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updated: 9/29/2012 9:54 AM

Obama calls on Congress to approve refinance plan

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Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Citing historically low mortgages, President Barack Obama is pressing Republicans to back housing policies the White House says would help struggling homeowners refinance their debts and prevent foreclosures.

Obama is blaming congressional Republicans for not passing legislation he proposed in February that would lower lending rates for millions of borrowers who have not been able to get out from under burdensome mortgages. Republicans have objected, citing among other things the estimated $5 billion to $10 billion cost of the proposal.

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"Here we are - seven months later - still waiting on Congress to act," Obama said Saturday in his weekly radio and Internet address.

Congress has recessed and is not scheduled to return until after the November elections.

"Instead of worrying about you, they'd already gone home to worry about their campaigns," the president said.

Obama's push comes as home prices have been rising across the United States. National home prices increased 1.2 percent in July, compared with the same month last year, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case Shiller index released Tuesday.

In the Republican weekly address, Arizona congressional candidate Vernon Parker said the U.S. corporate tax rate is pushing jobs overseas. He said he agrees with GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, "that we need to stop all the looming tax hikes and develop a pro-growth tax code that brings jobs home and keeps jobs here."

He also called for the repeal of Obama's health care law.

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