- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 4, 2010

UPDATED:

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Obama’s top economic adviser said Sunday he believes Congress will pass new oversight rules for the financial industry.

Lawrence H. Summers, director of the National Economic Council, also said putting even more Americans back to work is a White House “preoccupation.”

Saying the employment trend has turned, Mr. Summers cautioned that “to get back to the surface, we’ve got a long way to go.”

“It is the president’s preoccupation to put people back to work,” he said.

He also criticized Republicans who are holding up an extension of unemployment benefits, saying the economy still needs emergency action.

On the overhaul of the financial regulatory system, which Mr. Obama has said he wants to see passed in the Senate within two weeks, Mr. Summers said, “I expect that reform is going to pass.”

He said he did not see how the measure could fail, “given what we’ve been through” in the deepest recession in more than 50 years.

Mr. Summers predicted that the economy will continue to create jobs, but slowly, and that the unemployment rate will decline slowly because more people will start trying to find work as the economy improves.

He spoke on ABC’s “This Week” and CNN’s “State of the Union.”

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