“In order to lower mortgage payments for millions of Americans, we need Congress to act,” Mr. Obama said in his weekly address. “And as anyone who has followed the news in the last six months can tell you, getting Congress to do anything these days is not an easy job.”
The president is pushing a plan that will cost up to $10 billion to allow homeowners who owe more than their homes are worth to refinance their mortgages through the Federal Housing Administration. It would save the average homeowner about $3,000 per year, according to administration estimates. About 3.5 million homeowners would qualify.
Mr. Obama first detailed the program Wednesday during a visit to a community center in Falls Church, Va.
The program would be funded through a new tax on big banks. In his address, the president called it “a small fee” that “doesn’t add a dime to the deficit.” Congress has rejected the tax on banks twice in the past two years, including in 2010 when Democrats controlled the House and Senate.