California Democrat Rep. Henry Waxman retiring after 40 years in office

By Daniel Levine,

California Rep. Henry Waxman, a liberal Democrat and one of Nancy Pelosi’s allies, has announced plans to retire at the end of the current session of Congress. He has been a member of the House of Representatives for 40 years.

Waxman was first elected in 1974 in a wave of Democrats elected following the Watergate scandal, notes USA Today.

“Forty years have gone by very quickly. I have a great deal of satisfaction in our legislative accomplishments. There’s obviously more to be done,” Waxman told the Washignton Post Wednesday. “But I’m in good health, and my family is in good health. This is a good time to move on and have another chapter if I am to do anything after Congress.”

During his time in office, Waxman, 74, contributed to bills covering energy, health and consumer protection reforms. Other successes include pushing for more tobacco regulations, the Clean Air Act and additional funding for AIDS research.

Businessweek notes that he more recently played a role in passing President Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, working with Pelosi, who was House Speaker at the time.

Waxman represented the 33rd district of California, which covers Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Malibu and Redondo Beach. Democrats are expected to hold on to the seat after Waxman’s retirement.

image: Wikimedia Commons

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