President Barack Obama is telling federal agencies to limit the role lobbyists play in spending decisions and to work hard on cutting wasteful spending.
Appearing before a group of state leaders invited to the White House, Obama said government officials must very carefully watch how money from the $787 billion economic recovery bill is spent. He said that what is needed is a "new culture of accountability."
Obama urged governors, mayors and others to closely monitor public projects to protect against fraud and waste, saying "I'm not willing to ask all of you to do what I'm not willing to do myself."
He said he was issuing new guidelines that, among other things, will require agencies to publicly reveal contacts with lobbyists about government programs under the Recovery Act.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)