I recognize that Congress has the power of the purse, and as a former Senator, I believe that individual members of Congress understand their districts best. They should have the ability to respond to the needs of their communities. But leadership requires setting an example, and the magnitude of the economic crisis we face requires responsibility on all our parts.
The future demands that we operate in a different way than we have in the past. So let there be no doubt: this piece of legislation must mark an end to the old way of doing business, and the beginning of a new era of responsibility and accountability that the American people have every right to expect and to demand.
If we are going to solve our economic crisis; if we are going to put Americans back to work; if we are going to make the investments required to build a foundation for our future growth â€“ then we must restore the American peopleâ€™s faith that their government is working for them, and that it is on their side. That is the government I promised. That is the government I intend to lead.