Rep. Henry Waxman has announced he will retire from Congress, after nearly 40 years as one of the Democratic Party’s most influential politicos.

Waxman, whose parents both hailed from Russian-Jewish immigrants, is a 20-term representative from California key in writing the Affordable Care Act, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and the Ryan White Care Act, which allocates billions in federal funds for HIV/AIDS treatment.

In announcing his retirement, Waxman cited recent partisan struggles in the capital, saying in an interview Wednesday, “It’s been frustrating because of the extremism of Tea Party Republicans. Nothing seems to be happening.”

“Forty years have gone by very quickly. I have a great deal of satisfaction in our legislative accomplishments. There’s obviously more to be done,” Waxman, 74, added. “But I’m in good health, and my family is in good health. This is a good time to move on and have another chapter if I am to do anything after Congress.”

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