"Pass this bill," President Obama said more than two dozen times during his two speeches last week touting his jobs bill—and he’ll say it again tonight when he officially sends the American Jobs Act to Congress. “He will call on Congress to pass the bill, which contains the kinds of proposals to grow the economy and create jobs that have been supported by both parties in the past,” a White House official tells Politico. Obama will announce the sending of the bill in a Rose Garden ceremony today, flanked by teachers, firefighters, and others who the official says would benefit from the legislation.
But before the bill heads to Congress, the Los Angeles Times talked to Moody's chief economist, Mark Zandi, who notes that Obama's $447 billion job creation package fails to address one crucial area: the depressed housing market. Housing woes fuel larger economic problems, including unemployment, because they keep struggling homeowners from starting businesses or moving to take new jobs, among other factors. While Obama said he would help “responsible homeowners” refinance their mortgages when presenting the bill, he said little else on the matter. The plan does not include any new relief for those in or near foreclosure, nor does it address the problem of what to do with empty homes. See the LAT for more.