U.S. President Barack Obama is warning city leaders they will be held
accountable for how federal dollars from the $787 billion economic
stimulus package are spent.
Mr. Obama was speaking to the U.S. Conference of Mayors at the White House Friday.
Obama and Cabinet leaders met with 80 mayors from across the country to
discuss how the stimulus plan will affect their communities.
Obama told the mayors that stimulus funds must be used for their
intended purposes and without waste, inefficiency or fraud. He warned
if a local government does not do that, he will use the full power of
his office to stop it.
The leader of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, said city officials welcome accountability.
meeting comes one day after Mr. Obama named a director, Adolfo Carrion
Jr., for the new White House Office of Urban Affairs, which the
president said will help ensure federal dollars targeting urban areas
are well spent.
President Obama said the office
will focus on job creation, improving housing and infrastructure, and
creating new ways to make the country more globally competitive.
The president said rebuilding the economy is going to require a partnership between mayors and the White House.
Mr. Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will host a dinner for the
nation's governors at the White House on Sunday. A White House
statement said the president's home is a place where the bond between
Americans is strengthened.