Los Angeles Times
: "at a time when many of his Democratic colleagues have spent the last decade in a defensive crouch, outmaneuvered by their GOP rivals, Waxman has found another way to have an impact — going outside normal legislative channels to exert influence on issues he cares about. In the process, he has also made himself into what many Republicans consider the biggest pest east of the Mississippi.
The key to Waxman's unlikely success is this: He has assumed a big chunk of the watchdog role usually filled by the entire Congress, probing deep into government programs and problems to oversee a president and GOP he believes have run amok.
As ranking Democrat on the Government Reform Committee — the chief oversight body of the House — Waxman has leveraged every scrap of his party's resources. He has poked and prodded the Bush administration on Iraq's elusive weapons of mass destruction, on faulty prewar intelligence and on Halliburton's questionable contracts.
He has thrown up roadblocks to protect environmental laws he helped pass when Democrats controlled the Hill, including clean-air and food safety rules. He nettles and needles, firing off blistering letters to agency directors, Army generals, the GOP leadership and the president.
But the most effective weapon in Waxman's arsenal is a staff of high-powered lawyers, investigators and technical experts who churn out a steady stream of penetrating and fact-laden reports. Many find their way into headlines."