act funds
will partner with close to $300 billion of other funds, the
majority of which are from the private sector,” Romer argues in
the excerpts.

The release of the report is part of a series of events the
administration has scheduled to focus on the Recovery Act.
Obama plans to travel to Holland, Michigan, on Thursday to
attend a groundbreaking for a new plant that will make
batteries for electric vehicles.
(Editing by Doina Chiacu)

UPDATE 1-Obama aides say stimulus saved millions of jobs