President Obama in Phoenix today to tout mortgage reform

Posted: Updated:
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- President Barack Obama arrived in Phoenix just after 11:30 a.m. Tuesday to talk about home ownership, spotlighting the Valley metro area as one of the nation's most rapid housing recoveries.

The president is scheduled to speak at Desert Vista High School at about 1 p.m.

3TV and will carry that live.

The trip will be a fast one. Obama is expected to leave Phoenix for Los Angeles shortly after 2 p.m.

Both Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton met with the president briefly before he left the airport.

According to Stanton's office, the mayor gave the president a letter from a so-called Dreamer named Tony Valdovinos, who is one of some 300,000 young people who are now permitted to work in the U.S. thanks to the administration's policy deferring deportation and allowing work permits for young immigrants who were brought to the US illegally as children.

Valdovinos thanked President Obama for "helping people like me live without fear for the first time in my life" and for turning "Dreamers into Achievers."
(Read the entire letter)

Refocusing on middle-class Americans

Obama is proposing to overhaul the nation's mortgage finance system, including shutting down government-backed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - a plan with bipartisan support on Capitol Hill.

Obama will also insist that popular 30-year mortgages be widely available to borrowers, even in a system that would rely more on the private sector than the government to guarantee loans.

The president was to outline his proposals Tuesday at a construction company in Phoenix, once the epicenter of the housing crisis following the 2008 economic collapse. The housing market in the region, as in much of the country, has rebounded in recent months, buoyed in part by low interest rates.

The president's trip marks the latest stop on his summertime economic tour aimed at refocusing his agenda on middle-class Americans still struggling to recover from the recession.

Senior administration officials said Obama would focus in Phoenix on shifting more of the burden for supporting the nation's massive mortgage market to the private sector. A centerpiece of that effort is winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage finance operations that received a $187 billion taxpayer-funded bailout in 2008.