Top Democrat holds moment of silence for Cummings at hearing
© Greg Nash

Rep. Steve CohenStephen (Steve) Ira Cohen2019 in Photos: 35 pictures in politics Gabbard under fire for 'present' vote on impeachment Gabbard votes 'present' on impeaching Trump MORE (D-Tenn.) held a moment of silence at a House hearing Thursday in honor of Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsBaltimore unveils plaques for courthouse to be named after Elijah Cummings GOP leaders encourage retiring lawmakers to give up committee posts Pelosi taps Virginia Democrat for key post on economic panel MORE (Md.), who died at the age of 68 earlier in the day.

“Elijah Cummings was a defender of the Constitution, a man of great knowledge, wisdom and grace. He exhibited that in all of his work in Congress, particularly as Chairman of the Oversight Committee,” said Cohen, who leads the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle reflected on their interactions with Cummings, who was chairman of the powerful Oversight and Reform Committee.

“While he and I rarely agreed on matters of public policy, I just want to say that I always found him personally to be a man of great sincerity and decency and integrity,” said Rep. Mike JohnsonJames (Mike) Michael JohnsonFive lingering questions as impeachment heads to Senate Figures to watch as White House mounts impeachment defense Trump's GOP allies huddle at White House on eve of impeachment vote MORE (La.), the top Republican on the subcommittee.

The moment of silence came during a hearing titled “Legislative Proposals to Strengthen the Voting Rights Act.” Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerMcConnell locks in schedule for start of impeachment trial Pelosi: Trump's impeachment 'cannot be erased' House to vote Wednesday on sending articles of impeachment to Senate MORE (D-N.Y.) said it was “fitting” to honor Cummings at the hearing, given the Maryland Democrat’s involvement with the issue over the years.

“He served his constituents, his country, and the causes he believed in with passion and with grace,” Nadler said. “It is fitting that we are considering voting rights today, as Elijah was a champion of equality and civil rights for all those in society.”

Cummings died Thursday morning from health complications.