WASHINGTON - House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer criticized the Republican-controlled Congress on Saturday for "surrendering to its own intransigence and admitting that it cannot complete the work the people sent us here to do."
"The 108th Congress has failed, and the American people know that we can, and must, do better," the Maryland congressman said in the Democrats' weekly radio address.
Hoyer, his party's No. 2 leader in the House, said Republicans "hardly broke a sweat" this year and "worked fewer hours than any single session of Congress since 1948."
He criticized Republican leaders for failure to enact intelligence reform, a budget, an energy plan "despite record high gas prices" and a transportation bill.
"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," Hoyer said.
As Democrats and Republicans head home to campaign for re-election, Hoyer promised better results if Democrats control Congress.
In a reference to Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas, he said Democrats "will not elect leaders who spend more time fending off ethics charges than they do tending to the people's business."
The bipartisan House ethics committee admonished DeLay twice in the past week for using the Federal Aviation Administration to intervene in Texas' redistricting dispute last year and for creating an appearance of giving contributors special access on pending energy legislation.
Last week, in a separate case, DeLay was admonished by the committee for offering to support the House candidacy of a Michigan lawmaker's son in return for the lawmaker's vote for a Medicare prescription drug benefit.
DeLay responded by accusing his accusers of libel and the bipartisan panel that judged him of mistreating him.