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Obama calls on Congress to come to the aid of homeowners.

In his weekly address, U.S. President Barack Obama is pressing lawmakers to pass his proposal to provide up to $10 billion in aid to struggling homeowners. He says failure to address the housing crisis will put the rest of the economy at risk. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING : "The housing crisis has been the single biggest drag on our recovery from the recession. It has kept millions of families in debt and unable to spend, and it has left hundreds of thousands of construction workers out of a job." This week Obama unveiled the details of a $5 billion to $10 billion program that would help homeowners take advantage of record low interest rates to refinance their mortgages. Obama, who clashed repeatedly with the republican-controlled House of Representatives over budget and tax issues last year, faces an uphill battle gaining traction for his domestic agenda in an election year. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING : "As anyone who has followed the news in the last six months can tell you, getting Congress to do anything these days is not an easy job." Obama's handling of the economy, which has seen a sluggish recovery is likely to be the top issue in the race for the White House. In a report that could be helpful to his re-election prospects, the government said Friday that the U.S. economy created a robust 243,000 jobs in January - the fastest pace in nine months. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters

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