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House Oversight and Reform chairman Elijah Cummings, speaks during a press conference following a House vote to authorize lawsuits to enforce subpoenas on Tuesday, June 11, 2019. (Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Oversight and Reform chairman Elijah Cummings, speaks during a press conference following a House vote to authorize lawsuits to enforce subpoenas on Tuesday, June 11, 2019. (Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

'Huge Loss for Baltimore, Maryland, and the Nation': Rep. Elijah Cummings Dies at 68

"This is just such sad news. ⁦Rep. Cummings was a force to be reckoned with."

Common Dreams staff

This is a developing story... Check back for possible updates...

Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat and chairman of the House Oversight Committee, died at Johns Hopkins Hospital at the age of 68 Thursday from "complications concerning longstanding health challenges," his office said in a statement.

Cummings played a significant role in numerous investigations into President Donald Trump's conduct and policies, including his mass detention of children at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Maryland Democrat also played a central role in the House impeachment inquiry into the president.

In July, Trump launched vicious and racist attacks on Cummings and his Baltimore district.

"Mr. President, I go home to my district daily. Each morning, I wake up, and I go and fight for my neighbors," Cummings tweeted in response to the president's attacks. "It is my constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch. But, it is my moral duty to fight for my constituents."

News of Cummings' death was met with an outpouring of grief and well-wishes for his family on social media:

Civil rights group NAACP also lamented Cummings' passing in a statement.

"As a devoted statesman to Baltimore and the civil rights movement, Rep. Cummings was among the most passionate and spirited members of congress. He demanded justice on every front and never shied away from standing up for the most vulnerable," said Derrick Johnson, the President and CEO of NAACP.

The environmental advocacy group 350.org issued a statement expressing "deep sadness" over Cummings' death, with a statement from 350.org's North America Director, Tamara Toles O'Laughlin:

This morning, we lost a true champion for democracy, transparency, the rights of the people of Baltimore and the humanity of this country. Rep. Cummings leadership will be deeply missed. Our thoughts are with his friends and family at this time.

In the fight to stop catastrophic climate change, we need champions of his caliber to fight with and for the people as we stand up to corruption in high places and continued dereliction in Washington now more than ever before. Representative Cummings' example demands that we fight ever harder for a more just world, for all of us.

In a statement in September, voicing his support for impeachment proceedings against Trump, Cummings said, "When the history books are written about this tumultuous era, I want them to show that I was among those in the House of Representatives who stood up to lawlessness and tyranny."

Responding to that quote being shared on social media, one user on Twitter responded simply: "And, they will."


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