Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 7th district
April 16, 1996
|Preceded by||Kweisi Mfume|
Member of the Maryland House of Delegates
from the 39th district
January 12, 1983 – January 10, 1996
|Preceded by||Clay Davis|
|Succeeded by||Sterling Page|
Elijah Eugene Cummings
January 18, 1951
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
University of Maryland, Baltimore
Elijah Eugene Cummings (born January 18, 1951) is 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, as well as most of Howard County. He previously served in the Maryland House of Delegates.
- Early life, education and career 1
U.S. House of Representatives 2
- Committee assignments 2.1
- Caucus memberships 2.2
- Legislation 2.3
- Political campaigns 3
- Electoral history 4
- Personal life 5
- References 6
- External links 7
Early life, education and career
Cummings was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Ruth and Robert Cummings. 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.
For 13 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 African American in Maryland history to be named Speaker Pro Tempore, the second highest position in the House of Delegates.
U.S. House of Representatives
- Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
- Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (Ranking Member)
- Joint Economic Committee
- Select Committee on Benghazi (Ranking Member)
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.
- Task Force on Health Care Reform
- Co-founder and Chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Drug Policy
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".
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 Konder. He defeated Konder again in November to win the seat in his own right.
Cummings has been reelected nine times since then with no substantive opposition, never dropping below 65% of the vote and even running unopposed in 2006. He won a tenth full term in 2014 with 69.9% of the vote.
|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%|
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.
- National Archives Welcomes Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments of 2014 (press release), National Archives and Records Administration (December 1, 2014).
- Charles S. Clark, Obama Signs Modernized Federal Records Act, Government Executive (December 1, 2014).
- Elijah Cummings at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Congressman Elijah E. Cummings official U.S. House site
- Congressional Quarterly Voting and Elections Collection.
- Elijah Cummings for Congress
- Elijah Cummings at DMOZ
- Profile at SourceWatch
- Biography at Maryland Manual
|United States House of Representatives|
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 7th congressional district
|United States order of precedence (ceremonial)|
United States Representatives by seniority
|Maryland's delegation(s) to the 105th–114th United States Congresses (ordered by seniority)|
|105th||Senate: Sarbanes • Mikulski||House: Hoyer • Cardin • Morella • Gilchrest • Bartlett • Wynn • Ehrlich • Cummings|
|106th||Senate: Sarbanes • Mikulski||House: Hoyer • Cardin • Morella • Gilchrest • Bartlett • Wynn • Ehrlich • Cummings|
|107th||Senate: Sarbanes • Mikulski||House: Hoyer • Cardin • Morella • Gilchrest • Bartlett • Wynn • Ehrlich • Cummings|
|108th||Senate: Sarbanes • Mikulski||House: Hoyer • Cardin • Gilchrest • Bartlett • Wynn • Cummings • Ruppersberger • Van Hollen|
|109th||Senate: Sarbanes • Mikulski||House: Hoyer • Cardin • Gilchrest • Bartlett • Wynn • Cummings • Ruppersberger • Van Hollen|
|110th||Senate: Mikulski • Cardin||House: Hoyer • Gilchrest • Bartlett • Wynn • Cummings • Ruppersberger • Van Hollen • Sarbanes|
|111th||Senate: Mikulski • Cardin||House: Hoyer • Bartlett • Cummings • Ruppersberger • Van Hollen • Sarbanes • Edwards • Kratovil|
|112th||Senate: Mikulski • Cardin||House: Hoyer • Bartlett • Cummings • Ruppersberger • Van Hollen • Sarbanes • Edwards • Harris|
|113th||Senate: Mikulski • Cardin||House: Hoyer • Cummings • Ruppersberger • Van Hollen • Sarbanes • Edwards • Harris • Delaney|
|114th||Senate: Mikulski • Cardin||House: Hoyer • Cummings • Ruppersberger • Van Hollen • Sarbanes • Edwards • Harris • Delaney|