Democrats claimed power in Congress vowing to end the war in Iraq, but seven months on are frustrated at their inability to wrest control of national security policy from President George W. Bush.
They did however chalk up a string of domestic goals, raising the minimum wage, enshrined into law the recommendations of the commission into the September 11 attacks in 2001, passed an ethics bill, improved healthcare for children and passed energy reforms.
"These are issues that relate directly to the well-being of the American people ... they hit home," said Nancy Pelosi, Democratic speaker of the House of Representatives.
But Congress still leaves Washington for its summer break with public approval ratings lower than those of unpopular Bush.
"They managed to achieve an astonishing thing, which is to have the lowest approval ratings anyone can find for Congress in history and have done it in a record short period of time of about seven months," said Republican Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell.
Several recent opinion polls have shown Americans are not satisfied with lawmakers' performance, though Democrats say their own polling suggests that despite their leadership role, voters do not blame them specifically.
But frustration is growing for Democrats on Iraq, the single issue which more than any other powered their victory in last November's congressional election.
And after a showdown with the White House, Democrats also failed to thwart Bush's plans to extend a warrantless wiretap program, caving in to White House pressure.