Obama calls for more transparency in face of "deficit of trust"

17:25, January 28, 2010      

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U.S. President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that the White House and Congress should work together to promote transparency and restrict influence of lobbyists to address a "deficit of trust" among the public.

"We have to recognize that we face more than a deficit of dollars right now. We face a deficit of trust -- deep and corrosive doubts about how Washington works that have been growing for years," Obama said in his first State of the Union address.

He called on both the White House and Congress to take action "to end the outsized influence of lobbyists; to do our work openly; and to give our people the government they deserve."

The president also touted his efforts in promoting government transparency by posting White House visitors online and excluding lobbyists from policy-making jobs or seats on federal boards and commissions.

"But we can't stop there. It's time to require lobbyists to disclose each contact they make on behalf of a client with my Administration or Congress. And it's time to put strict limits on the contributions that lobbyists give to candidates for federal office," he said.

Obama once again blasted the Supreme Court ruling last week that overturned decades of law restricting political spending by corporation, unions and other organizations.

"I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities. They should be decided by the American people, and that's why I'm urging Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to right this wrong," he said.

Source: Xinhua
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