These are tough times for the Democratic-led U.S. Congress, where partisan battles have led to little progress on big issues and have made lawmakers collectively less popular than President George W. Bush.

Congress, typically never all that popular to begin with, starts the second half of 2007 with an anemic job approval rating of about 25 percent, down from 43 percent in January, with one Gallup poll ranking lawmakers at 14 percent.

Experts attribute the woeful rankings to an inability to force a change in direction in Iraq, the priority Democrats campaigned on to gain power in both the House of Representatives and the Senate in last November's elections.

But that is not all. There has been little to show on other priorities, including a change in Social Security and other entitlement programs that will run out of money in the years ahead, in addition to overhauling a health care system that has left millions uninsured and a broken immigration policy.

"I think Americans were expecting a great deal from the new Congress, and Congress has always been held in low esteem, but Congress really hasn't delivered on what it promised, especially on Iraq," said Paul Light, a congressional expert who is a professor at New York University.


There is your democrat congress