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Remarks Prior to a Cabinet Meeting and an Exchange With Reporters

January 31, 2012

The President. Hello, everybody. This is our first Cabinet meeting after my State of the Union Address, and it gives me an opportunity to share my ideas and initiatives with my Cabinet, but also to get some feedback from them.

One of the top priorities that I mentioned during the State of the Union was the need for us to small--promote small business. And I'm very pleased that we've got Karen Mills here, who has participated in our meetings before, but is now an official member of the Cabinet. It is a symbol of how important it is for us to spur entrepreneurship, to help startups, to move aggressively so that we can assure more companies that create the most jobs in our economy are getting a leg up from the various programs that we have in our Government.

I mentioned at the State of the Union that there have been discussions, bipartisan discussions between Republicans and Democrats, about a whole set of measures that can accelerate financing to startup companies, can provide tax breaks to startups and small businesses that are interested in either hiring more workers or increasing their wages, that looks at innovative ways for them to raise capital. And my expectation and hope is, is that they will get a bill together quickly, that they will pass it and get it on my desk. I will sign it right away, and I would like to see that bill signed this year.

In addition, we've got all the Cabinet agencies who are here represented; they are putting forward their own initiatives to enhance the ability of entrepreneurs to get up and running. So, for example, the Department of Homeland Security, my understanding is we're going to be talking about how we can improve the visa process for those who are interested in investing in the United States and starting businesses here in the United States.

I know that the Department of Commerce, Energy, and Education, as well as the SBA, are all launching complementary initiatives to support entrepreneurship as well. And so what we want to do is to make sure that every single agency, even as they're tending to their energy initiatives or providing homeland security or transportation or defense, that we're also thinking about how are we advancing the cause of giving small businesses and entrepreneurs opportunities to start creating the next Google or the next Apple or the next innovative company that's going to create jobs and improve our economy.

It's that kind of all-hands-on-deck approach that is really going to make a difference. And we're looking forward to hearing additional ideas from our Business Council and from those who are involved in startups that can help to promote these--this agenda.

So thank you all for participating. I'm looking forward to hearing your ideas, and I will see you guys later.

Housing Market

Q. Will we get details on your housing plan tomorrow?

The President. I will talk to you then about it. I wouldn't want to use up all my good stuff now. [Laughter]

Q. Thank you, sir.

Note: The President spoke at 10:48 a.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House. A portion of these remarks could not be verified because the audio was incomplete.

Barack Obama, Remarks Prior to a Cabinet Meeting and an Exchange With Reporters Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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