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Obama: Congress Should Help Responsible Homeowners

  • VOA News

U.S. President Barack Obama and Republicans both focused on the economy in Saturday's weekly addresses.

The president urged Congress to pass legislation that would help responsible homeowners refinance their mortgages at historically low rates.

Obama accused Republicans of sidelining the plan, which he said could give homeowners a chance to save about $3,000 a year.

"Republicans in Congress still won't let that happen. And that's only held back the economy, when we should be doing everything we can to accelerate our economic engine," said Obama.

Watch President Obama's weekly address:

In the Republican address, Congressman Jeff Flake of Arizona said President Obama had done little to improve the economy during his four years in office.

"His answer to persistently weak jobs numbers is pressure to spend another half a trillion taxpayer dollars on legislation that would fail to even take steps to deal with the economic slowdown," said Flake.

Flake said the four years of Obama's presidency have represented a "recess from fiscal sanity." Flake called on Senate Democrats to pass a budget, saying "it is time for us to get to work."

Meanwhile, Republicans sharpened their attacks on Obama for his handling of last month's deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya.

In a statement released late Friday, House Homeland Security Committee chairman Peter King demanded that Obama release the intelligence data that led administration officials to initially call the attack a spontaneous reaction to a film posted on the Internet that had angered Muslims.

The September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi killed U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

Obama could face more questions about his administration's handling of the attack on Monday when he squares off against Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney in the third and final debate before the November election.

The debate, in Florida, will focus on foreign policy.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.