News Home » Top Stories » Elijah Cummings, longtime Baltimore congressman, dies age 68

Around the World

Elijah Cummings, longtime Baltimore congressman, dies age 68

運営事務局 JIMOPLE 12 October 18, 2019

Surrounded by members of the Secret Service, Rep. Elijah Cummings points to the crowd alongside then-presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama at a 2007 rally.
Surrounded by members of the Secret Service, Rep. Elijah Cummings points to the crowd alongside then-presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama at a 2007 rally. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama said he and his wife Michelle are "heartbroken over the passing of our friend, Elijah Cummings."

“It’s a tribute to his native Baltimore that one of its own brought such character, tact, and resolve into the halls of power every day," he said in a statemnet.

He continued:

"And true to the giants of progress he followed into public service, Chairman Cummings stood tallest and most resolute when our country needed him the most. May his example inspire more Americans to pick up the baton and carry it forward in a manner worthy of his service."

Cummings was one of the earliest supporters of Obama's presidential candidacy back in 2007 when many members of the Congressional Black Caucus and others were backing Hillary Clinton's campaign. 

At that time, Cummings told CNN reporters how he believed African American voters would ultimately rally around Obama if he showed signs of being able to win.

Back then, Cummings told CNN: "People say, 'He's like my son or my grandson and before I die, I'd like to have the chance to vote for someone who can win."

Nancy Pelosi kicked off her weekly press conference today with a remembrance of Elijah Cummings. She said when he served in the Maryland House, he was already a powerful voice.

"When Elijah Cummings would stand up in the state legislator, in the house of delegates as it's called there, the room would fall silent," Pelosi said. "Everyone wanted to hear what Elijah has to say. "

Pelosi appeared to choke up as she announced that at a hearing this morning House members discussed naming legislation that would lower the cost of prescription drugs after Cummings, which she said was "so appropriate."

"Elijah was a fighter for low income and prescription drugs, reaching across the aisle to do so. He always chose to reach across the aisle and treat all of our colleagues with respect and even had dialogue with the President for a while on this subject."

Pelosi added that she's personally "devastated by the loss" of Cummings, and called him her "brother from Baltimore."

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has ordered flags at the US Capitol to be lowered to mark Rep. Elijah Cummings' death, her deputy chief of staff tweeted.

Sens. Lindsey Graham and Dianne Feinstein remembered Rep. Elijah Cummings at the top of today's Senate Judiciary session.

Graham called Elijah Cummings a “good man,” who would “help you where he could,” even if you disagreed with him. Graham said with Cummings passing “there is a void in the House today that will be hard to fill.”

Feinstein said Cummings was a “special man,” and “a man who could reach out, a man who was respected, who crossed party lines.”  

“Our country has really suffered a great loss,” Feinstein added, saying he was a “man of conscience” who “fought tirelessly” for the people he represented in Baltimore. 

Rep. Carolyn Maloney issued a statement on the death of Chairman Elijah Cummings, saying he “represented grace, dignity and empathy under the most trying of circumstances.” 

She makes no mention of her new role as acting chair of the House Oversight Committee. She added that Cummings' legacy "should be an inspiration to us all."

 Here's her full statement:

"I'm deeply saddened by the news of Chairman Cummings' passing. Our nation has not only lost a true leader and pioneer, but I have lost a dear friend and mentor. In an era where our politics have been plagued by coarseness and personal attacks, Elijah represented grace, dignity and empathy under the most trying of circumstances.His legacy - his fight for fairness, justice, and equality - should be an inspiration to us all. 

My heart goes out to his family."

Rep. Carolyn Maloney will become the Acting Chair of the House Oversight committee following the death of Chairman Elijah Cummings, a senior Democratic leadership aide tells CNN.

“Pursuant to House Rules, Rep. Carolyn Maloney becomes Acting Chair as number two in seniority on the committee. The caucus process to elect a permanent Chair will be announced at a later time.”

The Oversight Committee is one of the panels involved in the impeachment inquiry of Trump.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she is “personally devastated" following the death of Rep. Elijah Cummings, calling him the “North Star” of the House of Representatives.

“He was a leader of towering character and integrity, whose stirring voice and steadfast values pushed the Congress and country to rise always to a higher purpose," she said.

Here's her full statement:

“The people of Baltimore, the U.S. Congress and America have lost a voice of unsurpassed moral clarity and truth: our beloved Chairman Elijah Cummings. I am personally devastated by his passing.  
In the House, Elijah was our North Star. He was a leader of towering character and integrity, whose stirring voice and steadfast values pushed the Congress and country to rise always to a higher purpose. His principled leadership as Chair of the Committee on Oversight and Reform was the perfect testament to his commitment to restoring honesty and honor to government, and leaves a powerful legacy for years to come.As a senior member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, he was always fighting for his district and for the state of Maryland. He was a powerful voice for building the infrastructure of America and creating good-paying jobs. As a Member of the U.S. Naval Academy Board of Visitors, he took great pride in Maryland’s role in our national security.

Chairman Cummings’ story was the story of America: a sharecroppers’ son who dedicated his life to advancing justice, respecting human dignity and ending discrimination. He believed in the promise of America because he had lived it, and he dedicated his life to advancing the values that safeguard our republic: justice, equality, liberty, fairness. 

Earlier this year, Chairman Cummings asked us, ‘When we’re dancing with the angels, the question will be asked: in 2019, what did we do to make sure we kept our democracy intact?’ May Chairman Cummings’ strength guide us as we carry on his work to honor the oath and protect our democracy.

In the Congress, we will miss his wisdom, his warm friendship and his great humanity. In Baltimore, we will miss our champion. May it be a comfort to his wife Maya, his three children and Chairman Cummings’ entire family that so many mourn their loss and are praying for them at this sad time.”

Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young said the city, nation and world have lost "one of the strongest and most gifted crusaders for social justice" following the death of Elijah Cummings.

"He was, put simply, a man of God who never forgot his duty to fight for the rights and dignity of the marginalized and often forgotten," Young said in a statement.

He continued: "Rest easy, Congressman. We love you and will draw strength by remembering your selfless acts of service and dedication to pursuing equality and basic human rights for all people.”

Here's his full statement:

“With the passing of U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, the City of Baltimore, our country, and people throughout the world have lost a powerful voice and one of the strongest and most gifted crusaders for social justice.Rep. Cummings, the son of sharecroppers whose ancestors were slaves, wasn't afraid to use his considerable intellect, booming voice, and poetic oratory to speak out against brutal dictators bent on oppression, unscrupulous business executives who took advantage of unsuspecting customers, or even a U.S. President. He was, put simply, a man of God who never forgot his duty to fight for the rights and dignity of the marginalized and often forgotten. As we enter this period of mourning, let us remember his long legacy of justice as an example to us all of a life well lived.

Rest easy, Congressman. We love you and will draw strength by remembering your selfless acts of service and dedication to pursuing equality and basic human rights for all people.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Schiff and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Nadler have both tweeted this morning on the death of Elijah Cummings. 

Cummings was the chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

Schiff called Cummings “the heart and soul of our caucus,” and Nadler said his “presence passion and moral clarity will be missed.”

Here are their messages: