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October 18, 2019 4:15 PM, EDT

Top House Transportation Policymaker Praises Rep. Elijah Cummings’ Contributions

Elijah CummingsRep. Elijah Cummings speaks during a news conference in 2017. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/Associated Press)

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Longtime Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings (D), who died Oct. 17 at the age of 68, was a formidable legislator who had consistently advocated for improvements in his district, as well as the nation, said Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.).

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of my longtime friend and colleague, Elijah Cummings. His strength and grace in leadership during challenging and difficult times will be greatly missed. He was a tireless advocate for his constituents and a champion of democracy and justice for the American people,” DeFazio said in a statement. “Congress, and our country, are better because of him.”

Cummings had been a senior member of the Transportation panel. There, he served on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation and the Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials subcommittees. Elected in 1996, Cummings pushed for greater access to passenger rail, transit systems, ports and airports. His district, which included Baltimore, is a multimodal transportation hub.

In the 116th Congress, Cummings was chairman of the Oversight and Reform Committee. As chairman, he played a key role in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, and launched investigations of the administration that included Cabinet members.

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, a former member of Congress, said Cummings would be sorely missed.

“He was a classy guy, and I enjoyed much working with him. And the condolences from my family and all of the White House group to his family today,” Mulvaney told reporters at the White House on Oct. 17.

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