Carper Statement on the Passing of Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) released the following statement regarding the passage of Congressman Elijah Cummings who represented Maryland’s 7th District, including the city of Baltimore, and served as Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

“Elijah Cummings was a great leader in Congress, and he was a good man. The son of former sharecroppers, Elijah believed in the promise of this nation and the responsibility we all have to leave a more fair, more just world for those who come after us. For him, it wasn’t about politics, but about public service. He was a tireless, passionate advocate for those he represented, even traveling home to his district almost every night to be with his community. He fought hard for what he believed in, but, even in today’s heated political climate, he showed the country that you can disagree without being disagreeable. He believed in the decency of his fellow man and wasn’t afraid to work with others, regardless of political party, in pursuit of what is right.

“I was fortunate to work with Chairman Cummings over the years on issues ranging from much-needed reforms at the U.S. Postal Service to ensuring an accurate census and improving presidential transitions. He was a great partner who truly wanted to see our government and its institutions work for every American. We also worked together on numerous important investigations over the years. No matter what party controlled the White House or Congress, Chairman Cummings was determined to make sure the American people had what they deserved – the truth.

“Elijah was also a man of deep faith. His mother was a preacher and, despite Elijah’s training as a lawyer, he could often be mistaken for a preacher as well. And as we mourn and reflect on the legacy he leaves, I’m reminded of the prophet Elijah from Scripture. The prophet Elijah was a man who, despite facing many challenges throughout his life, remained a devoted servant. Scripture also tells us that the prophet Elijah did not die. One moment he was walking on Earth, and the next he was taken up to heaven in a whirlwind, but his spirit remained with those still on Earth who were supposed to succeed him. I know Elijah Cummings’ spirit will similarly live on, and it is up to all of us to carry on his legacy and learn from the example he set.

“Todoy, I’m sure Elijah is dancing with the angels, freed from all earthly suffering. Martha and I send our sincerest condolences to Elijah’s wife, Maya, their children, his beloved city of Baltimore and all those who knew him. May he rest in peace.”