WASHINGTON (CNN) – With former presidential rival Sen. John McCain and other congressional critics of government waste by his side, President Barack Obama changed another Bush-era policy Wednesday, announcing a plan to change how the government awards private sector contracts.
“It’s time for a government that only invests in what works,” Obama said when calling for new spending guidelines. “And what’s encouraging is that there is broad, bipartisan consensus on behalf of reform.”
Obama reserved special criticism for defense contractors, saying that the majority of the waste “comes from influence peddling and indefensible no-bid contracts that have cost American taxpayers billions of dollars in Iraq."
Under the new directive, Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag will work with officials in the cabinet and across the federal government to come up with a new set of regulations to govern the process by this September that are intended to open it up to independent contractors and prevent waste and fraud - changes the White House predicted would save as much as $40 billion per year.