WASHINGTON (AP) _ Calling his party's congressional majority the most productive in decades, Republican Rep. John Boehner of Ohio used the GOP's weekly radio address today to tout accomplishments over the past four years.

From balancing the budget to overhauling welfare, the Republican-led House and Senate have ``achieved some things many Americans never thought they'd see in their lifetime,'' said Boehner, who is chairman of the House Republican Conference.

He stressed that many strides continue to be made, although the impeachment inquiry into President Clinton has consumed some effort.

``A lot of attention is focused on the solemn constitutional process taking place concerning our president,'' Boehner said. ``We take our responsibilities under the Constitution very seriously. But other, more positive things are taking place in our government now too _ thing we can be proud of.''

Among these, Boehner said, is the first budget surplus in a generation and the first real tax relief in 16 years. Congressional Republicans also have saved Medicare from bankruptcy, cut spending and bureaucracy and reformed the Internal Revenue Service, he said.

Boehner enumerated steps Congress did not take that he said would have hurt Americans. They included raising taxes, imposing federal mandates on the states without providing money to carry them out and dismantling welfare reforms.

Congress must now build on this success, by working to protect Social Security and improve education, Boehner said. He expressed hopes for further tax cuts and simplification of the tax code.

``This is a challenging time for our government,'' Boehner said. ``But with all we've accomplished, it's also a triumphant time for our nation.''