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.