WASHINGTON, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Saturday urged Congress to pass a refinancing bill to help the nation's distressed homeowners reduce their mortgage burden, as the recovery of the housing sector was critical to the overall economic growth.
"There are still millions of Americans who are struggling with their mortgages, even at a time of historically low rates," Obama said in his weekly address.
When folks are spending less on mortgage payments, they're spending more at local businesses. And when those businesses have more customers, they start hiring more workers, Obama added.
"Back in February I sent Congress a plan to give every responsible homeowner the chance to save about 3,000 U.S. dollars a year on their mortgages by refinancing at lower rates," Obama noted.
However, the bill went nowhere in the Republican-led House of Representatives, the lower chamber, as lawmakers from both Democratic and Republican Parties were all in the campaign mode in this presidential and congressional election year.
"It's going to take a while for our housing market to fully recover. But it's going to take a lot more time -- and cause a lot more hurt -- if Congress keeps standing in the way," he stressed.