WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) released the following statement today on the passing of Chairman of the House Oversight Committee and Representative of Maryland's Seventh District, Elijah Cummings:
“I was shocked and saddened to learn the news this morning of my dear friend’s passing. Elijah Cummings was a man of principle, patriotism, and conviction, whose loss will be deeply felt throughout the State of Maryland and our country.
“For over two decades, we served together in the House, and I learned many lessons from observing Elijah at work. He taught his colleagues how to persevere in the face of adversity, laboring through health challenges in recent years out of a love for serving his constituents and country. He taught us patience and fortitude when confronted with malice from opponents, which he answered with ‘charity for all.’ And his faith in democracy served as a lesson to us all. When talking about the times we fell short of our Founders’ vision, Elijah would say ‘we are better than this.’ Elijah Cummings was better than most. He led the charge to make our democracy better by being better than those who would bring it low and leading by example.
“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.
“I will never forget my dear friend, my trusted colleague, and my partner in serving Maryland in this House. I join in offering my condolences to his wife Maya and his children and to the entire Cummings family - and to the people of Maryland’s Seventh District whom he so ably served.”