House leaders offer tributes from floor to Elijah Cummings

House leaders offer tributes from floor to Elijah Cummings
© Greg Nash

Top lawmakers from both parties paid tribute on the House floor Thursday to House Oversight Chairman Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsMaya Rockeymoore Cummings reports surgery was a success, will return to campaign trail The Hill's Morning Report — Public impeachment drama resumes today Maloney primary challenger calls on her to return, donate previous campaign donations from Trump MORE (D-Md.), a longtime lawmaker respected by members of both parties whose death was announced earlier in the day.

Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Former Ukraine envoy offers dramatic testimony Hoyer calls GOP efforts to out whistleblower 'despicable' Live coverage: House holds first public impeachment hearing MORE (D-Md.), who served in the Maryland delegation with Cummings for more than two decades, praised Cummings for his work on civil rights and his legislative accomplishments. 

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"Today, my colleagues, is a sad day. It is a sad day for us, it's a sad day for this institution and it is a sad day for America. We have lost a wonderful human being — a wonderful human being, a good and decent human being," he said.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiLouisiana governor wins re-election Dynamic scoring: Forward-thinking budgeting practices to grow our economy Pelosi: Trump tweets on Yovanovitch show his 'insecurity as an imposter' MORE (D-Calif.) lauded Cummings's character, lauding him for his composure, dedication to working for his district and fighting for “equality and fairness.”

“No matter how rough and tumble things would be, he would always just calm the waters, reach out across the aisle or across the issue, across the Capitol, down Pennsylvania Avenue," said Pelosi, whose political roots are from the city of Baltimore, parts of which Cummings represented in Congress. "I know that the people of Baltimore, Congress and America has lost a voice.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyHarris introduces bill to prevent California wildfires McCarthy says views on impeachment won't change even if Taylor's testimony is confirmed House Republicans call impeachment hearing 'boring,' dismiss Taylor testimony as hearsay MORE (Calif.), the top Republican in the House, said Cummings was a "respected adversary, because he was tough."

"He had such a presence on this side of the aisle and impression that when we would sit inside our Steering Committee, and maybe I'm breaking the rule, we are never supposed to talk about what we say in there,
whenever we'd select a chair or ranking member, this is the one committee we weighed who we went against,” McCarthy said.

“And every time we spoke of selecting an individual that can rise to the occasion, to be in debate with him, we'd look for somebody that's strong. And every time someone was selected, they'd come back to be a very best friend of Elijah Cummings.”