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

Rep. Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn Bosher MaloneyMaloney wins House Oversight gavel The Hill's Morning Report - Wild Wednesday: Sondland testimony, Dem debate take center stage Maloney wins vote for Oversight chairwoman 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 CummingsDebate gives Democrats a chance to focus on unaddressed issues of concern to black voters Maloney wins House Oversight gavel The Hill's Morning Report - Wild Wednesday: Sondland testimony, Dem debate take center stage 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.
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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 NortonOvernight 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 DC-area Democrats push to block funding for Bureau of Land Management relocation 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 ClayTrump tax breaks for low-income neighborhoods draw scrutiny Maloney wins vote for Oversight chairwoman GOP senator blasts Dem bills on 'opportunity zones' MORE (D-Mo.) and Stephen LynchStephen Francis LynchMaloney wins House Oversight gavel Maloney wins vote for Oversight chairwoman Brindisi, Lamb recommended for Armed Services, Transportation Committees 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.”
 
Another Democrat in the mix to fill the vacancy left by Cummings could be Rep. Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyMaloney wins House Oversight gavel Maloney wins vote for Oversight chairwoman Democrat unveils bill requiring banks to identify suspicious activity related to guns MORE (D-Va.), who chairs the Government Operations subcommittee.
 
The normally talkative Connolly, leaving a closed-door whip meeting on Thursday, appeared visibly emotional and declined to comment to reporters.
 
 
"She's personally shocked and hurt," Rep. Hank JohnsonHenry (Hank) C. JohnsonBlack lawmakers condemn Trump's 'lynching' remarks Maloney to serve as acting Oversight chairwoman after Cummings's death The 13 House Democrats who back Kavanaugh's impeachment 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.