One year later, they're still celebrating, leaving many Americans wondering why, when Congress's approval rating is an abysmal 27 percent, even lower than President Bush, CBS News correspondent Chip Reid reports.
But Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says there's plenty to celebrate.
"People who have been here 30 years have told me it is the greatest record of legislative achievement they have seen in the history of that time," she said.
She ticks off a long list of campaign promises that are now law: the 9/11 commission recommendations, an increase in the minimum wage, ethics and lobbying reform, and massive increases in student aid and veterans benefits.
"But," Pelosi said, "it's all eclipsed by the fog of war."
Democrats, she concedes, have failed on the primary reason they were elected: to end the war in Iraq. But she places all the blame for that on President Bush and Republicans.
It's not surprised that House Republican leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, has a different take on this Congress.
"What grade do you give this Congress?" Boehner said. "Right now I think I'd give it an F because most Americans have given it an F."
He blames Pelosi's heavy-handed, highly partisan style.
"I put my hand out all year from the moment that I gave Nancy Pelosi the gavel and all year long my hand gets slapped away," he said.
Political analyst Thomas Mann, of the Brookings Institute, says both parties share the blame for focusing more on political posturing than on getting something done.
"Both are organized not as teams of legislators but as warring campaigns," he said.