Henry Waxman

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Henry Waxman
Henry Waxman, official portrait, 111th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 33rd district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Karen Bass
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 30th district
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2013
Preceded by Xavier Becerra
Succeeded by Brad Sherman
Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee
In office
January 5, 2009 – January 3, 2011
Preceded by John Dingell
Succeeded by Fred Upton
Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee
In office
January 4, 2007 – January 3, 2009
Preceded by Thomas M. Davis
Succeeded by Edolphus Towns
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 29th district
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by Maxine Waters
Succeeded by Adam Schiff
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 24th district
In office
January 3, 1975 – January 3, 1993
Preceded by John H. Rousselot
Succeeded by Anthony C. Beilenson
Member of the
California State Assembly
In office
1968–1974
Personal details
Born Henry Arnold Waxman
(1939-09-12) September 12, 1939 (age 75)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Janet Kessler
Children 2
Residence Los Angeles, California
Alma mater University of California, Los Angeles (B.A, J.D)
Occupation Attorney
Religion Judaism

Henry Arnold Waxman (born September 12, 1939) is an American politician who has served as the U.S. Representative for California's 33rd congressional district since 1975. Waxman is a member of the Democratic Party. His district includes much of the western part of the city of Los Angeles, as well as West Hollywood, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, and was numbered the 24th district from 1975 to 1993, the 29th district from 1993 to 2003, and the 30th district from 2003 to 2013, changing due to redistricting after the 1990, 2000 and 2010 censuses.

Waxman is considered to be one of the most influential liberal members of Congress and was instrumental in passing laws including the Infant Formula Act of 1980, the Orphan Drug Act of 1983, the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984, the Clean Air Act of 1990, the Ryan White CARE Act of 1990, the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996, the State Children's Health Insurance Program of 1997, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.[1][2][3] He served as Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform from 2007 to 2009 and as Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce from 2009 to 2011. Currently the ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Waxman is the sixth-longest currently serving member of the House of Representatives and one of six remaining Watergate Babies in Congress. On January 30, 2014, Waxman announced he would not run for re-election to a 21st term in 2014, with state senator Ted Lieu and deputy district attorney Elan Carr fighting to be his replacement.[4]

Early life, education, and early career[edit]

Waxman was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of Esther (née Silverman) and Ralph Louis Waxman. His father was born in Montreal, Canada, and his mother was from Pennsylvania; all of his grandparents were Jewish immigrants from Russia.[5] He attended college at UCLA, earning a bachelor's degree in political science in 1961 and a J.D. degree from UCLA's law school in 1964. After graduating, he worked as a lawyer. He was elected to the California Assembly in 1969 and served three terms. Along with Congressman Howard Berman, Waxman co-founded the Los Angeles County Young Democrats.[6]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Elections[edit]

In 1974, Democratic congressman Chet Holifield retired after 16 terms in Congress. Waxman gave up his state assembly seat to run for the district, which had been renumbered from the 19th to the 24th in a mid-decade redistricting. Waxman won the Democratic nomination for the district, and easily won the general election, as this was tantamount to election in this heavily Democratic district. He has been re-elected 17 times with no substantive opposition. He faced no major-party opposition in 1986, and was completely unopposed in 2008. His district has changed numbers four times in his tenure—from the 24th (1975–1993) to the 29th (1993–2003) to the 30th (2003–2012) to the 33rd (2012). He is one of two surviving members of the large Democratic freshman class of 1975, along with George Miller of California.

Waxman's most recent district (until 2012), California's 30th congressional district, included Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Malibu, West Hollywood, and Westlake Village as well as such areas of western Los Angeles as West Los Angeles, Fairfax, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Beverlywood, Topanga, Chatsworth, Palms, Westwood, West Hills, Westside Village, Woodland Hills, but through the creation of a new 33rd Congressional District by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, in the November 2012 general election Waxman won re-election[7] in an area including his home community of Beverly Hills and stretching to Malibu and Pacific-coastal communities heading south including Santa Monica, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, the Palos Verdes Peninsula and Northwest San Pedro.[8]

Tenure[edit]

Before the Democrats lost control of the House of Representatives in 1995, Waxman was a powerful figure in the House as chair of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health and the Environment from 1979. In this role he conducted investigations into a range of health and environmental issues, including universal health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid coverage, AIDS and air and water pollution. In 1994, Waxman forced the chief executives of the seven major tobacco companies to swear under oath that nicotine was not addictive.[9]

Waxman's stated legislative priorities are health and environmental issues. These include 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. As an example of Waxman's thoughts regarding tobacco, on April 13, 2010, he requested that Major League Baseball ban smokeless tobacco in all its various forms - snuff, dipping tobacco. chewing tobacco, snus, etc.[10]

With the Democrats' victory in the 2006 midterm elections, Waxman became chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the principal investigative committee of the House. He was the committee's ranking Democrat from 1997 to 2007. In 1998, while he was still ranking member, he created a "Special Investigations Division" to investigate matters that he felt the full committee had neglected. This was possible because the committee has broad powers to investigate any matter with federal policy implications, even if another committee has jurisdiction over it.[11] He has also harshly criticized the Republicans for ignoring their "constitutional responsibility" to conduct oversight over the government.[12]

On March 16, 2004, at Waxman's request, the Committee on Government Reform Minority Office published "Iraq on the Record, the Bush Administration's Public Statements on Iraq"[13] a detailed and searchable collection of 237 specific misleading statements made by Bush Administration officials about the threat posed by Iraq. It contains statements that were misleading based on what was known to the Administration at the time the statements were made. It does not include statements that appear mistaken only in hindsight. If a statement was an accurate reflection of U.S. intelligence at the time it was made, it was excluded even if it now appears erroneous.

In 2006, Project On Government Oversight, a government watchdog group, presented Waxman with its Good Government Award for his various contributions to government transparency and oversight.[14]

On the day after the 2006 elections, Waxman directed his aides to draw up an "oversight plan" for the panel. He had already let it be known that he wanted to investigate Halliburton, as well as its alleged malfeasance related to government contracts in Iraq. It is very likely that he could also investigate the numerous scandals surrounding Jack Abramoff. This led to concerns among Democratic aides that the Government Reform Committee under Waxman would stage a repeat of the committee's performance under the Clinton administration, when it issued over 1,000 subpoenas. However, Waxman told Newsweek that he is interested in accountability and not retaliation.[15]

In 2009, he began serving as the Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee after defeating Chairman John Dingell in a 137–122 secret vote of House Democrats on November 20, 2008.

Waxman is proud of his "strong Jewish identity" and has drawn political conclusions from his exploration of the religion.[16] "Judaism is about acting and doing the right thing, not simply believing in it or mindlessly following ritual", he said in a speech presented by the University of Southern California's Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life.[16] Waxman said he applies Jewish ethical values to his congressional service. He further said that the "Jewish values" of "human rights, social justice, and equal opportunities ... are synonymous with American values", and that such values "are in my opinion closer to a Democratic position." Waxman supported fellow representative Jane Harman during her primary challenge from Marcy Winograd when Winograd said she would support a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, instead of the two-state resolution endorsed by Waxman and Harman. Saying it suffers from "a culture of corruption" and "has become obsessed with secrecy," he accused the American government of having abandoned these values. "(The) Republican leadership ignores presidential rules and norms and has no consideration for custom," he said.[17]

Abortion

Waxman was strongly critical of the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, which places limits on taxpayer-funded abortions in the context of the November 2009 Affordable Health Care for America Act. Instead of this version, it was reported that many Democrats supported a version that would find "common ground."[18]

1985 subway opposition

In 1985, Waxman sponsored a bill supported by affluent homeowners groups in his district to ban federal funding for the Red Line subway after a methane gas explosion in the Fairfax District. In 2005, a robust real estate market, multi-dwelling construction boom, and lack of public mass transit planning on the westside caused by Waxman's bill resulted in gridlock throughout Waxman's district.[19] At the request of Los Angeles Mayor and LACMTA Board President Antonio Villaraigosa, Waxman agreed to lift the ban if a panel of five engineers found tunneling under the Miracle Mile stretch of Wilshire Boulevard to be safe. In October 2005, the panel decided that tunneling was possible, and on December 16, Waxman responded by announcing he would introduce a bill to the U.S. House that would lift the ban on federal money for subway tunneling in the district. This bill passed the House via unanimous vote on September 20, 2006.[20]

Waxman maintains that the 1985 bill was sponsored in the interest of public safety and not, as some allege, to hinder access of the working classes in South and East Los Angeles to his affluent district. In a letter to the Los Angeles Times, Waxman cites the 2005 study: "The panel concurred as well that in 1985, the decision to hold further tunneling in abeyance was prudent, given the circumstances and extent of information and technology at that time. Much has changed since then to significantly improve tunneling and operation safety."[21]

Solyndra

Waxman, as the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, oversaw the case of Solyndra, a solar company that filed for bankruptcy after receiving a $535 million loan guarantee from the DOE. Waxman recounted meeting with Solyndra's CEO two months before they filed for bankruptcy, who assured him that "Solyndra’s future was bright with sales and production booming."[22] Waxman was accused of being involved with the Solyndra loan by Darrell Issa. Waxman responded, saying he had no involvement in the selection of the loan.[23][24]

Committee assignments[edit]

  • Committee on Energy and Commerce (Ranking Member)
    • As ranking member of the full committee, Rep. Waxman may serve as an ex officio member of all subcommittees.
Caucus memberships

Electoral history[edit]

California's 24th congressional district: Results 1974–1990[25]
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
1974 Henry Waxman 85,343 63% Elliott Graham 45,680 34% David Davis American Independent 3,980 3%
1976 Henry Waxman 108,296 68% David Simmons 51,478 32%
1978 Henry Waxman 85,075 63% Howard Schaefer 44,243 33% Kevin Peters Peace and Freedom 6,453 5%
1980 Henry Waxman 93,569 64% Roland Cayard 39,744 27% Maggie Feigin Peace and Freedom 5,905 4% Robert Lehman Libertarian 5,172 3% Jack Smilowitz American Independent 2,341 2%
1982 Henry Waxman 88,516 65% Jerry Zerg 42,133 31% Jeff Mandel Libertarian 5,420 4%
1984 Henry Waxman 97,340 63% Jerry Zerg 51,010 33% James Green Peace and Freedom 2,780 2% Tim Custer Libertarian 2,477 2%
1986 Henry Waxman 97,340 87% no candidate George Abrahams Libertarian 8,871 8% James Green Peace and Freedom 5,388 5%
1988 Henry Waxman 112,038 72% John Cowles 36,835 24% James Green Peace and Freedom 3,571 2% George Abrahams Libertarian 2,627 2%
1990 Henry Waxman 71,562 69% John Cowles 26,607 26% Maggie Phair Peace and Freedom 5,706 5%
California's 29th congressional district: Results 1992–2000[25]
Year Democrat Votes  % Republican Votes  % Third Party Party Votes  % Third Party Party Votes  %
1992 Henry Waxman 160,312 61% Mark Robbins 67,141 26% David Davis Independent 15,445 6% Susan Davies Peace and Freedom 13,888 5% Felix Rogin Libertarian 4,699 2%
1994 Henry Waxman 160,312 72% Paul Stepanek 53,801 24% Michael Binkley Libertarian 7,162 3%
1996 Henry Waxman 145,278 68% Paul Stepanek 52,857 25% John Daly Peace and Freedom 8,819 4% Mike Binkley Libertarian 4,766 2% Brian Rees Natural Law 3,097 1%
1998 Henry Waxman 131,561 74% Mike Gottlieb 40,282 23% Mike Binkley Libertarian 3,534 2% Karen Blasdell-Wilkinson Natural Law 2,717 2%
2000 Henry Waxman 180,295 76% Jim Scileppi 45,784 19% Jack Anderson Libertarian 7,944 3% Bruce Currivan Natural Law 4,178 2%
California's 30th congressional district: Results 2002–2010[25][26][27]
Year Democrat Votes  % Republican Votes  % Third Party Party Votes  % Third Party Party Votes  %
2002 Henry Waxman 130,604 70% Tony Goss 54,989 30%
2004 Henry Waxman 216,682 71% Victor Elizalde 87,465 29%
2006 Henry Waxman 151,284 71% David Jones 55,904 26% Adele Cannon Peace and Freedom 4,546 2%
2008 Henry Waxman 242,792 100% No candidate
2010 Henry Waxman 153,663 67% Charles Wilkerson 75,948 32% Erich Miller Libertarian 5,021 2% Richard Castaldo Peace and Freedom 3,115 1%
California's 33rd congressional district: Results 2012–[25][28]
Year Democrat Votes  % Republican Votes  % Third Party Party Votes  %
2012 Henry Waxman 171,860 54% No candidate Bill Bloomfield Independent 146,660 46%

Personal life[edit]

Waxman and his wife, Janet, have a son, a daughter, and five grandchildren.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jonathan Wiseman (January 30, 2014). "Henry Waxman, Key Democrat and Force for Health Care Law, Is to Retire". The New York Times. Retrieved February 14, 2014. 
  2. ^ Karen Tumulty (January 30, 2014). "Henry Waxman to retire at end of congressional session". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 14, 2014. 
  3. ^ Jonathan Cohn (January 31, 2014). "Farewell to Henry Waxman, a Liberal Hero". The New Republic. Retrieved February 14, 2014. 
  4. ^ DeLong, Matt (January 30, 2014). "Henry Waxman: A man of many bills". The Washington Post. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  5. ^ http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~battle/reps/waxman.htm
  6. ^ Lowenfeld, Jonah (2011-07-19). "California’s new citizen-led redistricting panel could force two Jewish Democrats into a face-off". Jewish Journal. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  7. ^ http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/house-races/266603-waxman-fights-off-independent-opponent
  8. ^ Marroquin, Art (29 August 2011). "House veteran Waxman will run in new district that includes South Bay". The Daily Breeze. 
  9. ^ "Inside the Tobacco Deal". Frontline. PBS. Retrieved 20 July 2012. 
  10. ^ McDonell, Terry, ed. (April 26, 2010). "For the Record: Requested". Sports Illustrated (Time) 112 (18): 16. 
  11. ^ Special Investigations at the Wayback Machine (archived December 15, 2005). democrats.reform.house.gov. Retrieved on 2011-11-22.
  12. ^ Committee on Government Reform Minority Office at the Wayback Machine (archived December 26, 2005). democrats.reform.house.gov. Retrieved on 2011-11-22.
  13. ^ Henry A. Waxman Iraq on the Record at the Wayback Machine (archived August 13, 2007). oversight.house.gov
  14. ^ Good Government Award Home Page. Project On Government Oversight Website. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
  15. ^ Democrats’ Challenge: Stay in the Center – Newsweek National News – MSNBC.com[dead link]
  16. ^ a b Meier, Gretchen (2006-04-24). "Congressman lambastes Bush, Republicans on ethical issues". Daily Trojan. Archived from the original on 2007-05-04. Retrieved 2006-12-15. 
  17. ^ Meier, Gretchen (2006-04-24). "Congressman lambastes Bush, Republicans on ethical issues". Daily Trojan. Retrieved 7 November 2012. 
  18. ^ McCormack, John (31 July 2009). "Waxman Strong-arms Vote to Allow Abortion Coverage in Public Plan". The Weekly Standard. Retrieved 30 August 2012. 
  19. ^ Christine Pelisek Red Line to Somewhere, LA Weekly, 3 March 2005
  20. ^ "In boost to LA subway extension, House lifts tunneling ban". San Francisco Chronicle. [dead link]
  21. ^ Henry Waxman (2006-01-03). "The facts about Red Line safety". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2006-01-03. 
  22. ^ McElhatton, Jim (23 September 2011). "Solyndra stays mum at hearing on failed loan deal". The Washington Times. 
  23. ^ Graves, Lucia (26 September 2011). "Henry Waxman Tells Darrell Issa He Had 'No Involvement' In Solyndra Loan Selection". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 20 July 2012. 
  24. ^ German, Ben (27 September 2011). "Waxman to Issa: Get Solyndra facts straight". The Hill. Retrieved 20 July 2012. 
  25. ^ a b c d "Office of the House Clerk – Electoral Statistics". Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. 
  26. ^ "Election Results". Federal Election Commission. pp. 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008. 
  27. ^ United States Representative. 2010 General Elections. sos.ca.gov
  28. ^ United States Representative. 2012 General Elections. sos.ca.gov

External links[edit]

Articles

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
John H. Rousselot
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 24th congressional district

1975–1993
Succeeded by
Anthony C. Beilenson
Preceded by
Maxine Waters
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 29th congressional district

1993–2003
Succeeded by
Adam Schiff
Preceded by
Xavier Becerra
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 30th congressional district

2003-2013
Succeeded by
Brad Sherman
Preceded by
Karen Bass
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 33rd congressional district

2013–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Thomas M. Davis
Virginia
Chairman of House Oversight and Government Reform Committee
2007–2009
Succeeded by
Edolphus Towns
New York
Preceded by
John Dingell
Michigan
Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee
2009–2011
Succeeded by
Fred Upton
Michigan
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
George Miller
D-California
Representatives by seniority
6th
Succeeded by
Nick Rahall
D-West Virginia