US President Barack Obama on Saturday urged Americans to pressure Congress to pass his mortgage refinancing plan, arguing it would help working families and strengthen the middle class.
"Show up at their town hall and tell them that when Congress comes back to Washington, they better come back ready to work," Obama said in in his weekly radio and Internet address. "All of you are doing everything you can to meet your responsibilities. It's time Congress did the same.
The comment came after new statistics released this past week showed that US home prices had risen for the third straight month in July, jumping 1.6 percent over the previous month.
The monthly gain was a fresh sign that the industry has climbed out of its second recession in home prices since the housing bubble collapsed in 2006-2007, pulling the US economy down with it.
All 20 major urban areas in the S&P/Case-Shiller price index showed net price gains, the strongest in Minneapolis and Detroit.
Obama said the housing market was "healing," but acknowledged that it was going "to take a while for our housing market to fully recover."
He argued that his plan, sent to Congress in February, would give every responsible homeowner the chance to save about $3,000 a year on their mortgages by refinancing at lower rates.
In addition, the president said, it would help the country's economic recovery and create new jobs.
"When folks are spending less on mortgage payments, they're spending more at local businesses," Obama pointed out. "And when those businesses have more customers, they start hiring more workers."