President Obama delivers remarks on education at the University of Colorado… (Jason Reed / Reuters )
President Obama ended a three-day West Coast swing by discussing steps he is taking to help to young Americans pay off their student loans, steps he said would also provide a boost to the struggling economy.
The president, speaking at the University of Colorado, said that with Congress holding up elements of his jobs plan, he would take executive action that would allow borrowers to cap student loan payments at 10% of their discretionary income in 2012, two years sooner than currently allowed.
He said that change would save 1.6 million Americans "hundreds of dollars."
"Our economy needs it right now, and your future could use a boost right now," Obama said.
Speaking in Denver, where he accepted his party's presidential nomination three years ago, Obama was again making a targeted pitch to a part of the coalition that helped put him in office: young voters.
Denver was also the city where Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act just months after taking office, a plan Republicans say has been shown to have failed to boost the economy.
He urged the crowd to join him in prodding those in Congress who "don't seem to share this same sense of urgency" he feels about the economy.
"Some of these folks in Washington still aren't getting the message. I need your voices heard," he said. "Young people, I need you guys involved; I need you active."
Obama's remarks came at an official White House event, but in a sign of the synergy between the White House and his Chicago-based campaign, the president's supporters received an email just moments after the speech announcing the launch of "Young Americans for Obama."
The president is due to return to Washington early this evening.