Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) released the following statement on the passing of Congressman Elijah E. Cummings, Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and Representative of Maryland’s 7th Congressional district:
“It is with great sadness that I learned of the passing of my dear friend and colleague, Congressman Elijah Cummings. Elijah was a giant among humans and one of the most decent people I have known. Gone too soon, he was a principled leader and a man of conviction who always challenged us to do better. The deeds he did will speak for him forever. The State of Maryland and our nation have lost one of its greatest champions.
“When Elijah spoke, you listened, because he used his voice to speak for truth and justice. Throughout his lifetime of service, he always fought for what was right and never backed down. A son of sharecroppers and a champion of the civil rights movement, Elijah dedicated his life to serving, uplifting, and empowering those in need. After becoming the first African American in Maryland history to be named Speaker Pro Tempore of the Maryland House of Delegates, he was later elected to represent his home city of Baltimore with a fidelity and passion seldom matched in the halls of Congress, eventually guiding the Congressional Black Caucus as its Chairman. Upon taking the gavel as Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, Elijah led by example, using his position to hold public officials to the standards expected of them.
“Elijah leaves behind a patriotic and honorable legacy that we will all draw inspiration from and remember with great admiration and respect. I grieve with his wife Maya, their children, and the entire Cummings family, and am praying for them at this extremely sad time. Our nation mourns the loss of a true statesman. May God rest his soul.”
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Vice-Chairman of the House Rules Committee, Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Co-Chairman of the Florida Delegation.