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Opinion Congress is a worse place for the death of Rep. Elijah Cummings

17:50  17 october  2019
17:50  17 october  2019 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

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Rep. Elijah Cummings is dead. The U.S. Congress is worse off for it.

The longtime Democrat from Maryland, who passed away early Thursday morning at the age of 68, was as sharp-elbowed as the best of them. He had plenty of his own moments of partisan rancor, but Cummings was known also for his decency and graciousness, including when he reprimanded a member of his own party this year for lobbing a bogus accusation of racism at a Republican colleague.

House leaders offer tributes from floor to Elijah Cummings

  House leaders offer tributes from floor to Elijah Cummings Top lawmakers from both parties paid tribute on the House floor Thursday to House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), a longtime lawmaker respected by members of both parties whose death was announced earlier in the day.Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who served in the Maryland delegation with Cummings for more than two decades, praised Cummings for his work on civil rights and his legislative accomplishments. "Today, myMajority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who served in the Maryland delegation with Cummings for more than two decades, praised Cummings for his work on civil rights and his legislative accomplishments.

Democratic Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib alleged in February during a televised hearing of the House Oversight and Reform Committee that Republican Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina had engaged in a racist “stunt” by inviting Department of Housing and Urban Development administrator Lynne Patton, who is both black and a friend of President Trump, to offer testimony countering accusations that the president is a racist.

"The fact that someone would actually use a prop, a black woman in this chamber, in this committee, is alone racist in itself," Tlaib said of Meadows.

Naturally, the Republican lawmaker took offense at her remarks, demanding they be removed from the record.

“Would you like to rephrase that statement, Ms. Tlaib?” asked Cummings, who was chairman of the committee at the time.

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  ‘He Was Loved by All’: Friends in Baltimore Mourn Elijah Cummings A tall man in a winter coat took off his hat and bowed his head just outside the office of Representative Elijah E. Cummings on Thursday. He stood for a minute, eyes closed, then turned and walked away. A bouquet of white tulips lay on the ground near the door. Four musicians from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra came to play some music, including an improvisation of “Amazing Grace,” one of Mr. Cummings’s favorites. They were small,A bouquet of white tulips lay on the ground near the door. Four musicians from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra came to play some music, including an improvisation of “Amazing Grace,” one of Mr. Cummings’s favorites.

Tlaib responded, “I am not calling the gentleman, Mr. Meadows, a racist for doing so. I’m saying that in itself it is a racist act,” adding that “as a person of color” she felt offended by Patton’s appearance at the hearing.

Cummings then exercised his authority as chairman of the committee to elbow the freshman congresswoman back in line, saying, “If there’s anyone who is sensitive with regard to race it is me, son of former sharecroppers that were basically slaves. So I get it. I listened very carefully to Ms. Tlaib, and I think … she said that she was not calling you a racist. And I thought that we could clarify that.”

He added, “Because, Mr. Meadows, you know, and of all the people on this committee, I have said it and got in trouble for it, that you’re one of my best friends. I know that shocks a lot of people. Yes, but you are. And I would — and I could see and feel your pain. I feel it. And so — and I don’t think Ms. Tlaib intended to cause you that, that kind of pain and that kind of frustration. Did you have a statement, Ms. Tlaib?”

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  Elijah Cummings to lie in state in Statuary Hall ahead of Friday funeral Rep. Elijah E. Cummings will lie in state in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall Thursday before a Friday funeral in his home district of Baltimore. Many lawmakers are expected to attend the memorial service for the House Oversight and Reform Committee chairman, which will be held Thursday morning. The ceremony will be held Thursday morning and will be open to members of Congress, the Cummings family and invited guests. [Rep. Elijah Cummings fondly remembered by Democrats, Republicans]Following the memorial service, there will be a public viewing. Additional details will be announced at a later date, a release from Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office said. Cummings died on Oct.

Translation: Apologize, Rep. Tlaib.

“[T]o my colleague, Mr. Meadows,” said the Michigan congresswoman, “that was not my intention, and I do apologize if that’s what it sounded like. But I said someone in general. And as everybody knows in this Chamber, I’m pretty direct.”

“So if I wanted to say that I would have, but that’s not what I said,” she added. “And thank you, Mr. Chairman, for allowing me to clarify. But again, I said someone. And again, I was not referring to you at all as a racist.”

Meadows thanked Tlaib and then withdrew his request that her remarks be struck from the record.

Cummings was a political person, but politics did not define his life so much that he was willing to go all the way in demonizing those who did not share his party's agenda. The late Maryland congressman forged strong friendships that transcended politics, as all friendships should, because they put shared humanity ahead of ideology.

That is why Meadows, a staunch Trump ally, mourned Cummings' death Thursday, telling reporters, “I am heartbroken. Truly heartbroken. I have no other words to express the loss.”

Congress lost one of the decent ones today.

Trump recognizes Cummings during address at historically black college .
President Trump offered his "warmest respects" to the family and friends of the late Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) on Friday as lawmakers and multiple former presidents and political figures paid tribute to the longtime Baltimore-area congressman.During a speech at a historically black college in Columbia, S.C., Trump recognized the Maryland congressman for his passion, recalling an Oval Office meeting during which he and the Democratic lawmaker discussed lowering prescription drug prices. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

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