(CNSNews.com)- House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) is praising the job done by the 106th Congress this year, saying the congressional session was a success and that he believes the American people agree with his estimation.
On Capitol Hill, Hastert said, "I am gratified to discover that the American people believe that this Congress has been a success. According to the latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll, a clear majority of the American people called the Congress a success this year. The poll also showed that Republicans have their highest ratings since 1997, while Democrats have their lowest ratings since 1995."
"This fiscally responsible, common sense Congress," according to Hastert, "paid down more federal debt than any other Congress in history, it protected the Social Security surplus, it balanced the budget, and it stopped the President's planned tax increase."
"I am happy that the majority of Americans share our vision of a smaller, smarter and more responsible federal government, " Hastert said.
Meanwhile, the Vice Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee also praised the latest session of Congress.
Representative Philip Crane (R-IL) called the end of the latest congressional session, "an historic step forward to a promising new fiscal future with sound budgeting principles and a promise not to raid Social Security funds."
"For the second consecutive year," Crane said, "Congress has balanced the budget and retired billions in debt. Further, to halt the raiding of the Social Security surplus, the House passed the "Lockbox" provision to protect Social Security funds from being spent for federal programs other than Social Security."
Crane went on to say, "For the first time since 1969, we have made payments on the public debt. That is important news for the American taxpayer who works hard to make ends meet, yet looks at the federal government and asks why it can't manage its finances."
If the Republicans retain control of the House after the elections next year, sources tell CNSNews.com that Crane could become chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. The current chairman, Rep. Bill Archer (R-TX) has announced he is retiring at the end of his term next year.
The House of Representatives now has adjourned for the remainder of the year. The 435 representatives will reconvene on Monday, January 24th, 2000.