President Obama set to start series of initiatives he says will bolster economy

Here and Now

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For President Barack Obama, the rallying cry with the American public has shifted from "pass this bill" to "we can't wait."

In that vein, Obama this week will begin a new initiative, in which each week from now through the end of the year, Obama will announce a new executive branch action design to bolster the economy and create jobs. 

Republican critics call it politics. Obama says it's a necessary response to Congressional inaction.

Michael Shear, chief writer for The New York Times political blog, The Caucus, said this is a sign of the political times we're in. Obama has to do something, to remain relevant. And Republicans are trying to tell a story of a leader who won't compromise and join them in trying to fix the economy.

"These are actions that will have some effect, particularly depending on which cohort you're in some of this may help," Shear said. "But the problem the president is in is that none of the actions he's able to take himself are big enough to fix the problems that we're in."

First on the list are two initiatives slated to be rolled out this week. The first one will free up federal regulators to help underwater homeowners get loan modifications. Another proposal, slated to be unveiled in Denver later this week, will make it easier for college students to repay student loans.

But Shear said, while these proposals will make some dent, in order to do anything that can really be expected to have an impact, Obama will need help.

"In order to do anything big, he needs the Congress," he said.


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