It's the toughest piece of Obama's efforts to prevent foreclosures—a stick to go with the many carrots he is offering the mortgage industry to help borrowers afford their home loans.
In the meantime, Obama has invited to the White House more than 120 people who hold a wide range of views on how to fix the world's costliest health care system, one that still leaves millions uninsured.
A broad group of doctors, patients, business owners and insurers were to gather for a forum Thursday in hopes of building support for big changes in health care.
Republicans are invited, and they're expected to speak up. "The president wants to engage with Congress in a transparent and bipartisan fashion," said Melody Barnes, who heads White House domestic policy.
And a White House spokeswoman said that the administration is working "around the clock" to help GM and the auto industry resolve their financial problems.
Keep track of what Obama has been doing since taking office:
Day 44: New Housing Plan Launched (Mar. 4)
- Obama will order a crackdown on waste and cost overruns in U.S. government procurement that he estimates will save up to $40 billion a year, an administration official said. (Full Story)
- The Obama administration launched a $75 billion foreclosure relief plan, as new data showed one in five U.S. homeowners with mortgages owe more than their house is worth. (Full Story)
Day 43: Stimulus Package Looking Hopeful? (Mar. 3)
- The stimulus package may pack a big punch in the current crisis because households and businesses struggling to get credit are more likely to spend the money, a top White House adviser said. (Full Story)
- Obama said he saw little hope of near-term improvement in the U.S. economy after a staggering drop in gross domestic product in the final three months of last year. (Full Story)
- The Senate voted overwhelmingly to preserve thousands of earmarks in a $410 billion spending bill, brushing aside Sen. McCain's claim that Obama and Congress are merely conducting business as usual in a time of economic hardship. McCain's attempt to strip out an estimated 8,500 earmarks failed on a vote of 63-32. (Full Story)
- British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will press Obama for details on his plans to fix the ailing U.S. financial sector in talks that will focus on the global economic crisis. The two leaders will also discuss ways to tighten lax financial regulations, a major topic for the summit of the Group of 20 developed and emerging economies that Brown will host in London on April 2. (Full Story)
Day 42: Health Reform Positions Nominated (Mar. 2)
- Obama named Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius to lead his ambitious health reform effort. He also named former Clinton administration health official Nancy-Ann DeParle to serve as head of the newly created White House Office for Health Reform, which will help coordinate Obama's health reform agenda with Congress. (Full Story)
- British Prime Minister Gordon Brown hopes to forge an alliance this week with Obama to combat the global financial crisis and reinforce what London calls its special relationship with Washington. Brown will be the first European leader to meet Obama since he was inaugurated. (Full Story)