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Obama signs cost cutting bill

WASHINGTON, May 22 – US President Barack Obama on Friday signed a bill into law aimed at saving billions of dollars in wasteful spending on weapons systems often delivered late and hit by ballooning cost overruns.

"It\’s finally time to end this waste and inefficiency," said Obama, before leaving the White House on his Marine One helicopter to deliver a commencement address at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

"The purpose of this law will be to limit cost overruns before they spiral out of control.

It "reforms a system where taxpayers are charged too much for weapons systems that too often arrive late."

The legislation gives the government more oversight of the military\’s budget and provides for an independent director of cost assessment.

The law, which won unanimous support in Congress, will also give field commanders more input into the development and ordering of weapons systems.

Obama has vowed to crack down on the bloated Pentagon procurement process as he seeks cost cuts consistent with his goal of halving the huge federal deficit before his mandate ends in January 2013.

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