Let’s make a bipartisan point here: 40 years in Congress is just too long.
WASHINGTON — Rep. Henry A. Waxman, whose legislative record has made him one of the country’s most influential liberal lawmakers for four decades, announced Thursday that he will retire from his Westside seat, the latest in a wave of departures that is remaking the state’s long-stable congressional delegation.
During a congressional career that began when Gerald R. Ford was president, Waxman became one of the Democratic Party’s most prolific and savvy legislators, focusing on issues related to healthcare and the environment. He played a central role — sometimes over opposition within his own party — in passing laws that dramatically cut air pollution, helped reduce smoking, expanded Medicaid coverage for the poor, reduced pesticides in food, made generic drugs more widely available, helped AIDS patients, promoted the development of drugs for rare diseases and improved federal regulation of nursing homes.
Waxman also helped grow the government to its current gargantuan proportions. That’s what most media regard as a “successful” legislator — not keeping government off citizens’ backs and preserving individual liberty, but growing it and growing it and growing it, whether we need it or can afford it or not.
The media frequently praised Waxman during the W years for investigating that administration, but consistently rips Rep. Darrell Issa for investigating the Obama administration.
Among Rep. Waxman’s greatest hits, a claim that the North Pole was “starting to evaporate.” That’s right up there with Rep. Hank Johnson’s fear that Guam would “capsize.” Neither is possible, but if it were, there’s not a lot that any government could do about it.
During a congressional Obamacare hearing in 2013, Waxman also declared that insurance companies selling private plans to customers who choose to buy those plans is an “abuse” that Obamacare would remedy. What Obamacare has actually done is replace some of those “abusive” plans with more expensive plans that carry higher deductibles.