Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, striking back at Democratic accusations of a "do-nothing Congress," says the Republican-run legislative branch has accomplished much this year even though President Clinton was a frequent flier to foreign destinations.

Lott, R-Miss., used weekend broadcast appearances to contend that the president has become a "bystander" in the nation's business.In the Republican Party's weekly radio address Saturday, he compared Clinton's alleged inattention to that shown by Richard Nixon in the months before the Watergate scandal drove him from office in 1973.

Lott did offer faint praise for Clinton on Sunday, saying on CBS's "Face the Nation," "When he has been here, and when they have gotten engaged on the issues that people really do care about, we've made some progress."

The two worked closely last year in crafting the balanced-budget agreement but have been frequent adversaries recently as Congress and the White House blamed each other for lack of legislative accomplishments.