By John Hanlon
Congressman Elijah Cummings passed away this morning at the age of 68 after some recent health issues. The Democratic leader was first elected in 1996 and represented the 7th Congressional district in Maryland.
According to NBC News, "[Cummings] first ascended the heights of political power in his native Baltimore, never moving away from the inner-city, and serving for 14 years in the Maryland House of Delegates and became the first African American in Maryland history to be named Speaker Pro Tem."
His career eventually brought him to the House of Representatives, where he served for over two decades. As head of the Oversight and Reform Committee, Cummings was a major figure in some of the impeachment discussions regarding President Donald Trump. Earlier this year, Trump criticized the Baltimore area calling it a "disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess." Cummings defended his district vehemently, arguing that the president should come visit the community rather than simply criticizing it.
Democrats and Republicans mourned the loss of the political leader with Republican Congressman Mark Meadows tweeting out that "There was no stronger advocate and no better friend than Elijah Cummings. I am heartbroken for his wonderful family and staff—please pray for them." Congressman Adam Schiff, who worked closely with Cummings, noted on Twitter that "Elijah 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."
President Trump also tweeted about the loss of Cummings, writing on Twitter that "I got to see first hand the strength, passion and wisdom of this highly respected political leader. His work and voice on so many fronts will be very hard, if not impossible, to replace!
My warmest condolences to the family and many friends of Congressman Elijah Cummings. I got to see first hand the strength, passion and wisdom of this highly respected political leader. His work and voice on so many fronts will be very hard, if not impossible, to replace!"— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2019