In address, Obama urges Congress to pass new housing legislation

The U.S. housing market is “healing,” but more action is needed before it can be given a clean bill of health, President Barack Obama said in his weekly address. He rapped Congress for failing to bring to the floor a bill that would allow homeowners to refinance at lower rates. Obama sent that bill to Congress back in February — and has said that the legislation could save some  homeowners up to $3,000 a year. 

Glenn Hubbard, one of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s economic advisors, has backed the president’s plan.

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In his address Saturday, Obama said that responsible homeowners were hurt by the irresponsible actions on the part of lenders and buyers with unrealistic expectations about how mortgages would be paid off, by reckless real estate speculators, and by financial institutions “that packaged and sold those risky mortgages for phony profits.” And he plugged the White House’s efforts to help families facing foreclosure, and its work with state attorneys general to probe the banking practices that undid many homeowners during the past four years.

In the Republican response to Obama’s address, Vernon Parker, who is running for Congress in Arizona, slammed the administration’s government-centric approach to improving the economy.  [CBS News] —TRD