Obama to Mayors: Use Stimulus Cash Wisely

Officials can't betray the public's trust, president says
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 20, 2009 11:01 AM CST
President Barack Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, speaks to mayors from across the country, Friday, Feb. 20, 2009, in the East Room of the White House.   (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
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(Newser) – President Obama says the $787 billion economic package will help struggling cities, but both Washington and the mayors have a responsibility to spend the money wisely. "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," Obama told a gathering of mayors at the White House today.

"With that comes an unprecedented obligation to do so wisely, free from politics and personal agendas," the president said. "On this I will not compromise or tolerate any shortcut." He added that legislation will allow the country "to watch the taxpayers' money with more rigor and transparency than ever."