Rep. Henry Waxman, one of Congress' fiercest negotiators and a policy expert on everything from clean air to health care, will retire at the end of the year after four decades in the House.
"It's time for someone else to have the chance to make his or her mark," the liberal California Democrat said in a statement announcing he won't seek re-election.
"I never imagined I would be in the House for 40 years and be able to advance every issue I care deeply about," he added. "It has been an extraordinary experience."
Not one, however, without a degree of disillusionment.
In his 3 ½-page statement, Waxman explicitly condemned conservative House Republicans elected in 2010. "I abhor the extremism of the Tea Party," he said, adding he's "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."
More @ AJC