Maloney to serve as acting Oversight chairwoman after Cummings's death

Rep. Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn Bosher MaloneyHouse Oversight committee asks DHS for information on family separation Overnight Energy: Appeals court tosses kids' climate suit | California sues Trump over fracking | Oversight finds EPA appointees slow-walked ethics obligations Oversight finds EPA political appointees slow-walked ethics obligations MORE (D-N.Y.) will fill in as acting chairwoman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee following the death 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 (D-Md.).

Cummings served as the committee’s top Democrat since 2011 as both the ranking minority member and chairman until his passing early Thursday from long-running health problems.
ADVERTISEMENT
 
Maloney is the next in seniority on the Oversight and Reform Committee, which under House rules means that she becomes acting chairwoman in the event of a sudden vacancy, a leadership aide said.
 
The aide said that the Democratic caucus process to elect a permanent chair will be announced at a later time.
 
Maloney had previously sought the top Democratic slot on the Oversight panel in December 2010, but Cummings beat her out for the ranking member post even though she ranked higher in seniority at the time.
 
Maloney will take over as acting chairwoman during a critical stretch in the early stages of Democrats' impeachment inquiry.
 
In a statement on Cummings's death, Maloney called him "a dear friend and mentor."

"In an era where our politics have been plagued by coarseness and personal attacks, Elijah represented grace, dignity and empathy under the most trying of circumstances," Maloney said.

Maloney drew attention in 2012 when Republicans controlled the House during a hearing that included discussion about the Obama administration's regulation that health insurance cover contraception.

The hearing's first panel of five witnesses did not include any women, prompting Maloney to ask repeatedly: "Where are the women?"
 
Cummings, who represented Baltimore, had not been seen at the Capitol in the last two weeks for closed-door witness testimony. But he had signed off on a flurry of subpoenas issued by the Oversight and Reform, Intelligence, and Foreign Affairs committees in recent weeks.
 
Maloney has served in the House since 1993 representing a district based in Manhattan. 
 
Del. Eleanor Holmes NortonEleanor Holmes NortonBicameral group of Democrats introduces bill to protect immigrant laborers Overnight Energy: Mark Ruffalo pushes Congress on 'forever chemicals' | Lawmakers spar over actor's testimony | House Dems unveil renewable energy tax plan | Funding for conservation program passes Senate hurdle Maloney wins vote for Oversight chairwoman MORE, the District of Columbia's non-voting delegate, is the next in seniority on the committee, followed by Reps. Wm. Lacy ClayWilliam (Lacy) Lacy ClayLawmakers honor JFK on 56th anniversary of his death Trump tax breaks for low-income neighborhoods draw scrutiny Maloney wins vote for Oversight chairwoman MORE (D-Mo.) and Stephen LynchStephen Francis LynchElection security, ransomware dominate cyber concerns for 2020 Hillicon Valley: Groups file appeal over net neutrality ruling | Lawmakers raise concerns over foreign apps | Payroll data stolen from Facebook House Democrat questions Google, Apple over handling of foreign-linked apps MORE (D-Mass.).
 
Clay declined to say Thursday if he would be interested in pursuing the vacancy, but didn’t rule it out either.
 
“I have no interest in discussing this today,” Clay said. “This man has just passed within the last 12 hours.”
 
Clay said that discussion of a successor for Cummings would “come another day.”
 
 
The normally talkative Connolly, leaving a closed-door whip meeting on Thursday, appeared visibly emotional and declined to comment to reporters.
 
Democratic leaders mourned Cummings's passing during the meeting, including Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrats hammer abuse of power charge, allege Trump put self over country Overnight Energy: Trump issues rule replacing Obama-era waterway protections | Pelosi slams new rule as 'an outrageous assault' | Trump water policy exposes sharp divides Pelosi slams Trump administration's new water rule: 'An outrageous assault' MORE (D-Calif.), who noted their mutual connection to Baltimore, and House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clash over rules House revives agenda after impeachment storm House poised to hand impeachment articles to Senate MORE (D-Md.), the dean of the Maryland delegation, according to lawmakers in the room.
 
"She's personally shocked and hurt," Rep. Hank JohnsonHenry (Hank) C. JohnsonHouse Democrats may call new impeachment witnesses if Senate doesn't Democrats approve two articles of impeachment against Trump in Judiciary vote Democrat calls Gaetz the 'pot calling the kettle black' after Hunter Biden drug-use comments MORE (D-Ga.) said of Pelosi. "But she's pressing forward. But she knows that that is what he would want her to do."

Pelosi announced at a news conference that Democrats' bill to address the cost of prescription drugs would be named after Cummings, who had made the issue one of his top priorities.
 
Updated: 2:35 p.m.