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Henry Waxman      

Former Democratic Congressman representing California's 33rd District

Rep. Waxman chaired the Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Health and the Environment from 1979 to 1994 and was the Subcommittee's Ranking Member in 1995 and 1996. Rep. Waxman continues to serve on the Energy and Commerce Committee. He currently sits on the Subcommittee on Health, the Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality, and the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

Since 1997, Rep. Waxman has served as ranking member of the Government Reform Committee, the principal investigative committee in the House. From this position, he has conducted investigations into a wide range of topics, including the high costs of prescription drugs, conditions in nursing homes, overcrowded schools, and voting irregularities. He formed a "Special Investigations Division" of the minority staff that has prepared hundreds of investigative reports on local and national topics for Members of Congress. And he led the Democratic response during the Committee's partisan investigation of the Clinton Administration.

Since 2001, Rep. Waxman has used his Government Reform position to oppose efforts by the Bush Administration to block congressional oversight and roll back health and environmental laws. He has launched investigations of White House ties to Enron, contract abuses in Iraq, and the politicization of science. He has also fought for disclosure of the names of the energy industry lobbyists who shaped the White House energy plan, and filed suits to force the Administration to release important census data and the withheld Medicare cost estimates. In addition, Rep. Waxman has repeatedly fought efforts by EPA to relax important air pollution and drinking water protections and by FDA to weaken enforcement of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

Rep. Waxman has been a leader on health and environmental issues, including universal health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid coverage, tobacco, AIDS, air and water quality standards, pesticides, nursing home quality standards, women's health research and reproductive rights, the availability and cost of prescription drugs, and the right of communities to know about pollution levels.

Throughout the 1980s, Rep. Waxman championed national health care reform and improvements in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. He successfully led the fight for improved prenatal and infant care for low-income families, for Medicaid coverage of all children in poverty, for protection against impoverishment for the spouses of persons in nursing homes, and for more services in the community for people needing long-term care. He has also been a long-time advocate for comprehensive prescription drug coverage in Medicare.

In the environmental arena, Rep. Waxman was one of the primary authors of the 1990 Clean Air Act, which sets out a comprehensive program to combat smog, acid rain, toxic air emissions, and ozone depletions. He also sponsored the 1986 and 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments, the 1996 Food Quality Act (which regulates pesticides), the Radon Abatement Act, and the Lead Contamination Control Act. Rep. Waxman is continuing to pursue legislation to control indoor air pollution, and global warming.

Rep. Waxman is a leader in efforts to assist the elderly by providing them with opportunities for better health care through such programs as improved long-term nursing care and better housing and nutrition. A strong defender of the Social Security System, he fought moves to reduce benefits and to increase the retirement age. He was a co-author of legislation that abolished mandatory retirement for Federal employees and raised the retirement age in the private sector from 65 to 70.


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Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) to retire at end of congressional ...

Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), one of the most prolific and successful lawmakers of modern times, announced Thursday that he will retire at the end of theĀ ...

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