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Late Rep. Cummings hailed as ‘North Star’ for Democrats

  • ALEX WONG/POOL VIA ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                The flag-draped casket of Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., lay in state at the Capitol, today, in Washington.

    ALEX WONG/POOL VIA ASSOCIATED PRESS

    The flag-draped casket of Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., lay in state at the Capitol, today, in Washington.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                The late Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings was carried through the Rotunda of the Capitol to lie in state at the Capitol in Washington, today. The Maryland congressman and civil rights champion died, Oct. 17, at age 68 of complications from long-standing health issues.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    The late Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings was carried through the Rotunda of the Capitol to lie in state at the Capitol in Washington, today. The Maryland congressman and civil rights champion died, Oct. 17, at age 68 of complications from long-standing health issues.

WASHINGTON >> The late Rep. Elijah Cummings was hailed as the “North Star” for fellow House Democrats as congressional leaders and colleagues paid tribute to him at a Capitol ceremony today.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., a close personal and political ally, also said that “Elijah was truly a master of the House.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., recalled Cummings’ efforts to calm his native Baltimore amid violent 2015 protests following the death of a black man, Freddie Gray, in police custody. Cummings’ involvement, taking to the streets with a bullhorn, helped quiet the disturbances.

By day, Cummings was at the Capitol in the halls of power, McConnell said, but at night he returned Baltimore to encourage unity.

“Let’s go home. Let’s all go home,” McConnell recalled Cummings saying at the time. “Now our distinguished colleague truly has gone home.”

The public was to have the chance to pay respects to Cummings later today in Statuary Hall.

Cummings, chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, died Oct. 17 after complications from long-standing health problems. A wake and funeral are planned Friday in Baltimore.

A sharecropper’s son, Cummings rose to become a civil rights champion and a leader of an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

As a tribute to Cummings, no votes were scheduled today in the House.

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