(CNN) - President Barack Obama on Saturday called on Congress to pass his recently announced housing plan, describing it as a key component to getting the American economy back on track.
"What this plan will do is help millions of responsible homeowners who make their payments every month, but who, until now, couldn't refinance because their home values kept dropping or they got wrapped up in too much red tape," Obama said in the White House weekly address.
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The plan would allow borrowers to save an average of $3,000 a year by refinancing into loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
With an estimated cost between $5 billion and $10 billion, Obama said he would pay for it by imposing a fee on large banks, a move unlikely to win favor with members of Congress who have previously shot down the notion of taxing banks.
House Speaker John Boehner cast doubt on the proposal, saying Wednesday that the plan would join a long line of ineffective programs.
"We've done this at least four times where there's some new government program to help homeowners who have trouble with their mortgages," Boehner said. "None of these programs have worked and I don't know why anyone would think that this next idea's going to work and all they've done is delay the clearing of the market. "
In the Republican weekly address, meanwhile, Rep. Pat Meehan of Pennsylvania spelled out other options to boost the economy.
He urged the Senate to pass two House bills-one that would extend the payroll tax cut and another that aims to improve energy and infrastructure. Both proposals have passed the House but would need to clear the Democratic-controlled Senate.
"Our economy faces serious challenges right now – gridlock in Washington doesn't have to be one of them," Meehan said. "The House is acting on good ideas, and with help from the president and Democrats in the Senate, we can get things done. The people we represent sent us here to find solutions and move the country forward – not further divide it."