Elijah Cummings, Dead at 68

In a shocking revelation, we’ve learned the well-known Baltimore representative, Elijah Cummings, passed away.

A formidable adversary, Cummings’ death was unexpected. Thus, Nancy Pelosi ordered the flags to be lowered to half staff to honor the Congressman.

CBS News elaborates:

In her weekly press conference on Thursday, Pelosi said she was “devastated by the loss” of Cummings, who she referred to as “the North Star” of the House. She said she may rename a bill to lower prescription drug costs in his honor.

“He was not just a great congressman, he was a great man,” House Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on MSNBC Thursday morning.

Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. Young said in a statement that “people throughout the world have lost a powerful voice and one of the strongest and most gifted crusaders for social justice.”

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican, said in a statement that “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.”

Despite their political differences, Trump weighed in with a classy condolence.

“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!” the president tweeted shortly before 9 a.m. 

Missing in Action

Apparently, Cummings missed two role call votes, signaling his medical complications.

He hadn’t returned to work after having a medical procedure that he said would only keep him away for about a week, The Baltimore Sun noted. Cummings previously released a statement saying he’d be back by the time the session resumed. He hadn’t taken part in a roll call vote since September 11.

The procedure already caused Cummings to miss a September hearing on Washington, D.C., statehood. The statement didn’t detail the procedure. He previously was treated for heart and knee issues.

Humble Beginnings

Cummings actually grew up the son of a sharecropper. He was a gifted orator and seemed to care a great bit about the plight of the poor.

He only spoke to President Trump one-on-one once that we know of, saying: “Mr. President, you’re now 70-something, I’m 60-something. Very soon you and I will be dancing with the angels. The thing that you and I need to do is figure out what we can do — what present can we bring to generations unborn?”

Born on Jan. 18, 1951, Cummings’ future in politics wasn’t obvious from the start. In fact, his elementary counselor assessed Cummings was “too slow to learn and spoke poorly and he would never fulfill his dream of becoming a lawyer.”

Yet, Cummings proved her wrong. Speaking of his childhood, Cummings said, “I was devastated, my whole life changed. I became very determined.”

As CBS News put it:

He became not only a lawyer, but one of the most powerful orators in the Maryland House of Delegates, where he entered office in 1983. Cummings rose to become House speaker pro tem, the first black delegate to hold the position. He would begin his comments slowly, developing his theme and raising the emotional heat until it became like a sermon from the pulpit.

While I stand politically opposite of Elijah Cummings, great respect goes out to anyone who spends their life in public service. No details are available regarding services for the Congressman. A special election will be needed to fill his vacant seat.

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