Elijah Cummings
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Elijah Cummings
Elijah Cummings
Elijah Cummings official photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 7th district

April 15, 1996
Kweisi Mfume
Member of the Maryland House of Delegates
from the 39th district

January 12, 1983 - January 10, 1996
Lena Lee
Sterling Page
Personal details
Born Elijah Eugene Cummings
(1951-01-18) January 18, 1951 (age 66)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Maya Rockeymoore
Education Baltimore City College
Howard University (BA)
University of Maryland, Baltimore (JD)
Signature

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.[1] 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.

Early life, education and career

Cummings was born in Baltimore, the son of Ruth and Robert Cummings.[2] He has a younger brother James. He graduated with honors from Baltimore City College in 1969.[3][4] 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.[5]

For 14 years, Cummings served in the Maryland House of Delegates. 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.

U.S. House of Representatives

Cummings' official photo in 2012

Committee assignments

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.[6] Reportedly, the White House also wanted Towns to be replaced.[7] Cummings defeated Carolyn Maloney in a vote of the House Democratic Caucus.[6]

Caucus memberships

  • Task Force on Health Care Reform
  • Co-founder and Chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Drug Policy

Cummings is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. He served as Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus during the 108th United States Congress.

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.

Legislation

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.[8][9]

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).[10] 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".[11]

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.[12] 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".[13] He also said that the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has "an abysmal track record in whistleblower cases".[13]

Political campaigns

Cummings speaking at the 2008 Democratic National Convention

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.

Electoral history

Maryland's 7th congressional district: results 1996-2014[14][15]
Year Election Subject Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes %
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. Hoeing Green 9,715 3.0%

Personal life

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.[16]

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.[17]

In June 2011, his nephew Christopher Cummings, son of his brother James, was murdered at his off-campus house near Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, where he was a student.[18]

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.[19]

See also

References

  1. ^ Gibbs Smith. Maryland Government. Suzanne Chapelle. p. 65. 
  2. ^ "Elijah Cummings ancestry". Freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved 2012. 
  3. ^ "Baltimore City College alum: Elijah Cummings". baltimoresun.com. Retrieved 2016. 
  4. ^ "Elijah Cummings - U.S. Congress Votes Database - The Washington Post". washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2016. 
  5. ^ "Biography". Congressman Elijah Cummings. 2012-12-11. Retrieved . 
  6. ^ a b Brian Beutler (December 16, 2010). "Pelosi Power Play Doomed Towns On Oversight Committee | TPMDC". Tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com. Retrieved 2012. 
  7. ^ "Ed Towns Steps Down; Sources Blame White House". Daily News. Archived from the original on December 16, 2010. 
  8. ^ National Archives Welcomes Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments of 2014 (press release), National Archives and Records Administration (December 1, 2014).
  9. ^ Charles S. Clark, Obama Signs Modernized Federal Records Act, Government Executive (December 1, 2014).
  10. ^ "H.R. 4193 - Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 2014. 
  11. ^ "Oversight Committee Passes Bipartisan Bills to Improve Federal Worker Savings, Whistleblower Protections". House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform. March 12, 2014. Retrieved 2014. 
  12. ^ "CBO - H.R. 4197". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 2014. 
  13. ^ a b "Oversight Committee Passes Bipartisan Bills to Improve Federal Worker Savings, Whistleblower Protections". House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform. March 12, 2014. Retrieved 2014. 
  14. ^ "Candidate Details". Retrieved 2014. 
  15. ^ "Elections By Year". Maryland State Board of Elections. Retrieved 2014. 
  16. ^ "Board of Trustees - The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore". marylandzoo.org. Retrieved 2016. 
  17. ^ "Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.)". Roll Call. Retrieved 2014. 
  18. ^ "Sailor gunned down on sentry duty, Navy says". CNN. July 3, 2009. 
  19. ^ Fritze, John (July 20, 2017). "Cummings plans to return to work during August recess". The Baltimore Sun. 

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.


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