June 16th, 2007
10:32 AM ET
4 years ago

Bush says he'll use veto pen on excessive spending bills

President Bush says he is ready to wield veto pen.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - With Congress preparing to debate more agency spending bills in the coming week, President Bush on Saturday touted his economic plan and lambasted the Democrats' strategy.

The American people "expect accountability and fiscal discipline in Washington, D.C.," Bush said. "And I will use my veto to stop tax increases and runaway spending that threaten the strength of our economy and the prosperity of our people."

In his weekly radio address, Bush cited what he characterized as his administration's successes in handling the national economy.

He proposed to "reduce the federal deficit through strict fiscal discipline" and work toward reducing entitlement spending, which he called "our most serious long-term fiscal challenge."

Most of the federal budget is devoted to entitlement spending for programs such as Social Security and Medicare. Instead of being regulated by Congress, the spending levels now fluctuate according to how many people are eligible for the funding.

Bush accused Democrats of "trying to take us in a different direction" by passing a fiscal year 2008 budget that would increase taxes and government spending, as well as ignore the need to entitlement reform. The federal fiscal year starts Oct. 1.

Bush vowed to veto any bill that includes what he considers unnecessary spending, and maintained he has at least 147 Republicans in the House standing behind him.

Bush also cited "earmark reform" as "another key area of difference between my administration and the Democratic leadership in Congress."

Earmarks, or home-district spending projects, are promoted by individual members of Congress, often make it into bills undetected, and lead to unnecessary federal spending, Bush said. He promised to make these provisions, also known as "pork barrel spending," more difficult to set into motion.


Filed under: President Bush
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. suzanne - malibu- california

    How stupid does Bush think the American people Are? This Deserter and Thief has squandered more money than any President in our History. You can see the by the expression on his simple minded face that he thinks we're buying it. Whats he think 20 million Illigal Aliens are going to cost this nation?

    June 16, 2007 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  2. Jack, Chicago, IL

    Where was the veto pen when the 'Borrow and Spend' Republicans controlled Congress for 6 years?

    June 16, 2007 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  3. Mark, St. Augustine, Fla

    Quit sending money overseas and with all the money we have spent in Iraq, why isn't that country selling us oil at a steep discount??

    June 16, 2007 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  4. Bill W, Coatesville, PA

    America elected a Democratic congress because they don't like the current administration and its policies – especially the war. AMERICA WANTS A DIFFERENT DIRECTION – why hasn't the president caught on yet? Oh, that's right, he's the Decider – he doesn't think he has any obligation to serve the will of the people.

    If I were incharge of the Democrats, I'd force feed him the same bill repeatedly until he signed it or had no budget at all. Give him no choice. And they have the votes to do it.

    June 16, 2007 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  5. Kirsten, Fredericksburg, Virginia

    To the abouve user:

    It came out after the American people decided they wanted a change from the excessive spending and voted Democratic(who promised to stop the earmarking etc.). The Democrats are jsut as bad as the Republicans in this aspect. They said they would stop and they've come no where nearing stopping.

    June 16, 2007 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  6. Lori, Fall River, MA

    He ought to think about his own spending on this rediculous war we are in! I consider that excessive!

    June 16, 2007 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  7. Tricia M Ch'town, PEI Candaa

    Quite a Jokester this President.
    After spending BILLIONS on a Needless War for four long years, he's now speaking to "earmark reforms," fiscal discipline, keeping a check on tax increases and highlighting pork barrel spending!!

    But the comment I like the most is -"Bush cited what he characterized as his administration’s successes in handling the national economy." Huh?

    To quote a popular Sitcom Star, "Gimme a Break."

    June 16, 2007 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  8. joey las vegas NV

    Pretty tough words from a president that almost single handedly turned the largest surplus in history into the largest deficit in history and saddled our children with a lifetime of paying off the debt. Apparently what he considers "unnecessary spending", is anything that uses tax dollars to benefit the middle class and the disenfranchised instead of just handing it over to his already wealthy and gluttonous friends; oil companies, war mongers, elitist republicans ,etc..
    Bush accused Democrats of “trying to take us in a different direction”..
    Good. We need a new direction. We need to spend American tax dollars on America, not his personal disaster in iraq, not on "rebates" to huge multinational corporations, not on religious crusades or campaigns of hate and intolerance, not on hand-outs to the already wealthy.
    This is a president that spent 52 million dollars of taxpayer money on his own inauguration. This is a president who squandered half a TRILLION dollars on a war that didn't need to happen.
    Yes, we need a different direction. We need to put money back into education, health care, infrastructure, science and research, first responders, law enforcement (not spying), community activities, caring for the poor and homeless. These are what Bush and his 147 republicans in the house seem to consider "unnecessary spending".

    June 16, 2007 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  9. Dan (Baltimore, MD)

    I'm so glad that President Bush is still around so democrats in Congress can't ruin our strong economy.

    June 16, 2007 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  10. Lisi, SLC, UT

    Bush is just using that VETO pen on the wrong issues- he needs to use it on the war in Iraq- I think Bush is trying to use all the ink up in that pen before he's out of office..

    June 16, 2007 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  11. Angela Rogan Salina, KS

    This is just another smoke screen, that the President is placing in front of our faces, so that the common folk dont know what is going on, Of course he has 147 Repulicans lined in his back pocket to support him, the only home -district spendng he wants is to go to his pockets, not the americans who support this country!

    June 16, 2007 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  12. Ann, Brunswick, ME

    Breaking News: Democrats don't care about Iraq War, they only care about the money it's using that they can't get their hands on. Wake up America! They are playing on the dumb that don't do their homework and believe anything they hear repeated more than twice. IDIOTS!

    June 16, 2007 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  13. mark worrell

    “expect accountability and fiscal discipline in Washington, D.C.,” Bush said. “And I will use my veto to stop tax increases and runaway spending that threaten the strength of our economy and the prosperity of our people.”

    what an absolute liar.

    June 16, 2007 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  14. Tricia M Ch'town, PEI Candaa

    This President seems like quite a Jokster doesn't he?

    After spending Billions on a needless war over the past four years, he's criticizing the Democrats for increasing taxes and government spending!

    Amd now he's speaking to "earmark reform," as “another key area of difference between my administration and the Democratic leadership in Congress." Hummmm

    But not to worry, Bush vowed to veto any bill that includes what he considers unnecessary spending. Makes me wonder why either party is wasting time drafting bills? Why bother? One stroke of the Veto Pen and they're history.

    A quote from a popular star on an old Sitcom comes to mind, "Gimme A Break."

    June 16, 2007 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  15. Rocco, Wellington, FL

    America can spend 600 million on an Embassy in Iraq which is all will never be used but we can spend 500 million to help rebuild New Orleans. How did we elect this man as President?

    Americans should be ashamed!

    June 17, 2007 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  16. Will - Miami, FL

    Spending won't stop until we elect a TRUE conservative President, impliment congressional term limits, and have the line-item veto.

    I've not heard ANYONE talk about pushing for a line-item veto. Reagan knew that the line-item veto was the ONLY way to reduce spending in DC.

    Social security reform (at least partial privatization), line-item veto, defense, less spending, smaller government, term limits for congress. These are the things that will win MY vote. Not these phonies trying to sound like Reagan.

    PS. I'll never trust a lobyist. Especially one that worked for the Teamsters. In case you don't know who I'm talking about, do some research on Fred Thompson...

    June 17, 2007 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  17. Lance, L.A. CA

    He doesn't want to increase taxes? More correctly, he doesn't want to increase taxes on his super rich corporate buddies who are making a killing on oil, and war profits. Democrats are trying to tax the rich and make them responsible for their actions, while Bush will say anything to keep giving them blank checks, to no doubt fund his own retirement in Saudi Arabia.

    June 17, 2007 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  18. Dale, Elm Mott Texas

    Where were the Democrats during the Vietnam war? Where were they during the Carter years with interests rates and gas shortages? Where are they now? The same place they always are which is blaming everyone else.

    June 17, 2007 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  19. Tamira Hopkins, Upland, CA

    A novice in the world of politics, I understand that there are pros and cons of every political party. I often find myself on the outside with the Libertarians/Greens, but I believe my opinion on this matter is similar across all party lines.

    My first reaction is yes...we, as Americans expect accountability, but like many, that is something I've been waiting for from the Bush administration for years regarding reopening the investigation into 9-11. As if this weren't enough, there is the consistant overpouring of funds going overseas, be accountible for that! Or how about the fact that mothers, fathers, daughters, and sons are dying everyday in a 'war' over oil, not weapons of mass destruction. Yet, instead of addressing these major issues he decides to speak on fiscal accountability and his plan to reduce overspending. His first proposal is to “reduce the federal deficit through strict fiscal discipline” and work toward reducing entitlement spending, which he called “our most serious long-term fiscal challenge.” How does that strengthen the economy?

    I am a single mother who has been on state disability for a year due to accute fibromyalgia. I will be applying for SSI. I worry about how to raise my 3 daughters on such a limited income, and now he wants to decrease this because it is "our most long-term fiscal challenge". I don't believe this to be true. Increased military spending on this war is a long-term challenge!

    I have gone to school part time during this time, when my body allows it, and am working toward a degree so that I can teach part time to eventually get off of SSI in a few years. Maybe by creating jobs that people like me won't get fired from AND that we can earn a living at would be a good idea. The cost of this war would cover the costs of SSI and possibly programs to get eligible people educated in skills in which they once again are able to work and earn a living. I know that my thought are more feeling than fact, but from one scared American, all I can do is ask myself "WHAT IS THIS COUNTRY COMING TO?"

    June 17, 2007 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  20. DMW, Roeland Park, KS

    Ha-ha-ha-ha...that was a really good laugh! Bush and the Republicans when they ran Congress spent so much taxpayer money as giveaways to their wealthy friends, I know no one believe Bush now wants to be fiscally responsible. He is only saying these things because the Democrats in Congress are wanting to spend money on the average American verses the rich Americans.

    So, I take what Bush says with a grain of salt. Let him veto all he wants. He never wanted to use it before, so we can see that it is not for a good reason he would veto, but, for political points.

    June 18, 2007 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  21. Aaron Lynch, Lynnwood, WA

    I'm working hard to keep the real bad guys in congress from using taxpayer money. By the way, can I have 100 billion dollars for my war?

    June 18, 2007 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  22. Marta K, Hollywood, FL

    correction: They are not called "earmarks." It's called PORK (and it should be called ILLEGAL since we taxpayers are forced to pay taxes by law but then have no say in how that money is spent or wasted on pork. It's classic "taxation without representation" when Congressional members refuse to reveal their pork projects and when we have no say in them).

    June 19, 2007 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  23. Sharon, Gastonia, NC

    Does that include the "war chest" monies?

    June 19, 2007 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  24. Shawnie Cannon, Grants Pass OR

    Just so you know, I never read the really long comments. You may have something brilliant to say, but make it short and sweet! I voted for Bush twice and am terrifically sorry for the mess America is in. Thank heavens for four-year terms.

    June 20, 2007 07:24 am at 7:24 am |