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'Congress Has Lost a Champion': Capitol Hill Pays Tribute to Rep. Elijah Cummings

Celebrities and civil rights activists alike also took to social media to pay tribute to the Maryland congressman

The death of U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings early Thursday has made a widow of Maya Rockeymoore Cummings and left Capitol Hill and beyond mourning the loss of the veteran lawmaker and civil rights advocate. 

His wife, who chairs Maryland's Democratic Party, released a statement calling her husband "an honorable man who proudly served his district and the nation with dignity, integrity, compassion and humility."

She said Cummings "worked until his last breath because he believed our democracy was the highest and best expression of our collective humanity and that our nation's diversity was our promise, not our problem."

U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., on Wednesday begged the American people to ‘pay attention to what’s going on.’

She added, "It has been an honor to walk by his side on this incredible journey. I loved him deeply and will miss him dearly."

Current and former colleagues from both sides of the political aisle offered their condolences and paid tribute to Cummings, who passed away at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore from complications from longstanding health issues. 

President Donald Trump, who had a rocky relationship with the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, expressed in a tweet condolences to Cummings' family and friends.

"My warmest condolences to the family and many friends of Congressman Elijah Cummings. I got to see first hand the strength, passion and wisdom of this highly respected political leader. His work and voice on so many fronts will be very hard, if not impossible, to replace!" Trump tweeted.

An emotional Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz said on CNN that her "heart is broken for his family, for his community, for our country."

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"I know that we'll walk in his shadow, in his shoes that will never be filled," the Democratic congresswoman from Florida said.

Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris wrote on Twitter that Cummings "was a fearless leader, a protector of democracy, and a fighter for the people of Maryland."

"We lost a giant today," she tweeted, adding that "Our world is dimmer without him in it."

Republican Rep. Will Hurd of Texas called Cummings a friend who led "a shining example of how to be a fighter for his constituents." Hurd said "it was an honor to know him."

"May God grant his family strength & peace in these difficult moments & his soul eternal rest," Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said via tweet.

His constituents began mourning shortly after his death at 2:45 a.m. on Thursday. The Baltimore archdiocese tweeted that Cummings "generously shared his God-given gifts and talents w/the people of his beloved city, state and nation for so many years. We give thanks for his dedicated service and pray for the repose of his soul."

Celebrities and civil rights activists alike also took to social media to pay tribute to the Maryland congressman who fought for the people of Baltimore and to protect democracy in the nation.

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