Obama looks to bypass Congress with help for homeowners, students
With the jobs bill stalled, Obama is bypassing Congress and using executive powers to enact change. Strapped homeowners and indebted students are first in line under his relief plan.
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The president’s plan announced Monday is a revision of the Home Affordable Refinance Program and would reduce the barriers to refinancing loans that are guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The revised refi program could save homeowners up to $200 a month, the administration says.Skip to next paragraph
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The office of Republican House Speaker John Boehner took the new “We can’t wait” slogan and turned it into a list of things “struggling families and small businesses ‘can’t wait’ for”: jobs bills passed by the Republican-controlled House to be taken up by the Democratic-controlled Senate; Obama to stop campaigning for “more failed ‘stimulus’ spending and start working to find common ground”; the Obama administration to “end delays on job-creating American energy production”; and the Senate to pass a budget.
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Obama should feel pretty good: His new slogan is now framing the discussion. And on the foreclosure crisis, which was barely discussed in last week’s GOP debate in Las Vegas, the president is bringing media attention to the ground zero of foreclosures.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a leading Republican presidential candidate, made comments last week on the foreclosure crisis that the Obama campaign has been happy to highlight. One way to deal with the housing situation is, “don’t try to stop the foreclosure process,” Mr. Romney told the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s editorial board in an interview published Oct. 20. “Let it run its course and hit bottom.”
During the debate, Romney said, “The right course is to let markets work.”
The Obama campaign reacted immediately. “Mitt Romney’s message to Nevada homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage bills is simple: You’re on your own, so step aside,” wrote Ben LaBolt, campaign spokesman, in a statement. “This is just one more indication that while he will bend over backwards to preserve tax breaks for large corporations and tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, Mitt Romney won’t lift a finger to restore economic security for the middle class.”
During his West Coast swing, in addition to policy speeches, Obama will attend fundraisers in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Denver. While in Los Angeles, Obama will appear on NBC’s “The Tonight Show.” Republicans call the trip a campaign tour.
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