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Obama to announce plans to cut government waste

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[June 13, 2011]  WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama will announce new steps Monday to reduce government waste, arguing that inefficiency, fraud and abuse are especially troubling during tough economic times.

Obama was to sign an executive order creating the Campaign to Cut Government Waste. According to a draft of the order obtained by The Associated Press, Obama will call for a new oversight board to work with federal agencies to cut back on waste and improve their performance. The order also requires cabinet secretaries to hold regular meetings with Vice President Joe Biden to report progress.

Monday's announcement comes as the White House grapples for ways to both boost sluggish economic growth and quell public anger over the mounting deficit.

"As we work to tackle the budget deficit, we need to step up our game," Obama said in a video message to be released Monday.

"No amount of waste is acceptable -- not when it's your money; not at a time when so many families are already cutting back," he said.

Biden and other administration officials were to discuss plans to cut back on waste

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In prepared remarks for Monday's event, budget director Jacob Lew said wasting taxpayer dollars through inefficiency "is particularly offensive at a time of such fiscal challenges."

One of the campaign's first steps will be targeting waste and duplication among federal websites. The administration will halt the creation of new websites, as well as shut down or consolidate one-fourth of the 2,000 government websites in the next few months.

[Associated Press; By JULIE PACE]

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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