Obama focuses on housing, immigration
June 1st, 2013
06:00 AM ET
9 years ago

Obama focuses on housing, immigration

(CNN) – As Congress returns from recess next week, President Barack Obama is urging his colleagues on the other side of Pennsylvania Avenue to get to work on a number of fronts, including housing and immigration.

“There are a lot of reasons to feel optimistic about where we’re headed as a country – especially after all we’ve fought through together,” he said in his weekly address. “We’ve just got to keep going.”

This week the Obama administration extended for two more years the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), an initiative to help troubled mortgage borrowers.

The Treasury Department and Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Thursday that homeowners will now have until the end of December 2015 to tap the program for help.

Under the main HAMP program, more than 1.1 million homeowners have received a permanent modification as of the end of March. The modifications lowered payments by a median of $546 a month, 38% less than borrowers previously paid.

Obama praised the extension Saturday, saying “a housing market that was in tatters is showing new signs of real strength” with a growth in construction and a drop in home prices.

“But to keep our housing market and our economy growing, Congress needs to step up and do its part,” he said. “Members of Congress will be coming back next week for an important month of work. We’ve got to keep this progress going until middle-class families start regaining that sense of security. And we can’t let partisan politics get in the way.”

He called on Congress to pass a law giving every homeowners the chance to save about $3,000 a year on their mortgage by refinancing at “historically low interest rates.”

Also facing Congress this summer are immigration reform efforts underway in both the House and Senate. Obama called on lawmakers to pass “commonsense reform that continues to strengthen our borders; holds employers accountable; provides a pathway to earned citizenship; and also modernizes our legal immigration system so that we’re reuniting families and attracting the highly-skilled entrepreneurs and engineers who will help our economy grow. “

“If we work together, I’m as confident as I’ve ever been that we’ll get to where we need to be,” he added.

- CNNMoney’s Les Christie contributed to this report.

Filed under: Economy • Immigration • President Obama
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Rick McDaniel

    Obama only focuses on one thing........hand outs to win votes in elections.

    The rest is nothing but an excuse to campaign for money and votes, on the public's nickle.

    June 1, 2013 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
  2. Gurgyl

    Ask congress idiots to pass Jobs bill–people are not worried of Benghazy nor Syria.

    June 1, 2013 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  3. rla

    He must be the only one in the country who feels optimistic! I do wish the con man would get out once in awhile and not believe he can run the country on economic fumes

    June 1, 2013 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  4. Tony T

    Obama should focus on running the county and telling the truth rather than trying to continue his liberal agenda and saving his and his buddy Holder's but!!

    June 1, 2013 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  5. Donkey Party

    Sorry, Mr. President, but we all know that the GOP hates you, and they hate America, and they'll do everything they can to stand in the way of progress, just to make you look inferior, no matter how much it hurts the country.

    June 1, 2013 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  6. Ray E. (Georgia)

    The House has already done it's part. Want people to be able to afford morgages? They need jobs. Want more hiring? Simple Repeal Obama Care. There are better ways to do it. Want businesses to return to the U.S. Quit taxing them to the hilt. You can't get blood out of a turnip, no matter how much you try. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    June 1, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  7. Guess

    And im confident the gop is more interested in campaigning on the taxpayers dime, instead of doing what the vast majority of americans want them to do, their jobs. never gonna happen

    June 1, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  8. Stuffit

    Anything to change the subject about the corruption, lying, ineptness and incompetence in the administration and for God's sake stay away from discussing the coming Obamacare catastrophe. California remember how he said your rates would not go up? Did you see how they are going up 146%. He lied.

    June 1, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  9. Gurgyl

    Idiotic Universities are getting GREEDY! They do not care for EDUCATION–they care for interest on student LOANS. This president has guts to stop–of course NRA idiots and Conservative thugs are BRIBED in USA....karma!!!

    June 1, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  10. Gt

    Jobs is what needs to talk about..keystone means jobs

    June 1, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  11. dontbow

    he is focusing on free housing for illigal immigrants no doubt.

    June 1, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  12. joyfulmeme

    The hate for the President is unfortnately alive and well. It appears there are professional trolls on most of the news websites that consistently promote hate and devision. If folks actually looked at the President's record and the actions of the man they would find that in spite of the hate he has done a commendable job in getting country on a better track.

    It would be refreshing if commentators focused on what is actually happening instead of all the made up stuff to promote devision and hate for this man. He's everything they wish they were. Because there haven't been a lot of real scandals, they make any mistake a mountain. There are mistakes in every administration. Piling on doesn't make it better or solve the issues.

    June 1, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  13. Just a thought

    It would be wonderful if congress, in particular the hateful Tea Tards spent time making this economy better....but alas, its a pipe dream until we can vote out the losers.

    June 1, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |