The Obama transition team announced in late December the President-elect’s intention to form a “White House Task Force on Working Families,” to be chaired by Vice President-elect Joe Biden, effective January 20, 2009, according to a transition team press release.
The President-elect has set the following goals for the task force:
Expanding education and lifelong training opportunities
Improving work and family balance
Restoring labor standards, including workplace safety
Helping to protect middle-class and working-family incomes
Protecting retirement security
The task force will be a major initiative targeted at raising the living standards of middle-class, working families in America. It will be comprised of top-level administration policy makers, and in addition to regular meetings, it will conduct outreach sessions with representatives of labor, business, and the advocacy communities.
“My administration will be absolutely committed to the future of America’s middle-class and working families. They will be front and center every day in our work in the White House. And this task force will be one vehicle we will use to ensure that we never forget that commitment. I think it can make a great contribution to our work, and I’m grateful that the Vice President-elect has agreed to chair it,” said President-elect Obama.
The Vice President-elect and members of the task force will work with a wide array of federal agencies that have responsibility for key issues facing middle class and working families, and expedite administrative reforms, propose executive orders, and develop legislative and policy proposals that can be of special importance to working families.
Members of the White House Task Force on Working Families will include the Secretaries of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Commerce, as well as the Directors of the National Economic Council, the Office of Management and Budget, the Domestic Policy Council, and the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors.
The task force will operate in a transparent fashion, with any submissions to it from outside groups posted online, and open, two-way dialogue directly with the American people. The task force will issue annual reports on its findings and recommendations, which will be made available to the public and will be posted on the internet.