WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is outlining a plan Wednesday to cut back on wasteful spending, saying it would save Americans tens of billions of dollars.
Obama intended to explain how federal contracts waste taxpayer dollars and how his administration plans to curb that. The White House said the president wants to change how contracts are awarded.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano also are expected to talk about wasteful spending when they visit the White House.
It's part of the administration's plan to boost Americans' confidence in Washington.
During last week's White House meetings on the nation's financial future, lawmakers and officials bluntly told top Obama aides that government contracts needed to be handled in a better way. The president's own fleet of Marine One helicopters became an illustration of out-of-control spending.
Arizona Sen. John McCain, Obama's Republican rival during last year's presidential election, dryly told Obama, "Your helicopter is now going to cost as much as Air Force One."
Obama said he already had spoken with Defense Secretary Robert Gates about the fleet of 28 Marine One helicopters that is now over budget at $11.2 billion, a price that has almost doubled since the Navy started the project.
"It is an example of the procurement process gone amok, and we're going to have to fix it," Obama said last week.