Democrats: 'Time for new leadership'

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A Democratic congressman Saturday slammed the Republican-led Congress, saying it is "time for new leadership" and urged voters to elect Democrats to the House and Senate.

U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the House Democratic whip, listed what he termed as many GOP failures and quoted a congressional scholar to describe the 108th Congress -- "pretty pathetic."

He delivered the Democrats' weekly radio address.

"In 2004, the Republican Congress failed to enact a budget -- the first time in 30 years that this has happened when the same party controls the House, Senate and White House," Hoyer said. "They failed to enact intelligence reform, despite the urging of the bipartisan 9/11 commission. They failed to enact an energy plan, despite record-high gas prices and our continued dependence on Middle East oil.

"They failed to enact a transportation bill, even though it would create hundreds of thousands of jobs while improving our nation's roads and bridges. And they failed to enact welfare reform, the higher education bill, and 10 of the 13 annual spending bills that fund critical government agencies and programs.

He said Republicans in Congress this year "worked fewer days" than any session of Congress since 1948, saying "our Republican friends hardly broke a sweat."

"When the going gets tough, do you just stop going? Of course not. But this Republican Congress does. Democrats believe the American people deserve better."

He said the Democrats have the voters' best interests at heart on the range of issues.

"In the last four years, the Republican Party has turned record budget surpluses into the largest budget deficits in American history, deficits as far as the eye can see," said Hoyer. "Democrats believe that it's not only irresponsible -- but it is immoral as well -- to force our children and grandchildren to pay our bills by incurring this debt."

He said singled out top Republican House leader Tom DeLay, rebuked this week by the House Ethics Committee, the latest of several rebukes.

"That's not the kind of leadership the American people expect or deserve. Nor is it the kind of leadership Democrats will deliver, if voters entrust us with Congressional Majorities in November.

He said the GOP Congress members had their opportunity to make progress but failed.

"The Republican-controlled Congress waved a white flag at the U.S. Capitol yesterday, surrendering to its own intransigence and admitting that it cannot finish the work the people sent us here to do."