Henry Arnold Waxman
Telephone:202-225-3976 (Main phone number)
Birth place:Los Angeles, CA
Residence:Los Angeles, CA
University of California - Los Angeles
University of California - Los Angeles
Henry Waxman was born in Los Angeles, where he still resides. He attended the University of California-Los Angeles where he earned a bachelor's in political science in 1961 and a law degree in 1964.
Waxman practiced law before being elected to three terms in the California Assembly, serving from 1969 to 1975.
He was elected to the U.S. House in 1974.
Waxman and his wife, Janet, have two children.
Henry Waxman, a leader on health and environmental matters in Congress, was a key proponent and sponsor of the comprehensive health care reform law, backed by President Barack Obama, known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care law. He also backed the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009, among other major health care laws.
In January 2011, after Republicans took the House, Waxman became the ranking member of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee. He had served as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee in 2008.
The committee investigated in 2010 the explosion of BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico that caused the catastrophic oil spill. During questioning of BP CEO Tony Hayward, Waxman accused BP of causing the spill by cutting "corner after corner" and accused Hayward of "stonewalling" and refusing to discuss questionable drilling practices that led to the spill.
Waxman served as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee from 2007 to 2009, a position that made him the Democrats' watchdog-in-chief over President George W. Bush's administration.
Waxman challenged the Bush administration on a wide range of issues, from climate change to the Iraq war to the Medicare prescription drug benefit to the friendly fire death in Afghanistan of former NFL player Patrick Tillman, an Army Ranger.
Waxman and his investigators produced a number of revelations. Among them was that then-Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson favored granting California permission to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks until a meeting with the White House apparently changed his mind.
President Barack Obama complimented the state's greenhouse gas reduction efforts in 2009 and announced he would revisit the Bush administration decision to deny California permission to control tailpipe emissions.
Waxman's team produced an exhaustive report on Tillman's 2004 death. The Army claimed for weeks that Tillman's death was at the hands of the enemy even though military investigators determined within days that he was killed by his own troops. Waxman's investigators concluded that a "striking lack of recollection" by White House and military officials prevented them from determining who was responsible for the misinformation.
Waxman led a victory for anti-smoking forces in 2009, sponsoring legislation passed by the House that gave the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate cigarettes and other tobacco products. The bill passed the Senate and President Obama signed it into law in June 2009.
Waxman is a former smoker and has long pushed for greater regulation of the tobacco industry, presiding over the 1994 congressional hearings, depicted in the movie "The Insider," in which tobacco executives denied nicotine was addictive.
He later referred to the executives' testimony as "one of the biggest miscalculations of corporate America."
Waxman worked out a compromise in 1990 with the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee to update the nation's clean air regulations.
His district has migrated west over the years to take in some of the country's most exclusive real estate: Bel Air, Malibu, Beverly Hills. But the glitz hasn't rubbed off. Waxman has remarked that he's lucky Malibu's celebrity beach-access disputes are not a federal issue.
Committee Assignments: Energy and Commerce
American Conservative Union Rating: 8
Americans for Democratic Action Rating: 95
Recent winning percentages for office currently held: 65% (2010), 100% (2008), 71% (2006).
(Last updated by Shaya Tayefe Mohajer on July 11, 2012.)