Hill editor-in-chief: ‘Hard to imagine’ House leadership without Cummings

The Hill’s Editor-in-Chief Bob Cusack mourned the death of Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), who passed away Thursday morning at the age of 68.

“This is a giant loss,” Cusack told Hill.TV on Friday. “It’s hard to imagine the House Democratic Caucus without Cummings.”

Cusack reflected about his own interactions with Cummings, who was chairman of the powerful Oversight and Reform Committee.

“He wasn’t a backslapper,” he said. “If you interviewed him, he would get right to the point and sometimes would be a little gruff with you but he would always answer the questions.”

A number of lawmakers from both sides of the aisle mourned the loss of Cummings.

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) held a moment of silence at a House hearing in honor of the late congressman.

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

Trump and a number of Republicans also paid their respects to Cummings.

The president tweeted that Cummings, who was a fierce critic of the president, would be “hard, if not impossible, to replace.”

Former Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy (S.C.), meanwhile, penned an op-ed in The Washington Post about Cummings reflecting on their friendship while serving together in Congress.

“He was a fighter. He was a more than formidable political opponent,” he wrote. “He was my friend, and it is that part of life working with Elijah that I will remember and cherish the best and the longest.”

—Tess Bonn

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