Obama's Weekly Address: Reviving the Housing Market

Mary Bruce

Calling the housing crisis the "single biggest drag on our recovery," President Obama is urging Congress to act on his latest housing refinance plan.

"In order to lower mortgage payments for millions of Americans, we need Congress to act. They're the ones who have to pass this plan. 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 said in his weekly address, as he enlisted Americans to help him "keep up the pressure on Congress to do the right thing."

The president's plan asks Congress for a tax on large banks to help "responsible homeowners" refinance at today's low rates, saving the average borrower roughly $3,000 a year, according to the White House.

"No more red tape. No more endless forms. And a small fee on the largest financial institutions will make sure it doesn't add a dime to the deficit," Obama said.

The president also repeated a veiled stab at Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney over how to best revive the housing market.

"It is wrong for anyone to suggest that the only option for struggling, responsible homeowners is to sit and wait for the housing market to hit bottom. I don't accept that. None of us should," he said.

The former Massachusetts governor told the Las Vegas Review-Journal in October that the housing market should "run its course and hit the bottom."