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|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 7th district
April 16, 1996
|Member of the Maryland House of Delegates
from the 39th district
January 12, 1983 - January 10, 1996
|Lena King Lee|
|Born||Elijah Eugene Cummings
January 18, 1951
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
|Education||Baltimore City College
Howard University (BA)
University of Maryland, Baltimore (JD)
Elijah Eugene Cummings (born January 18, 1951) is an American politician and the U.S. Representative for Maryland's 7th congressional district, serving since 1996. He is a member of the Democratic Party. The district includes just over half of Baltimore City, most of the majority-black precincts of Baltimore County, as well as most of Howard County. He previously served in the Maryland House of Delegates.
Cummings was born in Baltimore, the son of Ruth and Robert Cummings. He has a younger brother James. He graduated with honors from Baltimore City College in 1969. He later attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he served in the student government as sophomore class president, student government treasurer and later student government president. He became a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society and graduated in 1973 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.
Cummings graduated from law school at the University of Maryland School of Law, receiving his J.D. in 1976. He was admitted to the Maryland Bar in December 1976. He practiced law for 19 years before first being elected to the House in the 1996 elections.
Also after graduating from law school, Cummings received 12 honorary doctoral degrees from different universities across America, most recently an honorary doctorate of public service from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2017.
For 14 years, Cummings served in the Maryland House of Delegates. His predecessor, Lena King Lee, raised funds and campaigned for him; years later, Cummings credited her with launching his political career. In the Maryland General Assembly, he served as Chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland and was the first Black in Maryland history to be named Speaker Pro Tempore, the second highest position in the House of Delegates.
Cummings also serves on many different boards and commissions both inside and outside of Baltimore City. Some of those include SEED Schools of Maryland Board of Directors and the University of Maryland Board of Advisors. He is a member of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity.
In December 2010 Edolphus Towns announced that he would not seek the position of Ranking Minority Member of the Oversight Committee in the next Congress, even though his seniority and service as Chair would typically result in him filling this post. Reportedly, Towns withdrew because of a lack of support from Nancy Pelosi who feared that he would not be a sufficiently aggressive leader of Democrats in an anticipated struggle with incoming committee chair Republican Darrell Issa. Reportedly, the White House also wanted Towns to be replaced. Cummings defeated Carolyn Maloney in a vote of the House Democratic Caucus.
Cummings received praise and a boost in notoriety following the Congressional panel hearings on steroids in March 2005. While investigating the use of steroids in sports, the panel called numerous baseball players to testify, including former single season home run record holder Mark McGwire. After McGwire answered many questions in a vague fashion, Cummings demanded to know if he was "taking the Fifth", referring to the Fifth Amendment. McGwire responded by saying, "I am here to talk about the future, not about the past." The exchange came to epitomize the entire inquiry.
Cummings introduced the Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments of 2014, a bipartisan bill signed into law by President Barack Obama in December 2014. The bill, which Cummings cosponsored with Representative Darrell Issa, Republican of California, is a set of amendments to the Federal Records Act and Presidential Records Act. Among other provisions, the bill modernizes the definition of a federal record to expressly include electronic documents.
Cummings supported the Smart Savings Act, a bill that would make the default investment in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) an age-appropriate target date asset allocation investment fund (L Fund) instead of the Government Securities Investment Fund (G Fund). Cummings called the bill a "commonsense change" and argued that the bill "will enable workers to take full advantage of a diversified fund designed to yield higher returns".
Cummings introduced the All Circuit Review Extension Act, a bill that would extend for three years the authority for federal employees who appeal a judgment of the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) to file their appeal at any federal court, instead of only the U.S. Court of Appeals. Cummings said that this program is important to extend because it "allows whistleblowers to file appeals where they live rather than being limited to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals". He also said that the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has "an abysmal track record in whistleblower cases".
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Five-term Congressman Kweisi Mfume resigned in February 1996 to take the presidency of the NAACP. Cummings won a crowded seven-way Democratic primary--the real contest in this heavily Democratic, black-majority district--with 37.5% of the vote. In the special election, he defeated Republican Kenneth Kondner with over 80 percent of the vote. He defeated Kondner again in November by a similar margin to win the seat in his own right.
Cummings has been reelected nine times since then with no substantive opposition, never dropping below 69% of the vote and even running unopposed in 2006.
|1996||Special||Elijah Cummings||Democratic||18,870||80.9%||Kenneth Kondner||Republican||4,449||19.1%|
|1996||General||Elijah Cummings||Democratic||115,764||83.5%||Kenneth Kondner||Republican||22,929||16.5%|
|1998||General||Elijah Cummings||Democratic||112,699||85.7%||Kenneth Kondner||Republican||18,742||14.3%|
|2000||General||Elijah Cummings||Democratic||134,066||87.0%||Kenneth Kondner||Republican||19,773||12.8%|
|2002||General||Elijah Cummings||Democratic||137,047||73.5%||Joseph E. Ward||Republican||49,172||26.4%|
|2004||General||Elijah Cummings||Democratic||179,189||73.4%||Tony Salazar||Republican||60,102||24.6%||Virginia Rodino||Green||4,727||1.9%|
|2006||General||Elijah Cummings||Democratic||158,830||98.1%||Write-in candidates||3,147||1.9%|
|2008||General||Elijah Cummings||Democratic||227,379||79.5%||Michael Hargadon||Republican||53,147||18.6%||Ronald Owens-Bey||Libertarian||5,214||1.8%|
|2010||General||Elijah Cummings||Democratic||152,669||75.2%||Frank Mirabile||Republican||46,375||22.8%||Scott Spencer||Libertarian||3,814||1.9%|
|2012||General||Elijah Cummings||Democratic||247,770||76.5%||Frank Mirabile||Republican||67,405||20.8%||Ronald Owens-Bey||Libertarian||8,211||2.5%|
|2014||General||Elijah Cummings||Democratic||144,639||69.9%||Corrogan Vaughn||Republican||55,860||27.0%||Scott Soffen||Libertarian||6,103||3.0%|
|2016||General||Elijah Cummings||Democratic||238,838||74.9%||Corrogan Vaughn||Republican||69,556||21.8%||Miles B. Hoenig||Green||9,715||3.0%|
Cummings serves on numerous Maryland boards and commissions including the Board of Visitors (BOV) to the United States Naval Academy and the Elijah Cummings Youth Program in Israel (ECYP). He is an honorary member of the Baltimore Zoo Board of Trustees.
In addition to his many speaking engagements, he writes a biweekly column for the Baltimore Afro-American newspaper. He currently lives in the Madison Park community in Baltimore, and is an active member of the New Psalmist Baptist Church.
He is married to Maya Rockeymoore.
Cummings underwent surgery to repair his aortic valve in May 2017 and was absent from Capitol Hill for two months. In July he said that he had developed an infection but that he would be returning to work.
|U.S. House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 7th congressional district
Eddie Bernice Johnson
|Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus
|Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
|United States Representatives by seniority
|105th||Senate: Sarbanes o Mikulski||House: Hoyer o Cardin o Morella o Gilchrest o Bartlett o Wynn o Ehrlich o Cummings|
|106th||Senate: Sarbanes o Mikulski||House: Hoyer o Cardin o Morella o Gilchrest o Bartlett o Wynn o Ehrlich o Cummings|
|107th||Senate: Sarbanes o Mikulski||House: Hoyer o Cardin o Morella o Gilchrest o Bartlett o Wynn o Ehrlich o Cummings|
|108th||Senate: Sarbanes o Mikulski||House: Hoyer o Cardin o Gilchrest o Bartlett o Wynn o Cummings o Ruppersberger o Van Hollen|
|109th||Senate: Sarbanes o Mikulski||House: Hoyer o Cardin o Gilchrest o Bartlett o Wynn o Cummings o Ruppersberger o Van Hollen|
|110th||Senate: Mikulski o Cardin||House: Hoyer o Gilchrest o Bartlett o Wynn (until May 2008) o Cummings o Ruppersberger o Van Hollen o Sarbanes o Edwards (from Jun. 2008)|
|111th||Senate: Mikulski o Cardin||House: Hoyer o Bartlett o Cummings o Ruppersberger o Van Hollen o Sarbanes o Edwards o Kratovil|
|112th||Senate: Mikulski o Cardin||House: Hoyer o Bartlett o Cummings o Ruppersberger o Van Hollen o Sarbanes o Edwards o Harris|
|113th||Senate: Mikulski o Cardin||House: Hoyer o Cummings o Ruppersberger o Van Hollen o Sarbanes o Edwards o Harris o Delaney|
|114th||Senate: Mikulski o Cardin||House: Hoyer o Cummings o Ruppersberger o Van Hollen o Sarbanes o Edwards o Harris o Delaney|
|115th||Senate: Cardin o Van Hollen||House: Hoyer o Cummings o Ruppersberger o Sarbanes o Harris o Delaney o Brown o Raskin|