CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) _ President Bush says Congress is spending too much in areas like drought relief for farmers but not enough on his priorities.
The president nonetheless signed a $397.4 billion government spending bill containing billions more dollars than he'd sought for the budget year that began Oct. 1.
``I am very concerned that the Congress failed to provide over $1 billion in funds that my administration requested for state and local law enforcement and emergency personnel,'' Bush said in a statement.
``Much of the funding that the Congress did provide is heavily earmarked for lower-priority programs that are not best designed to protect Americans against terrorism,'' he said.
The legislation pours taxpayers' money into everything from poor school districts to the National Cowgirl Museum in Texas. It also finances an investigation of the space shuttle disaster and countless home-state projects for members of Congress.
The bill pays for every agency except the Pentagon for the 2003 budget year that ends this Sept. 30.
With his signature Thursday evening, the president ended a bitter stalemate that began last year when he demanded lower spending than many in Congress wanted.
He accused lawmakers of using budgetary tricks to get around agreements on discretionary spending. For example, Bush said the bill included $3.3 billion for ``unrequested drought aid and other assistance'' only partially offset by spending reductions in the recent farm bill.
Earlier Thursday, during a visit to Georgia, Bush demanded again that Congress restrain spending.
``I believe the best way to get out of it is to grow the economy so more revenues come in, and then make sure Congress doesn't overspend,'' he said.
The spending bill was opposed by Democrats who contended it shortchanged education, domestic security and park lands, and by conservative Republicans angry that it spent too much on lawmakers' projects that critics said amounted to ``pork.''
But Bush could claim some victories: The measure included added defense spending, and its final price tag was billions below what many Democrats wanted.