I was just in a meeting last week where we discussed various options of how to approach Rep. Cummings on a few relatively minor issues. It was therefore very surprising when I heard the news this morning that Cummings passed away after “complications concerning long-standing health concerns.” While I had only had very limited interaction with the Congressman, he had treated me extremely well and I’m saddened by his passing.
I’m not the only Northern Virginian whose thoughts are with his family as Rep. Gerry Connolly put out a statement earlier today. Connolly served with Cummings on the House Oversight and Reform Committee, which Cummings chaired.
“The Congress and the nation have lost one of the great ones with the passing of Elijah Cummings,” Rep. Connolly said in a written statement. “His passion, eloquence and decency were hallmarks of a leadership style that was born of humble roots. Elijah Cummings never forgot those roots or the Baltimore neighborhoods he represented. His barrel chested voice was a force to be reckoned with. It was my deep honor to call him friend. His passing leaves a void at a time of national crisis and a void in our hearts.”
Since Connolly was the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, I imagine he got to know Rep. Cummings fairly well over the years. He is therefore just one of many members of Congress who have spoken about the huge loss both Congress and the country as a whole now face.
As the statements about the Congressman’s passing continue to come in, it’s worth remembering that the Oversight Committee has played a large role in investigating Donald Trump. This, and Cummings’ statement about immigration issues, aggravated Trump so much that he went on a twitter rant where he said “Cumming district is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested place” before adding that Baltimore is apparently a “very dangerous and filthy place.”
With that in mind, I highly doubt we’ll hear too many kind words about Cummings coming from the White House today. But I’m glad to see Virginia values represented well as Gerry Connolly recognizes that “his passing leaves a void at a time of national crisis and a void in our hearts.”