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Congress Bills
Quick Facts
Personal Details

Elijah Cummings (Democrat) is the former Democratic representative from Maryland's 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House. Cummings died on October 17, 2019, due to complications from "longstanding health challenges."

Cummings was first elected to Congress in 1996. Before that, he served 14 terms in the Maryland House of Delegates and was the first African American in the state to be named Speaker Pro Tempore.

As of the 116th Congress, Cummings was Chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and a member House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

Cummings was born in 1951 in Baltimore, MD. After graduating from Baltimore City College High School, he went on to earn his B.S. from Howard University and his J.D. from the University of Maryland Law School in 1973 and 1976, respectively. Prior to his political career, Cummings worked as an attorney.

Below is an abbreviated outline of Cummings' academic, professional, and political career:

  • 1996-Present: U.S. Representative from Maryland's 7th Congressional District
  • 1983-1996: Maryland House of Delegates
    • 1995-1996: Speaker Pro Tempore

Education

  • JD, University of Maryland School of Law, 1976
  • BA, Political Science, Howard University, 1973

Professional Experience

  • JD, University of Maryland School of Law, 1976
  • BA, Political Science, Howard University, 1973
  • Gwendolyn S. and Colbert I. King Endowed Chair in Public Policy Lecture Series, Howard University, 2014-2015
  • Private Practice Attorney, 1980-1996

Political Experience

  • JD, University of Maryland School of Law, 1976
  • BA, Political Science, Howard University, 1973
  • Gwendolyn S. and Colbert I. King Endowed Chair in Public Policy Lecture Series, Howard University, 2014-2015
  • Private Practice Attorney, 1980-1996
  • Representative, United States House of Representatives, District 7, 1996-2019
  • Candidate, United States House of Representatives, 2018
  • Delegate, Maryland State House of Delegates, 1980-1996
  • Speaker Pro Tempore, Maryland State House of Delegates, 1995-1996

Former Committees/Caucuses

Former Member, Chesapeake Bay Watershed Task Force

Former Member, Congressional Black Caucus

Former Chair, Congressional Black Caucus

Former Member, Congressional Progressive Caucus

Former Member, Get Out of Iraq Caucus

Former Chair, Governor's Commission on Black Males

Former Member, House Task Force on Health Care Reform

Former Member, Joint Economic Committee, United States Congress

Former Chair, Maryland Legislative Black Caucus

Former Chair, Oversight and Reform Committee, United States House of Representatives

Former Member, Port Security Caucus

Former Ranking Member, Select Committee on Benghazi, United States House of Representatives

Former Member, Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, United States House of Representatives

Former Member, Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials, United States House of Representatives

Former Member, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, United States House of Representatives

Member, Juvenile Offender Aftercare Assessment Team, 1999-2000

Member, Transit Advisory Panel, Maryland Comprehensive Transit Plan, 1998-1999

Religious, Civic, and other Memberships

  • JD, University of Maryland School of Law, 1976
  • BA, Political Science, Howard University, 1973
  • Gwendolyn S. and Colbert I. King Endowed Chair in Public Policy Lecture Series, Howard University, 2014-2015
  • Private Practice Attorney, 1980-1996
  • Representative, United States House of Representatives, District 7, 1996-2019
  • Candidate, United States House of Representatives, 2018
  • Delegate, Maryland State House of Delegates, 1980-1996
  • Speaker Pro Tempore, Maryland State House of Delegates, 1995-1996
  • Former Board Member, Baltimore Area Council, Boy Scouts of America
  • Former Member, Board of Trustees, Baltimore City Historical Society
  • Former Honorary Board Member, Baltimore School for the Arts
  • Former President, Bancroft Literary Society
  • Former Member, Board of Regents, Morgan State University
  • Former Member, Board of Trustees, Baltimore Aquarium
  • Former Member, Board of Visitors, United States Naval Academy
  • Former Member, Executive Board, Dunbar-Hopkins Health Partnership
  • Former Board Member, Elijah Cummings Youth Program
  • Former Board Member, Institute of Human Virology
  • Former Honorary Board Member, KIPP Baltimore Schools
  • Former Chairman, Maritime for Primary and Secondary Education Coalition (MPSEC)
  • Former Chief Judge, Maryland Moot Court Board
  • Former Board Member, Maryland Zoo
  • Former Member, New Psalmist Baptist Church
  • Member, Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society
  • Former Honorary Board Member, SEED School of Maryland
  • Former Member, Advisory Committee, Yale-Howard Nursing Partnership Center to Reduce Health Disparities
  • Founder, Maryland Grass Roots Campaign, Barack Obama, 2007
  • Founder, Maryland Boot Camp Aftercare Program, 1991
  • Member, Maryland State Bar Association, 1976

Other Info

Astrological Sign:

Capricorn

  • U.S. Foreign Service Officer

Elections

2018


General election
General election for U.S. House Maryland District 7

Incumbent Elijah Cummings (D) defeated Richmond Davis (R) and David Griggs (L) in the general election for U.S. House Maryland District 7 on November 6, 2018.

Elijah Cummings (D)
76.4%
202,345 Votes

Richmond Davis (R)
21.3%
56,266 Votes

David Griggs (L)
2.2%
5,827 Votes
Other/Write-in votes
0.1%
272 Votes

Total votes: 264,710
(100.00% precincts reporting)

Democratic primary election
Democratic primary for U.S. House Maryland District 7

Incumbent Elijah Cummings defeated John Moser, Anthony Carter Sr., Charles Stokes, and Charles Smith in the Democratic primary for U.S. House Maryland District 7 on June 26, 2018.

Elijah Cummings (D)
91.5%
81,679 Votes

John Moser (D)
2.6%
2,289 Votes

Anthony Carter Sr. (D)
2.5%
2,267 Votes

Silhouette Placeholder Image.png

Charles Stokes (D)
2.5%
2,247 Votes

Charles Smith (D)
0.9%
833 Votes

Total votes: 89,315

Republican primary election
Republican primary for U.S. House Maryland District 7

Richmond Davis defeated Michael Pearson, William Newton, and Ray Bly in the Republican primary for U.S. House Maryland District 7 on June 26, 2018.

Richmond Davis (R)
31.3%
3,554 Votes

Silhouette Placeholder Image.png

Michael Pearson (R)
29.9%
3,392 Votes

William Newton (R)
22.3%
2,536 Votes

Ray Bly (R)
16.5%
1,877 Votes

Total votes: 11,359


2016

rated this race as safely Democratic. In Maryland's 7th Congressional District, Democratic incumbent Elijah Cummings (D) defeated Corrogan Vaughn (R), Myles Hoenig (G) and William T. Newton (R write-in) in the general election on November 8, 2016. Cummings defeated Adrian Petrus in the Democratic primary. Vaughn defeated Ray Bly and William T. Newton in the Republican primary, which remained uncalled until the official primary canvass. The primary elections took place on April 26, 2016.

U.S. House, Maryland District 7 General Election, 2016

Party Candidate Vote % Votes
Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngElijah Cummings Incumbent 74.9% 238,838
Republican Corrogan Vaughn 21.8% 69,556
Green Myles Hoenig 3% 9,715
N/A Write-in 0.3% 803
Total Votes 318,912
Source: Maryland State Board of Elections

U.S. House, Maryland District 7 Democratic Primary, 2016

Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngElijah Cummings Incumbent 92.1% 130,555
Adrian Petrus 7.9% 11,272
Total Votes 141,827
Source: Maryland State Board of Elections

U.S. House, Maryland District 7 Republican Primary, 2016

Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngCorrogan Vaughn 41.6% 10,645
William Newton 41.4% 10,599
Ray Bly 17% 4,351
Total Votes 25,595
Source: Maryland Secretary of State

2016 presidential endorsement

? Cummings endorsed Hillary Clinton for the Democratic primary in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

2016 Presidential Endorsements by U.S. Representatives


2014

Cummings ran for re-election to the U.S. House in 2014. He won the nomination in the Democratic primary on June 24, 2014. The general election took place on November 4, 2014.

U.S. House, Maryland District 7 General Election, 2014

Party Candidate Vote % Votes
Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngElijah Cummings Incumbent 69.9% 144,639
Republican Corrogan Vaughn 27% 55,860
Libertarian Scott Soffen 3% 6,103
Write-in Others 0.1% 207
Total Votes 206,809
Source: Maryland Secretary of State Official Results

2012

Cummings ran in the 2012 election for the U.S. House to represent Maryland's 7th District. He defeated challengers Ty Busch and Charles Smith in the Democratic primary on April 3, 2012.

Cummings was endorsed by the organization Progressive Maryland in his race for re-election in Maryland's 7th District.

U.S. House, Maryland District 7 General Election, 2012

Party Candidate Vote % Votes
Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngElijah Cummings Incumbent 76.5% 247,770
Republican Frank Mirabile, Jr. 20.8% 67,405
Libertarian Ronald Owens-Bey 2.5% 8,211
Democratic Ty Busch (Write-in) 0% 10
Democratic Charles Smith (Write-in) 0% 28
N/A Other Write-ins 0.1% 394
Total Votes 323,818
Source: Maryland State Board of Elections "Representative in Congress"

U.S. House, Maryland, District 7 Democratic Primary, 2012

Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngElijah Cummings Incumbent 92.8% 49,625
Ty Glen Busch 2.6% 1,396
Charles U. Smith 4.6% 2,438
Total Votes 53,459

Full history


Policy Positions

Maryland Congressional Election 2018 Political Courage Test

Abortion

1. Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
- Pro-choice

2. Other or expanded principles
- The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a woman's right to control her own reproductive health is constitutionally guaranteed. As a Member of Congress, I have given my solemn oath to uphold our Constitution and all of our constitutional rights.

Budget

1. Other or expanded principles
- The Republicans' 2017 tax bill will provide massive tax cuts to the wealthy while leaving middle-class families behind and ballooning the deficit by $1.5 trillion during the next decade. Far too many Maryland families will be harmed. Most experts expect any positive impact on our economy to be minor. Although I have always supported a strong national defense, the current $700 Billion commitment is excessive in light of the essential domestic needs for expanded federal aid to education, health care and our social safety net.

2. In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket?
- Yes

3. In order to balance the budget, do you support reducing defense spending?
- Yes

Education

1. Other or expanded principles
- An excellent public education is every person's human right - and must be a civil right as well.

2. Do you support requiring states to adopt federal education standards?
- Yes

Energy & Environment

1. Do you support government funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, thermal)?
- Yes

2. Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions?
- Yes

3. Other or expanded principles
- Climate change is a real, existential threat to our society. As a practical, scientific matter, it must be addressed on a national and international basis.

Guns

1. Do you generally support gun-control legislation?
- Yes

2. Other or expanded principles
- Gun violence has devastated the lives of tens of thousands of American families every year, including my own. Yet, opposition by the NRA has prevented us from taking the reasonable steps that would better protect us, including an expanded and more effective background check system and assuring that those with serious mental health issues do not have access to firearms. For example, in past sessions of Congress, I have been proud to be among those leading the fight to pass the bipartisan Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2015 [H.R. 3455].

Health Care

1. Other or expanded principles
- I have long supported universal access to healthcare under a single-payer system based upon expansion of Medicare to all Americans at birth. Although I have strongly supported the Affordable Care Act as an important first step toward this goal, I was disappointed that we were unable to overcome opposition to a public option in the legislation. I continue to believe that creating a public option for Americans in the individual market, together with stronger federal efforts to control the rising cost of prescription drugs, would significantly improve the ability of all Americans to afford high-quality health care.

2. Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")?
- No

Campaign Finance

1. Do you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
- Yes

2. Other or expanded principles
- I disagree with the Supreme Court's Citizens' United decision, and would support a constitutional amendment to reform that ruling. In addition, I am a Vice-Chair of the House Democracy Reform Task Force, Chaired by Maryland Congressman John Sarbanes, that is working to advance positive democracy reform of our ethics laws, campaign finance system and government accountability.

Economy

1. Other or expanded principles
- Supply-side economics, exemplified by the Republicans' tax bill that further enriches major corporations and our most affluent citizens while doing little to lift up the lives of everyday working American families, have not been shown to significantly promote economic growth. I support Demand-side economics, focused upon the moderation of federal taxes for working families, targeted support for the small businesses that create most of our jobs, and increased federal investment in education, health care, cleaner energy, affordable housing and public transportation.

2. Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
- Yes

3. Do you support lowering corporate taxes as a means of promoting economic growth?
- No

Immigration

1. Other or expanded principles
- We need immigration reform that will ensure strong border security, reasonable financial penalties, and a path to legal residency for the nearly 12 million undocumented workers already here in the U.S. (and a path to citizenship for many, including the Dreamers brought here as minors). In this way, we can strengthen our country for years to come.

2. Do you support the construction of a wall along the Mexican border?
- No

3. Do you support requiring immigrants who are unlawfully present to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship?
- No

Marijuana

1. Do you support the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes?
- Yes

2. Other or expanded principles
- I would eliminate federal criminal penalties for the possession of marijuana and concentrate our federal efforts on addictive substances. The states should regulate and tax marijuana in the same manner as alcohol is controlled.

National Security

1. Other or expanded principles
- Article I of our Constitution entrusts the decision to use military force (to declare war) to the Congress. These decisions should not and cannot be made in the abstract.

2. Should the United States use military force in order to prevent governments hostile to the U.S. from possessing a nuclear weapon?
- Unknown Position

3. Do you support increased American intervention in Middle Eastern conflicts beyond air support?
- Unknown Position

Administrative Priorities

Please explain in a total of 100 words or less, your top two or three priorities if elected. If they require additional funding for implementation, please explain how you would obtain this funding.
- My priorities have always been and remain to do everything within my power to create living wage jobs, expand access to affordable, high-quality health care and housing, and to protect our environment. In addition, I will continue our fight to hold the President and Executive Branch accountable; to defend our voting rights and electoral process from both foreign and domestic interference; to better protect our communities from inadequately regulated firearms; to drive down the cost of prescription medicines; and to strengthen and sustain Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid.

Articles

Subcommittee Chairman Krishnamoorthi Issues Statement Following Favorable Response to Call for E-Cigarette Companies to Stop Advertising

Oct. 16, 2019

Today, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, issued the following statement after two of the four companies responded favorably to the letters calling on e-cigarette companies to cease all advertising in the United States in the interest of safeguarding the health and well-being of our youth: "I am pleased to see that two more companies have agreed to refrain from all advertising following my request to the major e-cigarettes companies. So far, Logic and NJOY have joined JUUL in refraining from all advertising. Young people will be spared commercials from these companies that may be aimed to hook them on vaping. However, youth still face media pressure to vape from two other companies. While Blu has agreed to stop using social media influencers to make their e-cigarette products look more attractive to youth -- they have not agreed to stop using broadcast advertisements to promote their devices. Vuse has yet to offer any changes to its pervasive advertising practices. I implore them to join us on the right side of history. The Subcommittee's investigation will continue in the interest of safeguarding the health and well-being of our youth." Background: -June 7, 2019: Chairman Krishnamoorthi launched an investigation into the role JUUL Labs, Inc. played in the youth e-cigarette epidemic.-July 24 and 25, 2019: The Subcommittee held two days of hearings examining JUUL's role in the youth e-cigarette epidemic, uncovering significant new evidence of wrongdoing by JUUL.-July 25, 2019: Chairman Krishnamoorthi released a supplemental memo based on information gathered thus far in the Subcommittee's investigation.-September 5, 2019: Chairman Krishnamoorthi sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urging the Acting Commissioner to evaluate statements made by JUUL representatives and to take all appropriate enforcement action. -September 9, 2019: The FDA issued a warning to JUUL Labs, Inc. declaring it in violation of the law as a result of Chairman Krishnamoorthi's letter.-September 11, 2019: The Trump Administration announced its plan to ban flavored e-cigarettes following information unveiled by the Subcommittee's investigation.-September 17, 2019: Chairman Krishnamoorthi warned JUUL to produce the documents they are withholding from the Committee or it will issue a subpoena.-September 19, 2019: Chairman Krishnamoorthi founded the "Congressional Caucus to End the Youth Vaping Epidemic" with Senator Dick Durbin, Rep. Peter King and over 50 bipartisan Members of Congress.-September 24, 2019: The Subcommittee held the first congressional hearing since the outbreak of mysterious illnesses and deaths related to vaping with the Centers for Disease Control.-September 25, 2019: JUUL Labs, Inc. CEO Ken Burns stepped down and the company announced it will halt all television, print, radio, and digital advertising and marketing.-September 25, 2019: Chairman Krishnamoorthi called on four e-cigarette companies to immediately cease all television, radio, print, and digital advertising in the United States.-October 1, 2019: Chairman Krishnamoorthi sent a letter to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) urging the agency to increase support for research into the long-term health effects of electronic cigarette usage.-October 8, 2019: Chairman Krishnamoorthi introduced the END ENDS (Ending Nicotine Dependence from Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems) Act. This bill would cap e-cigarette nicotine concentrations at 20 milligrams per milliliter to make them significantly less addictive and appealing to youth.-October 15, 2019: In response to Chairman Krishnamoorthi's letter, Logic agreed to advertise responsibly stating, "advertising through TV, radio and social influencers does not feature in [our] initiatives." Fontem also agreed to suspend its digital media contract and cease new social media influencer content.

Cummings Issues Statement on Ruling That Mazars Must Comply with Oversight Committee Subpoena for Trump's Records

Oct. 11, 2019

Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, issued the following statement in response to an appeals court ruling that Mazars USA LLP, the accounting firm that prepared financial statements for President Trump, must comply with the Oversight Committee's subpoena for the President's financial records: "Today's ruling is a fundamental and resounding victory for Congressional oversight, our Constitutional system of checks and balances, and the rule of law. For far too long, the President has placed his personal interests over the interests of the American people. After months of delay, it is time for the President to stop blocking Mazars from complying with the Committee's lawful subpoena. We must fulfill our stated legislative and oversight objectives and permit the American people to obtain answers about some of the deeply troubling questions regarding the President's adherence to Constitutional and statutory requirements to avoid conflicts of interest." On March 20, 2019, Chairman Cummings sent a letter to Mazars seeking documents relating to the Committee's investigation into allegations that the President inflated or deflated financial statements for potentially improper purposes. The allegations were supported by corroborating documents produced to the Committee by the President's longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen. On May 20, 2019, the District Court issued a decisive ruling vindicating the authority of the Oversight Committee to investigate issues concerning the President and his companies. In today's appellate court decision, the court again ruled in favor of Committee's subpoena, finding: -"Contrary to the President's arguments, the Committee possesses authority under both the House Rules and the Constitution to issue the subpoena, and Mazars must comply." -"The fact that the subpoena in this case seeks information that concerns the President of the United States adds a twist, but not a surprising one: disputes between Congress and the President are a recurring plot in our national story. And that is precisely what the Framers intended."-"Congress's decision whether, and if so how, to legislate in a particular area will necessarily depend on what information it discovers in the course of an investigation, and its preferred path forward may shift as members educate themselves on the relevant facts and circumstances."-"Following that course, we conclude that the public record reveals legitimate legislative pursuits, not an impermissible law-enforcement purpose, behind the Committee's subpoena."-"Simply put, an interest in past illegality can be wholly consistent with an intent to enact remedial legislation."-"Having considered the weighty interests at stake in this case, we conclude that the subpoena issued by the Committee to Mazars is valid and enforceable."