Obama Calls Waxman One of the Best Ever Lawmakers Ever

President Obama today lauded retiring 20-term Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) as one of the most accomplished legislators of all time.

"Early in the 20th Century, Henry Waxman’s grandparents came to America, the land of opportunity, and found a place where they could build a better life for themselves and their families.  Over the course of 40 years in Congress, their grandson has fought to give every American family that same chance," Obama said in a statement. "Thanks to Henry’s leadership, Americans breath cleaner air, drink cleaner water, eat safer food, purchase safer products, and, finally, have access to quality, affordable healthcare."

"Today, he continues to advocate tirelessly on behalf of Los Angeles and California as he leads efforts to address a changing climate and make sure every American has the economic security that comes with health insurance," the president continued about one of his Obamacare architects. "Henry will leave behind a legacy as an extraordinary public servant and one of the most accomplished legislators of his or any era. Michelle and I wish him, his wife Janet, and his family all the best as they begin the next chapter of their lives."

Waxman, 74, was first elected to the district encompassing parts of west L.A., Santa Monica, West Hollywood and Beverly Hills in 1974. A UCLA law school grad, Waxman served six years in the California State Assembly before going to Congress.

In 2012, Waxman came closer to defeat than ever before, getting 54 percent of the vote to Independent candidate Bill Bloomfield's 46 percent.

Brent Roske, a producer and director, is running for the open seat as an Independent. His endorsements include David Hasselhoff.