WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama this week will announce a series of actions to help the economy that will not require congressional approval, including an initiative to make it easier for homeowners to refinance their mortgages, according to a White House official.

The actions come as Obama has faced resistance from Republicans to a $447 billion jobs package he has urged Congress to pass.

The first of the initiatives, which were reported by The New York Times, will be unveiled during Obama's three-day trip to western states beginning on Monday.

Obama will discuss the changes on mortgage rules at a stop in Nevada, which has one of the hardest-hit housing markets in the country.

In Denver on Wednesday, he will announce a student loan initiative.

"The only way we can truly attack our economic challenges is with bold, bipartisan action in Congress," said White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer told The New York Times. "The president will continue to pressure Congressional Republicans to put country before party and pass the American Jobs Act, but he believes we cannot wait, so he will act where they won't."

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