Speaking in the East Room of the White House to more than 70 mayors, President Obama cautioned them about wasteful spending.
"I want to be clear about this: we cannot tolerate business as usual, not in Washington, not in our State Capitols, not in America’s cities and towns," he said. "We will use the new tools that the Recovery Act gives us to watch the taxpayers’ money with more rigor and transparency than ever."
The mayors applauded.
"If a federal agency proposes a project that will waste that money, I will not hesitate to call them out on it, and put a stop to it," he said. "I want everyone here to be on notice that if a local government does the same – I will call them out on it as well, and use the full power of my office and our administration to stop it.
"We have asked for the unprecedented trust of the American people to deal boldly with the greatest economic crisis we have seen in decades – and the privilege of investing unprecedented amounts of their hard-earned money to address this crisis," the president continued. "With that comes unprecedented obligations to spend that money wisely, free from politics and personal agendas. On this I will not compromise or tolerate any shortcuts. The American people are looking to us -- each of you, as well as myself and Joe and others in our administration..."