This morning, President Bush met exclusively with Republican congressional leaders to discuss the SCHIP bill. Afterward, he held a press conference slamming the Democratic leadership for “not getting its work done” in Congress, stating that the Senate had “wasted valuable time” trying to end the war in Iraq:
BUSH: Congress is not getting its work done. Near — we’re near the end of the year and there really isn’t much to show for it.
The House of Representatives has wasted valuable time on a constant stream of investigations and the Senate has wasted valuable time on an endless series of failed votes to pull our troops out of Iraq. And yet there’s important work to be done on behalf of the American people.
According to Bush, the Senate has wasted time listening to the wishes of the American public. Sixty-eight percent of Americans want U.S. forces in Iraq reduced or withdrawn entirely, according to a September CBS poll. An October Washington Post/ABC poll also found that a majority of Americans “do not believe Congress has gone far enough in opposing the war.”
Congressional Democrats have faced stiff conservative opposition in their efforts to end the war. In May, Congress approved a bill stipulating troop withdrawals from Iraq — which Bush promptly vetoed. Two months later, Democrats pushed the issue in all-night Senate session, but Republicans again blocked the legislation.
The only person who has “wasted valuable time” is Bush, who continues to bury his head in the sand and back a failed policy in Iraq. As Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said in April, Congress’s actions have been “helpful in demonstrating to the Iraqis that American patience is limited.”