WASHINGTON – Seeking to circumvent congressional opposition, President Obama will promote a series of executive branch steps aimed at jumpstarting the economy this week, beginning with new rules to make it easier for homeowners to refinance their mortgages.

The White House said changes to the two-year-old Home Affordable Refinance Program will help homeowners with little or no equity in their houses refinance by cutting the cost of doing so and removing caps to give deeply underwater borrowers access to the program. The new rules apply to homeowners with federally guaranteed mortgages who are current on their payments.

Obama was to discuss the initiative during a meeting with homeowners Monday in Las Vegas, a city hard hit by foreclosures and sagging home prices. One in every 118 homes in the state of Nevada received a foreclosure filing in September, according to the foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac.

With the president’s jobs bill struggling in Congress, the White House is refocusing its efforts on steps Obama can take to address the nation’s economic woes without getting lawmakers’ approval. In addition to the refinancing program, the White House said Obama will also announce executive action later this week to help students better manage their student loan payments.

The new push comes with a fresh catchphrase as the White House tries to push Republicans into action: “We can’t wait.” It’s Obama’s latest in a string of slogans aimed at blaming GOP lawmakers for lack of action on the economy.

White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer said that while executive actions are no substitute for Congress passing elements of the jobs bill, the economy requires action now.

“When Congress won’t act, this president will,” he said.

GOP leaders counter that the sluggish economy and stubbornly high unemployment rate are the result of Obama administration policies that have failed, including the 2009 stimulus package and financial regulation bill.

“They got everything they wanted from Congress the first two years. Their policies are in place. And they are demonstrably not working,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Sunday.

Last month, Obama announced a $447 billion jobs plan, filled with tax increases on the wealthy and new spending on education, infrastructure and aid to state and local governments. Efforts to pass the full measure were blocked by Senate Republicans, who see the president’s proposal as a second stimulus.

That’s left Obama pushing lawmakers to pass the bill in individual pieces.