Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman of California fields a flurry of phone calls in his Capitol Hill office just after announcing Thursday that he'll retire after 40 years in the House of Representatives. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

toggle caption J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Buttons from 4 of the 5 original members of the Class of '74 who still serve in Congress. (Will someone please tell Henry Waxman to make a button?) Ken Rudin collection hide caption

toggle caption Ken Rudin collection