It's part of my job to make sure President Obama gets to hear the voices and perspectives of people outside Washington – and lately, that's not been difficult.
Everywhere the President goes, he gets the same message: Americans just want folks in Washington to work together to build an economy that works for the middle class, not just the wealthiest – and is based on rewarding responsibility, hard work and fairness.
That's why the President has proposed the American Jobs Act, a set of bold but common-sense measures that will put up to 2 million Americans back to work and more money in the pockets of working Americans.
Unfortunately, Republicans in Congress keep blocking this bipartisan proposal, putting their party before our country.
We can't wait for Congress to act, so President Obama is moving ahead with executive actions to strengthen the economy, help middle class families and move this country forward.
On Monday, he was in Nevada to discuss concrete steps we're taking, like removing caps for deeply underwater borrowers and eliminating fees, so that homeowners can refinance their mortgages and save money. On Tuesday, he announced new initiatives that will help put veterans to work in community health centers. And today, he's proposing to offer immediate relief to college students by making it easier to manage their debt while they get on their feet.
These policies aren't a substitute for the American Jobs Act, but they will make a difference. And we don't intend to stop there.
The best ideas for growing this economy won't come from Washington – they'll come from Americans like you. So let me tell you about a new way to make your voice heard in our government.
More than 750,000 people have already used a new feature on WhiteHouse.gov called We the People to create and sign petitions calling on the Obama Administration to take action on a range of important issues. Learn more about We the People here:
The President's changes to the student loan program will make it easier for graduates to make their payments and avoid default.
It's also a great example of We the People at work.
In the past month, thousands of citizens signed a petition about student loans. These individuals rightly pointed out that the weight of this debt is preventing graduates all over the country from achieving their dreams.
It's a message received loud and clear and one that President Obama – who spent almost a decade paying off his own student loans – understands.
A new report shows that our investments in student financial aid have made a big difference for families, but too many students still struggle with debt. Today, the President announced clear actions to help young people who are doing everything right and living up to their responsibilities, but having a hard time making loan payments while the economy continues to recover.
So what else do you have? What's the next issue you think needs attention? Make sure your voice is heard in our government WhiteHouse.gov/YourIdeas.
We can't wait to see what you have to say.
Senior Advisor to the President