White House aims to speed up job-creating projects

WASHINGTON (AP) ? President Barack Obama wants to hit the accelerator on job-creating infrastructure projects.

The White House says Obama has directed the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Interior, Transportation and Housing and Urban Development to identify up to three high-priority projects that will create jobs and that already have a source of money.

Obama wants the government then to speed up the review and permitting process for those projects. He also want that done within 18 months so actual construction can begin. Obama stands for re-election in 18 months.

With unemployment holding at above 9 percent, the White House is scrambling to come up with ways to create jobs as fast as possible.

Obama says the idea was suggested by his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, a panel of outside advisers.