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

Rep. Steve CohenStephen (Steve) Ira CohenCentrist Democrats insist Sanders would need delegate majority to win Clinton advises checking your voter registration during Trump's State of the Union Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley to boycott State of the Union MORE (D-Tenn.) held a moment of silence at a House hearing Thursday in honor of Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsMaryland postpones primary over coronavirus fears Maryland governor: 'Simply not enough supplies' on hand to tackle coronavirus Meadows joins White House facing reelection challenges 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.

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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 JohnsonLawmakers ask Trump administration to help Gulf oil and gas producers Roberts wrestles with abortion law in high-stakes Louisiana case White House, Republicans blast Pelosi for ripping up copy of Trump speech 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 NadlerHouse Judiciary Committee postpones hearing with Barr amid coronavirus outbreak House Democrats plead with key committee chairman to allow remote voting amid coronavirus pandemic Pelosi rejects calls to shutter Capitol: 'We are the captains of this ship' 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.