Reports: Obama Set to Take Action on Housing, Student Loans Without Congress
This summer, Obama mentioned twice that he would like to circumvent Congress when it comes to pushing his agenda. Now, according to Reuters and the Associated Press it seems he is doing it.
“President Barack Obama this week will announce a series of actions to help the economy that will not require congressional approval,” Reuters reports, “including an initiative to make it easier for homeowners to refinance their mortgages, according to a White House official.”
It should be noted that not everything the president does needs congressional approval. But the wire service explains just what it is Obama is working to do:
The Obama administration has been working with the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to find ways to make it easier for borrowers to switch to cheaper loans even if they have little to no equity in their homes.
The FHFA intends to loosen the terms of the two-year-old Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), which helps borrowers who have been making mortgage payments on time but who have not been able to refinance as their home values have dropped.
They are also set to reduce loan fees that Fannie and Freddie charge and waive fees on borrowers that refinance into loans with shorter terms, the Journal said.
In Denver Wednesday, Obama will announce a student loan initiative.
The Associated Press adds that the moves will come with their own catchphrase:
Seeking to circumvent congressional opposition, President Barack Obama will announce a series of executive branch steps aimed at jumpstarting the economy this week, beginning with new rules to make it easier for homeowners to refinance their mortgages.
With the president’s jobs bill struggling in Congress, the White House is refocusing its efforts on steps Obama can take to address the nation’s economic woes without getting lawmakers’ approval. During his three-day trip to the West Coast this week, Obama will use a new catchphrase to try to push Republicans into action: “We can’t wait.”
It’s his latest in a string of slogans aimed at placing blame on Republicans for lack of action on the economy.
“The president will continue to pressure Congressional Republicans to put country before party and pass the American Jobs Act, but he believes we cannot wait, so he will act where they won’t,” White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer recently told The New York Times.
In July, Obama told the Hispanic group La Raza that the idea of “doing things on my own is very tempting:”
Then in September, the president told the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute that “There are times where — until Nancy Pelosi is speaker again — I’d like to work my way around Congress.”
It should be noted that La Raza chanted “Yes you can!” after his first comments. And now, it seems, he is.
This story has been updated.
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