CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS HONOR THE MEMORY OF FORMER CONGRESSMAN ELIJAH CUMMINGS ON HIS PASSING

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[Congress\Remembering Elijah Cummings]
Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, on the death of her husband: “Congressman Cummings was an honorable man who proudly served his district and the nation with dignity, integrity, compassion and humility. He worked until his last breath because he believed our democracy was the highest and best expression of our collective humanity and that our nation’s diversity was our promise, not our problem. It’s been an honor to walk by his side on this incredible journey. I loved him deeply and will miss him dearly.”
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Congressional leaders are reacting to the sudden untimely death of Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings, early this morning, at the age of 68.

Cummings died at Johns Hopkins Hospital from "complications concerning longstanding health challenges," according to a spokesperson.

Cummings’s wife, Maryland Democratic Party Chair Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, issued a statement saying, “Congressman Cummings was an honorable man who proudly served his district and the nation with dignity, integrity, compassion and humility. He worked until his last breath because he believed our democracy was the highest and best expression of our collective humanity and that our nation’s diversity was our promise, not our problem. It’s been an honor to walk by his side on this incredible journey. I loved him deeply and will miss him dearly.”

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said in a statement, “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Congressman Elijah Cummings, who was a fierce advocate for civil rights and for Maryland for more than three decades. Congressman Cummings leaves behind an incredible legacy of fighting for Baltimore City and working to improve people’s lives. He was a passionate and dedicated public servant whose countless contributions made our state and our country better.”

Chairman Elijah E. Cummings and I shared a city, an alma mater, a love of the law and a life of public service,” Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) said in a statement. “I am deeply saddened by his passing, and my prayers today are with his family and loved ones — and the people of Baltimore. “The death of Chairman Cummings leaves an irreplaceable void in our hearts, in our Maryland and in our Congress. Quite possibly no elected official mattered so much to his constituents. Chairman Cummings guaranteed a voice to so many who would otherwise not have one, and stood as a symbol for the heights one could reach if they paid no mind to obstacles, naysayers and hate. His commitment to his city and country was unwavering, as will be my lasting respect for him.”

Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young (D), said Cummings’s death means the loss of a “powerful voice and one of the strongest and most gifted crusaders for social justice.”  Young also said, “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.”

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) wrote, “At a time of chaos and division, our friend Elijah Cummings stood strong as a man of principle, unity, dignity, and compassion. His insatiable thirst for justice was rooted in his core. Maryland has lost a beloved son and our nation a hero of our times.”

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) issued the following statement, praising Cummings: “As the son of sharecroppers, Elijah grew up understanding the challenges of poverty and fought throughout his career in elected office to bring hope and relief to those in need, particularly the youth, in whom he had great faith and was dedicated to empowering and lifting up. A former Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, he made voting rights, equality, justice, and access to opportunity hallmarks of his career. He was also committed to ensuring that the next generation of Americans had access to greater opportunity and a better future. As Chair of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, he was the House’s crusader for making government work better and holding public officials accountable when they failed the American people. His memory will long guide us in that pursuit.”

Former Republican National Committee chairman and former lieutenant governor of Maryland Michael Steele tweeted Thursday: “My heart is saddened at the loss of a colleague and friend. Elijah cared deeply about public service and the importance of ‘representing your people.’ Rest In Peace good and faithful servant."

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) tweeted “Cummings was the heart and soul of our caucus, a dignified leader with a voice that could move mountains. He was our moral and ethical North Star. Now we will be guided by his powerful memory and incomparable legacy. Rest In Peace, my friend.”

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) tweeted “Our Chairman leaves behind a beautiful and powerful legacy. I am already feeling the impact of a little less grace in the world. Deep gratitude to have spent these early months in Congress guided by his wisdom. Rest in power.”

Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA.) said Thursday: “Elijah Cummings refused to be told what he could become or where his dreams might end. He refused to accept injustice in his community or inequality in his country. His towering presence will be missed but his legacy will live on with us all.”

“When our nation can ill-afford to lose such a kind, principled leader, one of my dearest friends and mentors has left us,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) said in a statement. “My heart is broken, as I weep personally and for his family and community. Elijah Cummings’ unmatched integrity and leadership leaves a remarkable legacy. But I know his struggle for justice and freedom lives on, as so many — like me — stand on his shoulders to carry on his courageous fight. May his memory be for a blessing.”

Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) described hearing the news of Cummings’s death as being “like a gut punch.” “He was an amazing man,” Schumer said Thursday morning on MSNBC. “He was not just a great congressman; he was a great man. He had a combination of being strong … but also being kind, and decent and caring and honorable.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) called Cummings “a giant.” “[Cummings was] a universally respected leader who brought profound insight, commitment, and moral fortitude to Congress. “His guidance and vision was an enormous gift. I will forever cherish his example. May he rest in power.”

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