Veteran US Democratic congressman and chairman of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee Elijah Cummings has died at the age of 68.
Mr Cummings, who was much involved with the Trump impeachment inquiry, died of “longstanding health challenges,” according to his office.
The prominent congressman from Maryland had some health challenges in recent years, including heart problems, for which he had received some treatments.
His role as chairman of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee, put him several times in confrontations with the Trump administration in the course of the investigations of the administration. His opposition to some of the healthcare and immigration reforms of the administration led also to clashes between him and the Trump administration, including Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan,
As expected, President Trump did not ignore his criticisms. Lately, in a series of tweets, President Trump attacked Mr Cummings’ mainly-black Baltimore constituency as a “disgusting, rat and rodent-infested mess,” prompting many to label the President’s tweet as racist.
A lawyer by profession, Mr Cummings became the first black House Speaker of Maryland state government.
Reacting to his death, Baltimore Mayor Bernard Young said:
“The city of Baltimore, our country and people throughout the world have lost a powerful voice and one of the strongest and most gifted crusaders for social justice,”
Many democrats at the Capital Hills have paid tribute to Mr Cummings following the news of his demise.
Republicans are not left alone. Mark Meadows, President Trump’s close ally, tweeted that he was “heartbroken” by the death of Mr Cummings, whom he called a close friend.
Elijah Cummings devoted much of his political life, fighting for social issues. He was one of the first supporters of Barack Obama’s bid for the presidency in 2008.
Definitely, the democrats need a fearless warrior like Elijah Cummings to restore the authority and gap his death would create in the House of Representatives. More than that, the US has lost one of the lions in the House.