Thursday January 30, 2014

Retirement Statement by Henry Waxman

Posted at 8:06 AM

​            In 1974, I announced my first campaign for Congress.  Today, I am announcing that I have run my last campaign.  I will not seek reelection to the Congress and will leave after 40 years in office at the end of this year. 

            As I reflect on my career, I am filled with gratitude.  I am grateful for the support of my constituents, who have entrusted me to represent them and encouraged me to become a leader on national and international issues.  I am grateful for my supporters and allies, who have worked side-by-side with me to fight for issues we care about:  health, environmental protection, women’s and gay rights, and strengthening the ties between the United States and our most important ally, the State of Israel. 

            I am grateful for the friendship of my colleagues in Congress on both sides of the aisle.  And I am honored that I served under the leadership of my friend, Nancy Pelosi, the first female Leader and Speaker of the House.

            I have long believed that a member of Congress is only as effective as his or her staff.  I have been lucky to have a brilliant and committed staff who have labored tirelessly for me and the public good.  I thank them deeply.

            And most of all, I want to thank my family.  My wife Janet has supported me, cared for me, and made my life a blessing for over 40 years.  And my children, Shai and Michael, and my grandchildren have given my life purpose and meaning.

            I first ran for office because I believe government can be a force for good in people’s lives.  I have held this view throughout my career in Congress.  And I will leave the House of Representatives with my conviction intact.  I have learned that progress is not always easy.  It can take years of dedication and struggle.  But it’s worth fighting for. 

            My parents were scarred by the Great Depression and as a result they were ardent Democrats.  They believed in the ideals of this wonderful country and made sure that I had the opportunity to be the first in the family to get a college education.  They taught me that the special interests have plenty of advocates; it’s the poor, the sick, and the powerless who need a champion in Congress.  And that’s what I’ve strived to be.

            I take pride in my legislative accomplishments.

            I took on the pharmaceutical companies that did not want competition and joined with Senator Orrin Hatch to write the law that created the generic drug industry, saving families over $1 trillion in the last decade alone.  My orphan drug legislation led to treatments for hundreds of rare diseases. 

            My investigations into the tobacco industry called the CEOs to account and exposed the industry’s duplicity.  After more than a decade of effort, President Obama signed into law my legislation to give FDA jurisdiction over tobacco products.

            I held hearings to expose flagrant abuses in nursing homes and passed legislation to protect nursing home residents and create a resident’s “Bill of Rights.”  And I spoke out early to raise public awareness about HIV/AIDS, holding over 30 hearings to draw attention to a disease no one wanted to discuss.  These efforts culminated in the passage of the Ryan White CARE Act, the law that provides medical care and services to Americans living with the HIV/AIDS.

            To protect consumers, I wrote three major food safety laws.  The first law created the nutrition labels that millions of families rely on every day.  The second removed dangerous pesticides from fruits and vegetables.  And the third will help make imported food safer.

             Expanding health coverage to those in need has been one of my driving passions. In the 1980s, I led the fight to expand Medicaid, providing health coverage to millions of low-income children, pregnant women, and seniors.  In the 1990s, I worked with Senator Kennedy to provide coverage to the children of working families through the Children’s Health Insurance Program. 

             And in 2010, when I was chair of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, one of my lifelong dreams was finally achieved:  Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, which guarantees access to affordable health coverage to all Americans.

            I've also worked throughout my career to strengthen the U.S.- Israel relationship.  I have traveled to Israel on numerous occasions and will never forget the times Janet and I were there to greet President Sadat of Egypt and to see the arrival of the airlift carrying Ethiopian refugees.  I fought for the right of Soviet Jews to emigrate and took great satisfaction in seeing Refusenicks that I had met in the former Soviet Union achieve their dream of living in the Jewish State of Israel.  I authored the Middle East Regional Cooperation Program for scientific exchanges between the U.S., Israel, and the Arab countries.  And it is with pride that I have seen my daughter thrive in Israel and my grandchildren serve in the Israeli army.

            In perhaps no area have the special interests held more sway than environmental policy, and I have battled them to protect clean air and safe drinking water throughout my career.  It took a decade of effort to pass the landmark Clean Air Act of 1990, but the controls on urban smog, toxic air pollution, acid rain, and ozone-depleting chemicals have saved lives and vastly improved our air quality.

            In recent years, I have been leading the fight in Congress for limits on the carbon pollution that is causing global climate change.  In 2009, I joined with now Senator Ed Markey to pass to the Waxman-Markey climate bill through the House.  Last Congress, I formed a Safe Climate Caucus in the House and a Bicameral Task Force with Senator Whitehouse to build public support for the effort to protect our fragile atmosphere for our children and grandchildren.

            Even if Congress won’t act on climate, President Obama can.  The President has laid out a plan to reduce emissions by 17% by 2020, the goal we set in the House legislation.  And he is working with other nations to set an ambitious target for post-2020 reductions.  Whether Congress acts or not, the Clean Air Act gives President Obama – and future Presidents – ample authority to achieve these emission reductions.

            Most of the public thinks of Congress as a legislative body.  But Congress can also serve the public through oversight.  The investigations I led on the Oversight Committee with Tom Davis, a Virginia Republican, identified procurement abuses that cost taxpayers billions of dollars, especially in Iraq.  Our hearings on steroids in baseball prompted reforms that cut steroid use by teens in half and pushed all sports leagues to strengthen their drug policies. We also held hearings to reveal the causes of the mortgage meltdown and Wall Street crash.  

            When I was first elected to the House – in 1974 – I hoped to be able to serve 20 years and leave a mark on some important issues.  I never imagined I would be in the House for 40 years and be able to advance every issue I care deeply about.  But in what feels like a blink of an eye, it has been 40 years and I've devoted most of my life to the House of Representatives.  

            It has been an extraordinary experience.  The House is a remarkable institution and it's an honor to have a chance – every day – to make a difference in the lives of my constituents and families across our country.  

            I want to close my remarks with a few comments about my decision. 

            There are elements of Congress today that I do not like.  I abhor the extremism of the Tea Party Republicans.  I am embarrassed that the greatest legislative body in the world too often operates in a partisan intellectual vacuum, denying science, refusing to listen to experts, and ignoring facts. 

            But I am not leaving out of frustration with Congress.  Even in today’s environment, there are opportunities to make real progress.  Last Congress, I worked with Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate to pass legislation that will ease the nation’s growing spectrum shortage, spur innovation in new “Super WiFi” technologies, and create a national broadband network for first responders.  Just last year, I worked on a bipartisan basis to enact legislation strengthening FDA’s authority to stop dangerous drug compounding and to track pharmaceuticals through the supply chain.

            And I am not leaving because I think House Democrats have no chance to retake the House.  House Republicans have no compelling vision for the future.  The public understands this, and I am confident that the Democrats can regain control of the House.

            The reason for my decision is simple.  After 40 years in Congress, it’s time for someone else to have the chance to make his or her mark, ideally someone who is young enough to make the long-term commitment that’s required for real legislative success.  I still feel youthful and energetic, but I recognize if I want to experience a life outside of Congress, I need to start soon.  Public office is not the only way to serve, and I want to explore other avenues while I still can. 

            I have had a long career and an eventful one – and I wouldn’t trade any of it. I woke each day looking forward to opportunities to make our country stronger, healthier, and fairer.  And I will always be grateful for this honor and privilege.

Posted by Cristina at 8:06 AM | Permanent Link

Wednesday November 7, 2012

Victory!

Posted by Congressman Henry A. Waxman at 10:07 AM

​Dear Friends:

I can't thank you enough for your support and for giving me the honor of representing you in Congress.  We made history last night by re-electing President Obama and by making sure we have the voices we need in Washington to fight for what we believe is right.

Throughout this campaign, I have made it clear that we both need to keep faith with our core principles and still seek common ground on all the major issues facing our country.  That's what I've tried to do in my years of public service, and it's what I intend to in the next Congress.  Whether it's putting us on a path to fiscal responsibility or finally dealing with the climate change crisis, there's a path to real progress and change.  We've been able to accomplish a lot together--from a strong Clean Air Act, to the Affordable Care Act, to landmark legislation on tobacco--and we have much more to do.  I've never been more confident that we'll be able to surmount the obstacles in front of us and make our country stronger and better for generations to come.

Thank you again for all you did to make last night possible, and I look forward to working with you in the months to come.

Sincerely,

Congressman Henry A. Waxman

Posted by lindsay at 10:07 AM | Permanent Link

Tuesday November 6, 2012

Today is the Day

Posted by Henry A. Waxman at 11:22 AM

​Dear Friends,

Today is the day. I can't thank you enough for your time, energy and support these last four months.  You made phone calls. You attended events. You talked to your friends about the importance of this race. You believed in my campaign, and what we can accomplish together. 

Your support will go a long way to protecting our environment, a woman's right to choose and access to quality and affordable health care for every American. Thank you for standing with me and always fighting for what is right. 

As you know, we can't take anything for granted. Please spend a few minutes today sending emails to your friends, or join us at the campaign office to make some calls to encourage others to vote. 

I look forward to continuing our work together.  

Onward to victory!

Sincerely,

Congressman Henry A. Waxman

Posted by lindsay at 11:22 AM | Permanent Link

Monday November 5, 2012

Down to the Wire

Posted by Lindsay Bubar, Campaign Manager at 10:02 AM

​Friends,

We’re down to the wire. The polls open in less than 24 hours.

I know you are supporting Henry and that we can count on your vote – but we need your help to spread the word as part of our final push. Take a few minutes and talk to your friends – whether in person, by phone, via email or through social media.

Tell them why you are supporting Henry Waxman. Remind them what a vote for Henry Waxman means. It’s a vote to fight for women’s rights and protect our environment. It’s a vote for affordable health care. It's a vote for middle class families. It’s a vote to improve the lives of all Americans.

It’s a vote to keep us moving forward.

If you have time - come in to help us in the final stretch:

Phone Bank at Waxman Heaquarters 8425 W. 3rd Street, #409, Los Angleles Monday, 11:00a-8:00p Tuesday, 11:00a-6:00p **please bring cell phones and chargers**

We appreciate your support and everything you have done for this campaign.

Thank you,

Lindsay Bubar Campaign Manger

P.S. If you are unsure about your polling place, visit: http://www.lavote.net/locator/

Posted by lindsay at 10:02 AM | Permanent Link

Friday November 2, 2012

Henry Waxman is a Champion for Women’s Health

Posted by Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund at 9:28 AM

Like a lot of women, I’m extremely worried by what I’m seeing and hearing from candidates running for office this year, especially when it comes to women’s health.  

Most of the focus from cable pundits and political journalists over the past few months has been on Mitt Romney.  Indeed, his views are out of touch and dangerous.  We have to make sure voters understand that Mr. Romney vows to overturn Roe v. Wade and end federal funding to Planned Parenthood health centers, which provide lifesaving health care to one in five American women at some point in her life. 

But it’s equally important to focus on local races — like the congressional race in Los Angeles where Henry Waxman is running against Bill Bloomfield.  The outcome of this race will have an impact on women’s health and rights in California and across the country.

Nearly two years ago, Republican House Speaker John Boehner and the Tea Party took control of Congress after promising to fix the economy.  Instead, they immediately attacked women's health.  The first bill they introduced would have cut millions of women off from cancer screenings and birth control.

In Congress, Henry Waxman stood strong against Boehner and the Tea Party, and we defeated this dangerous bill with his help and leadership. 

And thanks to Congressman Waxman and President Obama, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that insurance companies cover birth control like any other preventive prescription.  The ACA also means that insurance companies will no longer be allowed to charge women more than men for their insurance coverage. 

Time after time, Congressman Waxman has championed women’s health.  Simply put, he trusts women to make our own health care decisions.  And he knows that these issues are matters of basic health care and economic stability for women and their families.

That’s why Planned Parenthood Action Fund supports Congressman Waxman 100 percent.

We need Henry Waxman fighting for women in Washington.  We can’t afford Bill Bloomfield, who is running to unseat him.

Mr. Bloomfield would be a rubber stamp for John Boehner, Mitt Romney, and the Tea Party agenda in Congress.  Where Congressman Waxman leads the fight to block the Tea Party agenda, it’s hard to believe that Mr. Bloomfield wouldn’t be anything but a reliable vote for Boehner and Romney.  

Since 1995, Mr. Bloomfield has directly helped finance the far-right agenda, giving millions to right-wing special interests groups and causes.  This election cycle, Mr. Bloomfield has maxed out his personal donations to Mr. Romney’s presidential campaign and has given $10,000 to John Boehner.

Mr. Bloomfield also served as a national leader for John McCain’s presidential campaign in 2008.  A key point of Senator McCain’s campaign was a health care plan that would have deregulated the health care industry and would have let insurance companies deny coverage for pre-existing conditions. 

Mr. Bloomfield was a lifelong Republican until a recent politically calculated conversion to become a so-called Independent.  He will say or do just about anything to get elected — like Mitt Romney.

Californians see through the distortions and smokescreens that politicians like Bill Bloomfield and Mitt Romney use to distract voters from their extreme agenda.

As the leading advocate for Planned Parenthood health centers, Planned Parenthood Action Fund hears every day from women across the country who would be affected by the policies that Bill Bloomfield supports. 

Women know that we need strong champions in Congress who are committed to protecting access to health care and who trust women to make our own medical decisions.

Henry Waxman has done just that for the three quarters of a million women, men, and young people Planned Parenthood sees each year in California.  He understands that for many women, Planned Parenthood is the only health care provider they will see all year.

Henry Waxman has fought for us — all of us.  He’s had our backs for years, and on November 6 we’ll have his back.

Cecile Richards writes on behalf of the Planned Parenthood Federal PAC and is president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

Posted by lindsay at 9:28 AM | Permanent Link

Thursday November 1, 2012

A Message from NARAL Pro-Choice California

Posted by NARAL Pro-Choice America at 11:52 AM

​Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said her organization is proud to stand with pro-choice champion Rep. Henry Waxman (CA-33), who is being challenged by political newcomer Bill Bloomfield.

“Rep. Waxman is one of the most important members of Congress when it comes to protecting a woman’s right to choose,” Keenan said. “He has been a stalwart advocate for the pro-choice values of freedom and privacy. Waxman’s commitment to ensure that women have the ability to make their own health care decisions is reflected in his perfect career-long pro-choice voting record. The women in southern California have more than just a solidly pro-choice member of Congress – they have a lifelong champion for their reproductive rights!”

Recent examples of Waxman’s leadership for reproductive freedom include: 

  • Opposing H.R.358, the “Let Women Die” bill - legislation that would have allowed hospitals to deny any woman emergency abortion care, even if she could die without it.
  • He led opposition to the Stupak amendment, a proposal that, had it succeeded, would have essentially banned abortion coverage in all health plans in the new health-care system.
  • In response to the Bush administration’s alarming practice of spending taxpayer dollars on anti-choice fake “clinics” called crisis pregnancy centers, Rep. Waxman spearheaded a first-of-its-kind congressional investigation into these dangerous facilities, bringing national attention to their deceptive practices. 
  • He helped expose and curb the country’s failed experiment with “abstinence-only” programs – classes that censor information about contraception and condoms from young people.
  • He issued a landmark report last month documenting in chilling detail the many anti-woman legislative actions this Congress has taken.

NARAL Pro-Choice America’s PAC has endorsed Rep. Waxman for re-election and given $7,000 in campaign contributions. The organization will also activate its member activists to support his campaign. “As we face this War on Women, Rep. Waxman’s leadership has been immeasurable,“ Keenan continued. “He is the candidate women can trust.

Posted by lindsay at 11:52 AM | Permanent Link

Tuesday October 30, 2012

A Personal Favor

Posted at 12:51 PM

​Friends,

Thank you so much for your support, time and dedication these last few months. With one week remaining until Election Day, I have a personal favor to ask. Below is a sample email, telling people about this race, my record and why it is so important to go out and vote on November 6. Will you take a few minutes and send it to your friends, family and colleagues?

People throughout the district are receiving stacks of political mail and are inundated by political ads on TV. A personal appeal from you will cut through the clutter and can make all of the difference. 

Again, thank you so much for all you have done for me and this campaign. We couldn't do it without you!

Sincerely,

Congressman Henry A. Waxman

---------------------------------------------------------

SAMPLE EMAIL

Dear Friends,

As you may know, I am supporting Henry Waxman for Congress on Tuesday, November 6. I am writing today to urge you to do the same. 

As a champion for improving quality health care, protecting our environment and reducing government waste, fraud and abuse, Henry Waxman's work has touched the lives of millions in Southern California and nationally. He has taken on some of the nations most powerful special interests, including tobacco companies, corporate polluters and pharmaceutical companies, earning the title, "America's Watchdog".

As the Los Angeles Times writes, "Tens of millions of Americans are healthier, breathe cleaner air, and live safer lives because of his legislative efforts."

For his great work, organizations that we all deeply respect have shown their strong support for Congressman Waxman. He is endorsed by The Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, NARAL Pro-Choice America, California Democratic Party and Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.   

Even President Obama and former President Clinton have showed their enthusiastic support, saying:

"I have known and worked with Henry Waxman for many years. He is a real leader with a deep and abiding commitment to justice, fairness and working across party lines to get things done. His significant record on health care, the environment and government transparency is evidence of his extraordinary effectiveness as a member of Congress. We need Henry Waxman in Congress. He has my enthusiastic support." - President Bill Clinton

"Henry Waxman has always fought for what is right and in the best interests of California and our nation. Each of us has benefited from his strong leadership on environmental protection, providing access to affordable health care for every American and tackling government waste and abuse. I will continue to rely on Congressman Waxman's help over the next four years to move our nation forward and to create an economy that's built to last." - President Barack Obama

We must do our part to help keep Henry Waxman in Congress. Now more than ever, we need his experience, thoughtful leadership and ability to get things done. I ask you to join me in showing your strong support. Go out to the polls on November 6 and cast your vote for Congressman Waxman. Share this email with your friends and family. And if you really like what heard, join his Facebook page and make a donation. Every little bit helps.

If you would like to learn more about Congressman Waxman, visit www.henrywaxmanforcongress.com

Thank you for your time. 

Posted by lindsay at 12:51 PM | Permanent Link

Tuesday October 23, 2012

A Message from the Sierra Club

Posted by The Sierra Club at 9:46 AM

The Sierra Club strongly endorses Henry Waxman for Congress because he is a nationally-known leader on environmental issues. The air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat are all safer because of his leadership in Congress.  Waxman was one of the primary authors of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments.  Tens of thousands of American lives are saved every year by this law, which significantly reduces toxic air pollution. Waxman sponsored the 1986 and 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments, which keep dangerous pollutants out of our drinking water. Waxman provided leadership to establish the Food Quality Act of 1996, which outlaws the most dangerous pesticides from being used on our food.

Waxman introduced the first bill in Congress to stop global warming in 1992, and spearheaded passage by the House of Representatives of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (also known as the Waxman-Markey Anti-Global Warming Bill). Climate change is an environmental issue. It is an economic issue. But it is also fundamentally a moral issue. We need to pass along to our children a world that is livable.

Congressman Waxman has worked with leaders of both political parties to forge compromises and get bipartisan support for these important laws.

Congressman Henry Waxman needs our help to continue his work protecting our environment. Please contact his Campaign Manager at 323.413.2332 to learn how you can help re-elect Henry Waxman to Congress.

Posted by lindsay at 9:46 AM | Permanent Link

Monday October 15, 2012

Daily Breeze and Daily News Endorse Rep Waxman!

Posted by Daily Breeze and Daily News Editorial Board at 2:44 PM

​Endorsement: U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman is a valuable D.C. presence for the 33rd Congressional District

This is a rough election season for many of the Los Angeles area's veteran representatives in Congress. David Dreier and Elton Gallegly chose to retire after redistricting weakened their re-election chances. Howard Berman faces Brad Sherman in a loser-leaves- Washington smackdown. Howard "Buck" McKeon is dogged by ethics questions.

Amid the risk that Southern California will lose some influential representatives, it is all the more important for the 33rd District to re-elect Henry Waxman, the dean of the region's congress members.

Waxman, a Democrat, isn't complacent about his own re-election, and constituents shouldn't be either. Waxman's opponent, South Bay businessman Bill Bloomfield, a Republican-turned- independent, is a credible candidate who is able to finance his own campaign. And Waxman must sell himself to a lot of new voters now that his district has shifted southward, extending from Agoura Hills and Beverly Hills all the way down to the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

So this veteran of the state's congressional delegation has been out on the stump as he has rarely had to before, reminding old supporters and potential new supporters of all of the legislation he has passed since going to Congress in 1975 in the large class of Democrats elected in the wake of Watergate.

Waxman is afraid that a lot of the protections he fought to put in place for health and the environment have come to be taken for granted, and that they could be weakened if Republicans added control of the White House and U.S. Senate to their majority in the House.

He is, understandably, not Republicans' cup of tea. He is a self-described proud Democrat who has promoted the government's role in helping to protect people from pollution, tobacco and unsafe toys, in helping people with AIDS, and in protecting women's reproductive rights. This has put him right in line with his liberal Westside district, and he would be a fitting representative of this new district that has more registered Democrats than Republicans by a margin of 15 percentage points.

To voters who might be attracted to Bloomfield's independent registration and the challenger's avowed pro-choice and anti-Proposition 8 positions, Waxman points out that his opponent raised funds for 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain and other candidates who subvert those stances.

Although Bloomfield is a smart and articulate candidate who should sustain his interest in public affairs, Waxman remains a better fit for this coastal California district.

As well, the incumbent remains a valuable presence in Washington for all of Southern California. The former chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, he is a senior and respected member of the House who represents the region's interests effectively.

At a time when much is changing in the L.A. area's congressional lineup, voters should keep its cleanup hitter in place by re-electing Henry Waxman in the 33rd District. 

Posted by lindsay at 2:44 PM | Permanent Link

Wednesday October 3, 2012

Setting the Record Straight

Posted by Lindsay Bubar, Campaign Manager at 12:02 PM

​As you may have seen, our opponent recently launched false and misleading attacks against us. Today, we’re standing up to show the truth about Bill Bloomfield’s record as a lifelong Republican.

Be the first to watch the new ad and help keep us on the air.

The choice is clear. Bill Bloomfield was a registered Republican for more than twenty years, donated two million dollars to various Republican campaigns and served as a national leader for John McCain’s Presidential campaign. And just last year, he donated the maximum allowable to Mitt Romney. Meanwhile, Henry Waxman has spent his time in Congress working tirelessly to improve the lives of all Americans. He works with both parties to get things done.

We need your help. Consider making a donation to our campaign to help us fight back. We can’t allow Republicans in Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act, set the clock back on women’s rights, consumer protections, the environment and other progress we have made to improve the lives of all Americans.

Thank you for your continued support,

Lindsay Bubar Campaign Manager Henry Waxman for Congress

Posted by lindsay at 12:02 PM | Permanent Link

Tuesday September 18, 2012

Waxman’s Congressional Plate is Still Full

Posted by Edwin Folven at 2:21 PM

​Congressman Henry A. Waxman, currently running for re-election in the newly re-drawn 33rd District, visited the offices of the Park Labrea News and Beverly Press last week. The following is a question and answer session between the Congressman and the staff.

Q: Many of your colleagues in Congress are in Charlotte, N.C. for the Democratic National Convention. Why aren’t you there?

A: “I decided to be here in L.A. because for the first time in a very long time I have a real campaign on my hands. After the primary, I was surprised to see an opponent become my challenger who is not a Republican. Although he has been a Republican all his life, he has switched to become an Independent, and he is spending millions of his own money to fund his own campaign. He is clearly going to outspend us. I just don’t know by how much. I figured I’ve got to take this campaign seriously, so I decided to stay in L.A. and go to different events and talk to people.”

Waxman said it was the first Democratic National Convention he has missed since 1976.

The congressman closely watched the convention however, and said he was particularly impressed by former President Bill Clinton’s speech, and was looking forward to President Barack Obama’s speech Thursday evening.

Waxman’s opponent in the November election is Bill Bloomfield, a retired businessman from Manhattan Beach. Waxman said he hopes to raise more campaign funding in the months leading up to the election. Many people are holding fundraisers for him, and he has been reaching out to different groups and individuals.

Q: You were recently endorsed by President Obama in your re-election bid. How important is that to you and your campaign?

A: “I think it is very important to have his endorsement, and I am proud to have it. We have worked very closely together during the past three-and-a-half years, particularly on the Affordable Care Act, but also on energy and the stimulus bill,” Waxman said. “I am going to run with President Obama in this district. I am going to run with the Democrats in this district. I am a Democrat and I am proud to be a Democrat. I want President Obama to be re-elected and I want Sen. Feinstein to be re-elected.”

Waxman added there will be some tough initiative choices on the November ballot. He said he supports Gov. Jerry Brown’s initiative to raise taxes to pay for education and other essential services. He is opposed to Proposition 32, however, because he believes the true intention is to limit the power of labor unions.

Q: As a Democrat, how concerned are you about the possibility of Gov. Mitt Romney being elected president, and what impacts do you think it could have?

A: “They could do a lot of damage to the Affordable Healthcare Act. They could stop a lot of things from going into effect. What they want to do to Medicare is take away the program as we have known it since 1965, and for those people who have relied for decades on a guarantee they would have access to medical services. In Medicaid it’s even worse, because Medicaid is the federal government’s payments to the states, and the states have to cover very poor people.”

Waxman said the Republicans are proposing a healthcare system using block grants that would be provided to the states. If the funding doesn’t cover the needs, individual states would be forced to make up the difference, which in California would be very costly, particularly during tough economic times. Seniors would receive vouchers to pay for healthcare insurance, and would have to make up any difference in cost themselves. Other individuals may have to pay higher deductibles and out-of-pocket costs.

The congressman also said the Republican agenda is negative for women. Waxman released a report recently stating that since January 2011, the Republican–controlled House has cast 55 votes that negatively affected access to healthcare for women, limited reproductive rights, and enabled health insurance companies to discriminate against women.

Q: You have represented the 30th Congressional District since 1975. What areas will you no longer represent in the redistricting process?

A: “I’ve represented West Hollywood for a number of decades and have been proud to represent that area. It has a constituency that I have worked with closely on a number of important issues. I am still going to be involved in some of those issues, particularly HIV and AIDS, senior issues and issues that particularly apply to the Russian population. I’ll do my best to continue to represent them, although I won’t officially represent them any longer.”

He said he is disappointed that some areas such as West Hollywood, and the Pico-Robertson and Beverlywood Districts, have been eliminated from the new 33rd District. He added, however, that he will be working closely with Congressman Adam Schiff, who now represents West Hollywood, and other local lawmakers in the surrounding areas such as Congresswoman Karen Bass on issues that affect the region.

The new 33rd district in which Waxman is running stretches from the Wilshire area south to the Palos Verdes Peninsula, and includes Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, El Segundo and Torrance. Some of the issues affecting the new 33rd District are the possible closure of the Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, and the loss of jobs in the aerospace industry.

Q: What issues do you see as the most important affecting the new areas of Palos Verdes Peninsula, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, El Segundo and Torrance?

A: “I’ll do everything I can to make sure [Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo] remains in that area. It’s the glue that holds together whole industries that are related to it.”

Waxman is confident he will win in the new 33rd District, despite the fact that it is less Democratic than the former 30th District. He said his goal will now be to introduce himself to as many people as possible and to share his plans for continuing to improve the quality of life for all Americans.

Some of the things he is most proud of in his career are his work on the Affordable Care Act, the Clean Air Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act. He also said he is proud of authoring the Ryan White Care Act, which helps individuals with HIV/AIDS receive medication and healthcare services, as well as other programs that make medications more affordable for people suffering from life-threatening diseases. The congressman said he is working to create more federal revenue through the sale of broadband airwaves for which wireless companies are willing to pay large sums. He added that funding raised could be used for emergency response or reducing the deficit.

Q: Should you be called upon by the President to fill a Cabinet position, based on your experience and expertise, what post do you think you would be most qualified for?

A:“I’d rather not speculate about what I would be most qualified for. The legal qualifications [for a Cabinet post] is that the President choose you, and that the Senate confirm you. But I wouldn’t want to be a Cabinet member. I want to be a member of Congress. I want to work with the president, and the things I am most looking forward to doing with him are working on a deficit reduction package that protects the safety net and important government investments, and trying to reform the tax system so it’s fair to everybody. I particularly want to work on an energy bill that will make us more independent, particularly by moving us away from fossil fuels. It would reduce the pollution that causes climate change, which I think is a real threat. It’s amazing to me that the Republicans seem to have their heads in the sand, denying the science of global warming. Lastly, I want to work with the president on immigration reform. It’s crazy in this country not to have the Dream Act made into law permanently. We have a whole class of millions of people who are forced to live in the shadows. We have to figure out a pathway for them to live here permanently. It’s in our national interest to do so.”

Posted by lindsay at 2:21 PM | Permanent Link

Wednesday September 12, 2012

54 Days

Posted by Lindsay Bubar, Campaign Manager at 8:16 AM

​Believe it or not, there are only 54 days remaining until Election Day. We need your help today to re-elect Congressman Henry Waxman. There are many ways you can help:

Your Time: Each day, we talk to voters to remind them why it is so important to get out and vote for Congressman Waxman on November 6th. Join us to tell voters why YOU are supporting the Congressman and why they should too! To find out more about our phonebanking hours or host a phone bank in your home, contact Cristina Romero at cristina@henrywaxmanforcongress.com.   

Your Lawn: If you live in the district or have friends that do, and are willing to display a Henry Waxman sign on your lawn, let us know! We will deliver the sign right to your home or you can pick signs up at many locations throughout the district:

1) Our Campaign Office, located near 3rd and La Cienega 2) Santa Monica Democratic Headquarters, located on the Third Street Promenade  3) Al Muratsuchi’s Campaign Office, located in Old Torrance

A lawn sign is a great way to get Congressman Waxman’s name out and remind your friends and neighbors who you are voting for. To request your lawn sign, contact Lindsay Bubar at lindsay@henrywaxmanforcongress.com.

Your Support: Our opponent is a self-funder who has been actively campaigning with mail and TV ads since August. To compete with his spending, we need your help.Your support is critical to ensure we get our message out to as many voters as possible. Click here to make a donation today!

We hope we can count on you to donate your time, lawn and support in the next 54 days. Together, we can re-elect Congressman Waxman.

All my best,

Lindsay Bubar Campaign Manager

Posted by lindsay at 8:16 AM | Permanent Link

Tuesday September 11, 2012

Waxman’s Running for Real

Posted by Ashley at SMDP at 11:10 AM

​BEVERLY HILLS — Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Santa Monica) has represented the Westside in Congress since 1975.

In that time, he’s racked up influence points as ranking member and — in 2009 and 2010 — chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce where he oversaw legislation relating to public health, telecommunications and interstate commerce, as well as the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform where he participated in investigations meant to root out waste and abuse in government contracting as well as corporate wrongdoing.

Despite his track record, Waxman is looking toward the November election with a bit of trepidation.

He’s running in the newly-redrawn 33rd Congressional District, which now includes territories like the South Bay and Palos Verdes Peninsula, two areas with voters that have never heard of him before.

His opponent, Bill Bloomfield, of Manhattan Beach, is a political neophyte, but is running as an Independent and is independently wealthy, making him able to pump money into his own campaign.

“I don’t think he can win, but I’m not going to take it for granted so that’s why I’m going to be doing as much of a campaign as I can afford,” Waxman said.

Waxman says he wants to stay in office because he still has things he hopes to accomplish. He wants to tackle legislation to fight climate change, reform the tax code and take on immigration reform, issues he feels have been stymied by Republican intransigence.

In a sit down conversation with the Daily Press, Waxman discussed his past, present and what he hopes will be his future representing Santa Monica and the Westside in the halls of Congress.

(The responses have been edited for length and clarity.)

Daily Press: What inspired you initially to go into politics?

Henry Waxman: I always thought I would be in politics. I was interested in the issues. The issues in those days were different than the ones now in some ways but they’re ongoing questions of fairness and justice.

I got into the State Assembly and then had a chance to run for Congress after redistricting. That was done by the courts. I have been in congress ever since. I was first elected in 1974, and took office in 1975. The thing that inspired me to get into politics and public office is that I think government has a very important role to play to help people, to let people succeed as far as their talents will take them, and I think government has to be there to provide a safety net for those who cannot succeed so we can respect their dignity. And there are very essential services of government such as education, roads, infrastructure and funding research.

DP: You’ve been in office for over three decades. Why run for re-election? What do you want to do?

HW: I’m proud of the accomplishments I’ve had over the years … But there are things I still want to do. I think it’s important that we develop an energy policy that lowers green house gas emissions and fights climate change. I want to work with President (Barack) Obama to get our economy moving again and to lower our deficit in a way that’s fair. I want to reform our tax system and work with the president in doing that, and I want to work with him on comprehensive immigration reform. So there are things that we need to do.

The energy issue of course is closest to my heart. I was chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee and author of the bill that passed the house that was called the Waxman-Markey “cap and trade” bill. It would have directed us away from simply relying on coal and oil and other fossil fuels and moving in the direction of renewable fuels, alternative energy sources and a lot of efforts to use our energy resources more efficiently.

After we lost the Congress in 2010, what we found is that the Republicans deny the science of global warming. So when I asked them to work with us when I was chairman in 2009 and 2010, they said we don’t want to work on a problem we don’t think exists. They still deny the science up to this moment.

DP: Your opponent is in favor of the Keystone XL Oil Pipeline. You oppose it. Why?

HW: The thing that bothers me the most about the Keystone pipeline is that it will be encouraging Canada to take the dirtiest source of tar sands oil. They have to spend a lot of energy just to refine it so it can be sent in a pipeline. That adds to the greenhouse gas emissions. There also have been problems about pipeline safety which we hope we addressed in bipartisan legislation last year, but I think we need to look at the pipeline and where it’s going.

This is going to be oil that will be brought to the United States and could well be sent off to China once it gets to the refineries, even though it has been touted as oil for America. It will be added to the world’s oil supply. What we need is less adding to the world oil supply and more moving away from our dependence on oil. So I’ve opposed the pipeline.

DP: Switching to more Santa Monica-specific subjects, you’ve expressed support for keeping the historic post office on Fifth Street. What is the best course of action for the Postal Service on that issue?

HW: I don’t think they have to close a historical building like we have in Santa Monica. I’ve argued to the Postal Service that they shouldn’t close that particular post office.

I haven’t given up on this fight to save the post office in Santa Monica, and I’m still actively involved with people at the Postal Service to try to get them to change their minds. I’m hopeful.

DP: On the issue of the Santa Monica Airport, you’ve called for a “meaningful solution.” What would that look like?

HW: There are a number of concerns at the airport, and the first one has to be safety. … This is an airport located right in the middle of a residential area. I don’t think the runways offer enough safety protection. The (Federal Aviation Administration) was supposed to work on that issue and I don’t think their solution was adequate. I think there are problems with the fuel used in the airplanes, which still has a lot of lead in it. We banned leaded fuel for automobiles which caused a dramatic drop in some of the harm that’s done from lead exposure. Lead exposure to children is particularly harmful, but lead exposure to adults is not particularly conducive for good health, either. For kids, it’s so dangerous that exposure to lead can cause immediate harm in terms of mental retardation and learning disabilities.

DP: Some people are advocating for straight closure of the airport. What do you say to those folks?

HW: It’s possible after the (20-year) agreement expires. Well, in 2015 this issue will come to a head as to whether there’s going to be an airport or not. But in the meantime, we need greater protections in place for the safety and pollution problems.

(Waxman is referring to grant assurances that Santa Monica City Hall entered into with the FAA in return for money for airport improvements.)

DP: Housing for homeless veterans at the Veterans Affairs campus in West Los Angeles has been an ongoing issue. Why is this dragging on and on?

(City Councilmember Bobby Shriver is one of many working on a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union against the Veterans Affairs Administration in order to force the VA to make improvements on buildings on the campus to open up permanent supportive housing for disabled veterans.)

HW: I’m very frustrated that there hasn’t been more movement on that. I met with General (Eric) Shinseki, the head of the VA. He agreed that we needed housing for the homeless, agreed he’d take a couple of the buildings that are there and do that so they can be a place for residential homeless vets. Yet they still haven’t figured out how to do that. Maybe we should have started from scratch and torn the buildings down and built something from the beginning, because now they’ve run into a lot of problems going to redo those buildings.

DP: What’s the latest on that?

HW: Cost over-runs, and they’re not moving as quickly as I would like.

DP: Is there ever a vote that you regretted?

HW: Yes. I regret voting for the power of George W. Bush to go to war in Iraq. I did that based on the lies we were told by the administration that Iraq had a nuclear weapon, and this of course is the most feared of the weapons of mass destruction. We had briefings from people on the intelligence that turned out to be wrong and I was so concerned about Iraq having a nuclear weapon I voted for a proposal that said if we couldn’t get the United Nations to act together and force Iraq to open up for inspections to stop any potential nuclear weapon the president had the authority to take military action unilaterally. I regret that vote, I think I was misled in to casting it. Most Democrats didn’t vote for it, and I’m sorry I did.

DP: So you say that you want to reform the tax code. What would you do?

HW: The tax code should be reformed. There are too many loopholes. I don’t think we should be creating more loopholes. I think that so many of the loopholes Mr. Romney has been able to use are unjustified. I don’t know the situation with Mr. Bloomfield (his opponent in the Nov. 6 election), but I think both are in the same situation.

They’re living on the return from their investments.

So he’s paying a far lower rate on his income tax, as is Gov. Romney, than a person who works very hard at a job that pays a full fare on income tax. I think we need to look at those distinctions. I think we need to end some of the loopholes. I think we have to make sure we don’t skew the tax system just to lower the taxes for those at the top, but to make sure that those who can pay more do pay more.

DP: You spent a lot of time looking into steroids in baseball. Why was that so important to you?

HW: The reason I thought it was important is that a lot of kids were starting to use steroids in high school for their athletic abilities, and they saw baseball players and other professional athletes using steroids and they thought, “Well, maybe that’s the thing to do.” Their heroes were using it, their role models were using it. They thought that message was that it was OK to use it, and it was OK to cheat. That it was OK to use it even though steroids can harm them physically. And so we were thinking of the kids.

I’m proud to say that as a result of our hearings on that issue, we didn’t pass any legislation, but as a result of our hearings the use of steroids by kids has dropped dramatically in this country, and professional sports have clamped down harder on their athletes for using performance-enhancing drugs. I think this was a good public health objective we were trying to achieve and we were successful in moving things in that direction.

Posted by lindsay at 11:10 AM | Permanent Link

Monday September 10, 2012

Congressman Waxman Talks to the Patch

Posted at 12:23 PM

​Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a Democrat serving California's 30th Congressional District, is now running for the newly drawn 33rd Congressional District.

The 33rd District stretches from the Palos Verdes Peninsula to the Beach Cities, through slivers of Marina del Rey and Venice, up to Santa Monica, Malibu, Calabasas and Agoura Hills. The district also extends inland to include Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Beverly Hills and parts of West L.A.

In part one of a two-part interview, Patch asked Waxman about the Affordable Care Act and how he foresees the future of health care, and also what he thinks about the Westside Subway Extension. Click here to read part one.

During his long-standing involvement with the committee, Waxman said he has pushed for legislation that promotes alternative energy, safeguards the environment and protects the public’s well-being. In the second and final part of Patch's interview with Waxman, the congressman covers these topics and more. Click here to read part two

Posted by lindsay at 12:23 PM | Permanent Link

Wednesday September 5, 2012

Re-Elect A Living Legend

Posted by David Allgood, Political Director, California League of Conservation Voters at 9:02 AM

​In politics you don’t hear the phrase “living legend” used very often without bursting out in laughter (hyperbole is ubiquitous in this business after all), but there are still a few individuals worthy of such a title and California Congressman Henry Waxman is one of them.

Waxman is an accomplished leader on the issues of environmental protection and public health. He served in the legislature for six years before he was elected to his first term in Congress in 1975 –right at the time when amendments to the Clean Air Act requiring regulatory controls for air pollution were being agreed upon and enacted. He fought the Reagan Administration’s efforts to rollback the law throughout the 1980s. In 1990, he went on offense, as Waxman became one of the primary authors of the second major set of Clean Air Act amendments that created stronger standards to curb problems with urban smog, toxic air pollution, acid rain, and the depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer. The amendments have since been credited to significantly reduce cancer-causing toxic emissions and prevent over 20,000 premature deaths each year.

In 2001, Waxman became a visible and vocal leader in combating the relentless assault against the environment and public health laws by President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. As a sponsor of the 1986 and 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act amendments, which provide America with one of the cleanest drinking water sources in the world, he fought against dangerous attempts to rollback this law along with countless other Bush Administration efforts to try to log old growth forests, rollback the Clean Air Act, weaken toxics regulations, and increase our dependence on dirty fossil fuels. Following the 2006 election, Waxman became Chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, where he led the charge to unravel Dick Cheney’s secret backroom deals with oil companies and investigate Halliburton’s role in the efforts leading up to the Iraq War.

After four decades of being on the forefront of environmental protection, Waxman is one of the most powerful voices in the effort to prevent the worst effects of global warming that threatens California’s water supply and our cherished coastline. In 2009, he authored and led the House of Representatives to pass the Waxman-Markey Anti-Global Warming bill aimed at limiting pollution by capping greenhouse gas emissions and putting a price on carbon. Today, as a member of the minority party in Congress, he continues to be a formidable opponent of the attacks made by global warming deniers and polluter-funded Congressmen who call global warming a “hoax.”

With so much experience, knowledge, and proven efficacy, it’s absolutely vital that we re-elect Congressman Waxman. California, and indeed, the country, needs his experience, will and expertise in Washington, D.C. to continue the fight to protect public health and our natural resources. Following the decennial redistricting, Waxman’s coastal district now includes some of the California’s biggest corporate polluters including an ExxonMobil refinery. With a substantial new constituency, Waxman faces one of his toughest congressional races in his nearly 40 year career, and he needs your help to win in November.

Please check out his website and find out ways you can help re-elect this living legend!

Posted by lindsay at 9:02 AM | Permanent Link

Tuesday September 4, 2012

​President Barack Obama Endorses Congressman Henry Waxman

Posted at 8:14 AM

Washington – President Barack Obama today endorsed Congressman Henry Waxman, Member of Congress for re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives from the 33rd District of California.

"Henry Waxman has always fought for what is right and in the best interests of California and our nation.Each of us has benefitted from his strong leadership on environmental protection, providing access to affordable health care for every American and tackling government waste and abuse. I will continue to rely on Congressman Waxman's help over the next four years to move our nation forward and to create an economy that's built to last,” said President Obama.

“I am grateful to President Obama for his endorsement and I am hopeful that the voters of the 33rd District send me back to Washington to work with my strong ally and friend,” said Congressman Waxman, the current Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Congressman Henry Waxman has been an effective leader on behalf of California in the U.S. House of Representatives for nearly four decades, including chairmanships of the House Energy and Commerce and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committees, addressing a range of health and environmental issues.During his time in Congress, Waxman has sponsored major health legislation including: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (comprehensive health care reform), the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, the Ryan White CARE Act, the Patent Term Restoration and Drug Competition Act (also known as the Hatch-WaxmanAct), and the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009. He has also been a lead investigator into the high cost of prescription drugs to waste, fraud, and abuse in government contracting.

“This is a critical moment for all Americans, and we need the proven and effective leadership of Congressman Waxman to continue to move this country forward,” said President Obama.

# # #

 

Posted by lindsay at 8:14 AM | Permanent Link

Monday August 20, 2012

Congressman Henry Waxman Opposes New AES Redondo Plant

Posted by Bill Brand at 6:27 AM

​The author of the Clean Air Act, Congressman Henry Waxman, opposes a new AES Redondo power plant.  See his attached press release and here is his full quote:

“As the author of the 1990 Clean Air Act, I think it is absolutely essential that we do all we can to cut air pollution in the region.  There is no question that burning fossil fuels causes significant pollution and health impacts.  We need to be shifting to clean energy.  I believe we should remove the power plant from Redondo Beach.  I encourage AES and  California’s regulatory agencies to take this opportunity to permanently retire this facility and  to allow redevelopment of the site.”

His opposition follows Congresswoman Janice Hahn, Assembly Member Betsy Butler, and two other elected officials in opposition to a new power plant – Director, West Basin Water District, Carol Kwan, and congressional candidate, Bill Bloomfield.

As you can see, many powerful elected officials outside Redondo are rooting for us. The opposition cuts across party lines with republicans, democrats and independents all represented in opposing the AES plan to drop a new power plant on our waterfront for another 50 years.

Posted by lindsay at 6:27 AM | Permanent Link

Friday August 17, 2012

Waxman Opposes USPS’ Decision To Sell Santa Monica Post Office

Posted by Santa Monica Mirror Staff at 5:31 PM

Incumbent democrat Henry A. Waxman, who is up for re-election Nov. 6 to represent Santa Monica in the newly created 33rd Congressional District, has released a statement in response to today's announcement that the United States Postal Service (USPS) intends to sell the Santa Monica Post Office.

“Today I was troubled to learn that the USPS plans to sell the main branch of the Santa Monica Post Office," Waxman said in a statement. "The entire city relies on the Santa Monica Post Office to mail packages, buy stamps, and rent post office boxes. It is as much a part of the community as Palisades Park, Santa Monica Pier, and City Hall."

Waxman said while he understands USPS is under enormous pressure to cut costs, closing this iconic building, which has served the residents of Santa Monica since 1938, will do little to improve the Postal Service’s long term financial position.

"That is why I am opposing the Postal Service's decision and will join the community in its appeal to keep the Post Office operating at this location," he said.

The new 33rd district includes Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Agoura Hills, Venice, Mar Vista, and the South Bay.

Posted by lindsay at 5:31 PM | Permanent Link

Wednesday August 15, 2012

Ryan Budget Bad for Clean Energy: Rep. Waxman

Posted by By: Justin Menza at 12:52 PM

​Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan’s budget represents the "wrong direction" for clean energy policy, Rep. Henry Waxman told CNBC’s “Closing Bell” on Tuesday.

“The Department of Energy’s efforts to move in the direction of a clean energy portfolio are wiped out by the 50 percent reduction in the Ryan budget for clean energy programs,” Waxman, D-Calif., said. “That means cuts in wind, solar and geothermal.”

Even after U.S. taxpayers lost over $500 million on a bad government bet on solar company Solyndra, Waxman still sees a need for the government to support the industry. (See Also: Solyndra Owes Over $500 Million to Taxpayers).

“The private sector won’t pony up [for clean energy projects] unless we have things like loan guarantees for risky projects,” said Waxman, the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Waxman also said the United States will have a better economy when it develops clean energy. “We’ll be less dependent on oil and less dependent on countries that ship oil to us,” Waxman said.

While the cost of these clean energy investments is high, Waxman said, “It costs more until you get the scale to lower the costs. That’s why it’s hard for newer, cleaner energy to compete.” He said without government support, these new industries will be unsustainable. "And then we'll only have coal and only have oil and those people will be in control of everything," he said.

He also criticized the Ryan budget for maintaining $40 billion in tax subsidies over the next decade for the oil industry.

Posted by lindsay at 12:52 PM | Permanent Link

Monday August 13, 2012

Rep. Henry Waxman on ‘radicalness’ of the Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan ticket

Posted at 8:52 AM

​Stephanie Miller of Talking Liberally gets a chance to speak with Congressman Henry Waxman (D-Calif) about his reaction to Mitt Romney’s running mate choice of Rep. Paul Ryan. Congressman Waxman says, Rep. Ryan is “a true believer” who believes the market and people can take care of themselves. Rep. Waxman  says that he “is not happy” with the prospect the Rep. Ryan has the potential to be President. He says that under Mitt Romney and Rep. Ryan, “they could adopt changes that would be so radical that people would be shocked at how different the country is.

Listen to the full interview here: http://current.com/shows/talking-liberally/videos/rep-henry-waxman-on-radicalness-of-the-mitt-romney-and-rep-paul-ryan-ticket/

Posted by lindsay at 8:52 AM | Permanent Link

Friday August 10, 2012

Waxman: Coastal Protection Needs to be National Priority

Posted by Jessica E. Davis at 3:49 PM

Rep. Henry Waxman called for renewed protections on California’s coastline in the wake of a new report detailing what he is calling a “Republican assault” on coastal water, marine life and the environment.

“Protecting our coastal areas should be a national priority,” Waxman said at a news conference at Pepperdine University in Malibu. “Yet the House Republican assault on coastal water, marine life, and the environment has been relentless.”

Waxman highlighted the report along with representatives from the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, Los Angeles Waterkeeper, Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission and Surfrider Foundation. Malibu Mayor Laura Zahn Rosenthal, Mayor Pro Tem Lou La Monte and Councilman John Sibert also attended.

“Coastal protections were established because the American people want clean beaches, clean water, and development that protect our seashores. Twelve million jobs in California depend on our coast. Congress should be strengthening coastal protections, not turning the clock back,” Waxman said.

The report claims that the 112th Congress has become the most anti-environment House in the history of the United States.

“The laws on the books were adopted by bipartisan support signed by Republicans,” Waxman said, adding that many federal laws protecting coastal areas are now under attack.

“I think it’s essential that we hold elected officials accountable,” he said.

The report was prepared by Democratic members of the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

According to the report, the House has voted 297 times to undermine basic environmental protections that have existed for decades and allow more pollution into the nation’s air, land, and water since January 2011.

Of the 297 votes on the environment, 117 were for policies that would impact coastal areas, including in California.

According to a press release from Waxman’s office, the report found:

Waxman said he has fought hard to protect California’s coast.

  • The House has voted repeatedly to force new oil and gas drilling along the California coast – as well as in other coastal areas where drilling is not now currently permitted. 
  • The House has voted 26 times to allow offshore drilling operations to meet weaker environmental and safety standards, including votes to limit environmental review of new offshore drilling projects; to block minimum standards for blowout preventers and oil spill response; and to weaken Clean Air Act protections for offshore drilling activities.
  • The House has voted 24 times to block action to address climate change – even though climate change could spell disaster for our coasts through significant sea level rise and ocean acidification.
  • The House has voted 20 times to undermine Clean Water Act programs and protections for coastal areas and nearby waterways.
  • The House has voted 16 times to weaken protections for fish and marine species, including votes to remove protections for salmon, sea turtles, sea otters, sea lions, and other species.
  • The House has voted repeatedly to cut funding for coastal protection.  It voted to cut funding for the National Ocean Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service, as well as to block implementation of the National Ocean Policy, which President Obama established to improve the country’s stewardship of the oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes. 

“Most of them have not become law, but they are supported by many economic interests especially oil companies. They are not going to give up,” Waxman said.

http://santamonica.patch.com/articles/waxman-takes-aim-at-republican-votes-to-undermine-coastal-protections

Posted by lindsay at 3:49 PM | Permanent Link

Thursday August 9, 2012

Congressman Waxman Kicks-off South Bay Visit with West Basin Tour

Posted at 12:23 PM

Congressman Makes Concerted Effort to Visit Organizations in Newly-Drawn District Boundaries

EL SEGUNDO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Congressman Henry Waxman (D - Calif. ) visited the Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility, owned by West Basin Municipal Water District (West Basin), for a Water Reliability 2020 briefing on Tuesday, August 7, 2012. The facility, the only one of its kind in the world, produces 30 million gallons a day of five different types of recycled waters for industrial, commercial and irrigation customers throughout the South Bay. The ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee was briefed on state and local water supply issues impacting his District.

The Congressman has taken interest in water supply challenges such as growing risks to imported water supplies, population growth and climate change. He was briefed on West Basin’s program to make water supplies more reliable and reduce the area’s dependence on imported water through the development of new, local water supplies. Additionally, West Basin Director Gloria Gray, who is also a member of the Delta Stewardship Council, explained the next steps toward achieving the co-equal goals of protecting the environment and maintaining water reliability in California’s water hub – the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta.

“I saw an impressive display of innovation and commitment to customer service at West Basin. They make specialty waters for everything from irrigation water for soccer fields to ultra-pure water for refineries, which saves valuable drinking water supplies and reduces costs,” said Congressman Waxman.

The Congressman also visited West Basin’s Ocean-Water Desalination Demonstration Facility where West Basin is testing environmentally protective technologies to create drinking water supplies from the ocean. “It was an honor to host Congressman Waxman today. His environmental credentials precede him and I applaud his commitment to sustainable water supplies for his constituents,” said Carol W. Kwan, West Basin Board Vice President.

On the tours, the Congressman tasted both desalinated ocean-water and recycled wastewater. He was escorted by Jacki Bacharach, Executive Director of the South Bay Cities Council of Governments, and followed the West Basin tour with a luncheon briefing at the South Bay Environmental Services Center in Torrance.

West Basin’s Water Reliability 2020 program is working to reduce the area’s dependence on imported water by doubling its recycled water program, doubling conservation, and developing ocean-water desalination. The combination of these efforts will increase local control of water supplies from 33 percent today to 66 percent in 2020. To learn more about Water Reliability 2020 and for information on free tours and classes, visit www.westbasin.org.

Posted by lindsay at 12:23 PM | Permanent Link

Monday July 30, 2012

‘The Waxman Report: How Congress Really Works’ by Henry Waxman with Joshua Green

Posted at 1:29 PM

By Tim Rutten

July 1, 2009

Pretty faces and promising careers tend to flash across our local political firmament with the frequency of shooting stars -- and with about as much effect. But for more than two decades, the most consequential elected official in Southern California has been a short, bald, decidedly mustached congressman from Los Angeles' Westside named Henry Waxman.

In fact, when the history of postwar America is definitively written, it's possible that the record will show that the three California politicians who had the biggest impact on the largest number of American lives were Earl Warren, as chief justice; Ronald Reagan, as president; and Henry Waxman as representative of the 30th District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Tens of millions of Americans are healthier, breathe cleaner air and live safer lives because of his legislative efforts. Among living lawmakers, his record of legislative achievement can be compared only to Sen. Ted Kennedy's.

On that basis alone, "The Waxman Report: How Congress Really Works" would merit respectful attention. However, the congressman, now 69, has, along with his collaborator Joshua Green of the Atlantic magazine, produced something unexpected and rather fine. "The Waxman Report" is part compelling memoir, part fascinating, shrewd civics lesson and part bracing statement of practical idealism. It's impossible to put down and a joy to read -- a model, in fact, of lucid exposition. If your plans for the long Independence Day weekend incline toward thoughts on the state of the nation, skip all the patriotic kitsch and read this book.

The timing is fortuitous, because Waxman is more than ever at the center of events, since the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which he chairs, shares jurisdiction over the energy and healthcare issues key to President Obama's agenda. The Westside Democrat and Rep. George Miller, a longtime friend and Riverside County Democrat who chairs the Education and Labor Committee, and Rep. Charles B. Rangel, the New York Democrat who heads Ways and Means, have agreed to work together -- their committees have jurisdiction over healthcare -- to produce a single House healthcare measure. (Miller, Waxman and Minnesota's James L. Oberstar are the only surviving Democratic representatives elected as members of 1974's so-called reform class.) Moreover, Phil Schiliro, who was Waxman's chief of staff for 27 years, now is Obama's congressional liaison. (Read this book and you'll understand the importance of such connections.)

Waxman's tenacity as an investigator and questioner are storied. When he became chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in 2007, a Time magazine profile -- while noting that he stands less than 5 1/2 feet tall -- called him "the scariest guy in town." As a result of rule changes pushed through by the Republicans during their futile pursuit of Bill Clinton, the chairman of that committee is the only one in Congress with the unilateral power to issue subpoenas. Waxman, the profile pointed out, assumed the chairmanship noting that while the House compelled 140 hours of sworn testimony over allegations that Clinton had used the White House Christmas-card list for political purposes, it had questioned witnesses for just 12 hours over the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison.

Though always prepared to reach across the aisle for allies, Waxman is legendarily tough. His friend Miller once said that when he first came to the House, "I thought Henry's first name was 'sonofabitch.' Everybody . . . kept saying, 'Do you know what that sonofabitch Waxman wants?' "

One of the pleasures of "The Waxman Report" is tracing the origins of these signature traits to his Los Angeles boyhood. Waxman was born in Boyle Heights. His parents' families had emigrated from Bessarabia (contemporary Moldova) to escape the pogroms. The neighborhood in those days "was a teeming immigrant community with a heavy representation of Russian and Eastern European Jews, along with Mexicans, Japanese and many others." His father was then a grocery clerk, a proud member of the Retail Clerks Union, Local 770, and -- like his mother -- a fervent supporter ofFranklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal. Waxman's uncle, Al, was the founder and publisher of what was then the city's important liberal newspaper, the East Side Journal, one of the few papers in the country to oppose internment of Japanese Americans and a voice of sanity during the Zoot Suit riots. Al Waxman also was one of the city's first crusaders against smog.

After the war, L.A.'s Jewish community moved west to the Fairfax district and so did the Waxmans. Al's paper became the L.A. Reporter (often known in those days as "the Waxman Reporter") and Henry's father acquired a store in Watts, over which the family lived. Henry graduated from UCLAand UCLA Law School, but his passion was the school's Young Democratic Club, through which he made lifelong friends and comrades like Phil and John Burton, Willie Brown and, most of all, Howard and Michael Berman. Howard, of course, has become his closest legislative colleague and now chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee and watches the back of the Westside's entertainment industry on intellectual property issues.

Waxman's account of his first run for the state Assembly is pivotal to understanding his career because it taught him the value of tireless organizing and meticulous preparation. Even though his uncle's widow refused him the L.A. Reporter's endorsement -- the paper always had supported his opponent in the Democratic primary, a longtime incumbent -- Waxman carried the day, in part, by securing the endorsement of dapper Col. Leon Washington, publisher of the Los Angeles Sentinel, the city's leading African American weekly.

Waxman's chronicle of his education in L.A. and Sacramento politics is, if anything, too brief; his account of his congressional career is fascinatingly detailed, filled with blunt behind-the-scenes anecdotes and crisply drawn portraits of allies and opponents.

Most of all, it's a detailed inside account of just how the nation's laws are made. It succeeds as storytelling because Waxman and Green have structured most of the book as a series of narrative examples built around major bills. Thus chapters are titled, for instance, "HIV/AIDS and the Ryan White Act," "The Orphan Drug Act," "The Clean Air Act" and "The Tobacco Wars." There's a fascinating chapter on baseball and steroids as well.

Most of all, there's a persuasive declaration of faith in that particular brand of liberalism that the late Arthur Schlesinger called "the politics of remedy." As Waxman puts it, "In Boyle Heights, everyone thought of government as an institution that helped people."

As this heartfelt, important little book will remind its readers, there's a lot to be said for the faith of our fathers.

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