Henry Waxman, 20-Term Democrat, to Retire From Congress: "Nothing Seems to Be Happening"

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 30 2014 11:17 AM

Henry Waxman, 20-Term Democrat, to Retire From Congress

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Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) speaks during a news conference about preserving Medicaid funding during the 'fiscal cliff' negotiations at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill December 11, 2012 in Washington, D.C.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Another Pelosi ally is ready to call it a career. The New York Times with the scoop:

Representative Henry A. Waxman of California, a diminutive Democratic giant whose 40 years in the House produced some of the most important legislation of the era, will announce on Thursday that he is retiring at the end of the year.
Mr. Waxman, 74, joins the growing list of House members who are calling it quits, many in disappointment over the partisanship and ineffectiveness of a Congress that may end up as the least productive in history. “It’s been frustrating because of the extremism of Tea Party Republicans,” Mr. Waxman said in an interview on Wednesday. “Nothing seems to be happening.”
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Before the Republicans regained control of the House in 2010, Waxman served as the chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, where he played a key role in helping to craft the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). He was also the lead author of a sweeping, cap-and-trade climate bill that passed the House in 2009 (only to die a relatively quick death in the Senate).

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Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

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