WASHINGTON (CNN)–President Bush attacked Congress on Wednesday, ripping the new Democratic leadership for failing to achieve much in their first nine months of power.
Bush used his opening statement to list areas where he said "Congress has work to do": health care; security; the budget; education; housing; trade; help for military veterans; law enforcement and the judiciary.
He complained about progress on a number of bills before Congress, including children’s health insurance, spending plans and internal surveillance legislation, saying Congress has wasted much of the past nine months.
"Now the clock is winding down. In some key areas, Congress is just getting started," Bush said.
"One of Congress’ basic duties is to fund the day-to-day operations of the federal government. Yet Congress has not sent me a single appropriations bill," Bush said. Watch Bush scold Congress for inaction ?
Bush said congressional Democrats are wasting time with proposed legislation calling the actions of Ottoman Turks against Armenia’s during World War I "genocide."
"With all these pressing responsibilities, one thing Congress should not be doing is sorting out the historical record of the Ottoman Empire," Bush said. "The resolution on the mass killings of Armenia’s beginning in 1915 is counterproductive…
"Congress has more important work to do than antagonizing a democratic ally in the Muslim world, especially one that’s providing vital support for our military every day," Bush said.
U.S.-Turkey relations were strained further Wednesday as the Turkish parliament overwhelmingly approved military action against Kurdish separatists based in Iraq. Turkey has massed 60,000 troops along its border with Iraq.
Bush said the U.S. is asking the Turkish government for restraint.
"We are making it very clear to Turkey that we don’t think it is in their interests to send troops into Iraq," he said while acknowledging that some Turkish troops have crossed the border.