U.S. President Barack Obama urged lawmakers on Saturday to resist pressure to weaken a financial reform bill and called again for an independent consumer watchdog to help prevent future financial crises.

As healthcare reform reaches a make-or-break vote in the House of Representatives on Sunday, Obama used his weekly radio and Internet address to highlight what may become his next top domestic priority: overhauling rules that govern Wall Street.

Obama, who blames lax regulation for helping to spark the U.S. financial crisis, laid out his case for a bill outlined by Senator Chris Dodd that is expected to come up for debate in the Senate's Banking Committee on Monday.

I urge those in the Senate who support these reforms to remain strong, to resist the pressure from those who would preserve the status quo, to stand up for their constituents and our country, Obama said.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Peter Cooney)