The funeral service for the late longtime Maryland congressman Elijah Cummings, whoat the age of 68, is happening at New Psalmist Baptist Church in Baltimore Friday. Cummings lay in state Thursday in the U.S. Capitol.
Former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, as well as Hillary Clinton and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, are among the speakers expected to commemorate Cummings at the service Friday.
How to watch Elijah Cummings’ funeral:
- Date: Friday, October 25, 2019
- Time: 10:00 a.m. ET
- Location: New Psalmist Baptist Church — Baltimore, Maryland
- Live stream: Watch CBSN live in player above
Speaking at the ceremony at the Capitol Thursday, Pelosi referred to Cummings, who was revered and respected by both Democrats and Republicans, as the “North Star” of the House.
“God truly honored America with the life and legacy of Elijah Cummings,” Pelosi said. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said at the ceremony that Cummings was “universally respected and admired in a divided time.”
Republican Congressman Mark Meadows, with tears in his eyes, spoke of his “unexpected” friendship with Cummings.
“This place and this country would be better served with a few more unexpected friendships. I know I’ve been blessed by one,” Meadows.
Cummings’ wife, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, who is the chair of the Maryland Democratic Party, has said that her husband worked until the end of his life because of his belief that “our democracy was the highest and best expression of our collective humanity and that our nation’s diversity was our promise, not our problem.”
A sharecropper’s son, Cummings was a formidable orator who passionately advocated for the poor in his black-majority district, which encompasses a large portion of Baltimore as well as more well-to-do suburbs.
The House Oversight and Reform Committee chairman, a Democrat and 23-year House veteran, Cummings was a key figure in the impeachment inquiry into Mr. Trump and a recent target of intense criticism by President Trump. He led multiple investigations of Mr. Trump’s dealings, including probes in 2019 relating to the president’s family members serving in the White House.
The president responded byas a “rodent-infested mess” where “no human being would want to live.” After Mr. Trump’s criticism, Cummings said that government officials must stop making “hateful, incendiary comments” that only serve to divide and distract the nation from its real problems, including mass shootings and white supremacy.
“Those in the highest levels of the government must stop invoking fear, using racist language and encouraging reprehensible behavior,” Cummings said in a speech at the National Press Club.
Throughout his career, Cummings used his fiery voice to highlight the struggles and needs of inner-city residents. He was a firm believer in some much-debated approaches to help the poor and addicted, such as needle exchange programs as a way to reduce the spread of AIDS. Cummings was very popular in his district, where he was a key member of the community.
Cummings said in an interview with “60 Minutes” in January that he was one of the few members of Congress who lived in an inner city environment.
“I like to be among my constituents,” he said. “Let me tell you something man, if I don’t do well in this block I’m in trouble. I mean, if you wanna take a poll, if I lost in this block I might as well go – I might as well stay home.”
Elijah Cummings funeral speakers
Here is the list of speakers at Cummings’ funeral on Friday, according to Pelosi’s office:
- Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings – Spouse
- The Honorable Barack Obama
- The Honorable William Jefferson Clinton
- The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton
- The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
- The Honorable Kweisi Mfume
- Ms. Jennifer and Ms. Adia Cummings- Daughters
- Mr. James Cummings – Brother
- Dr. Alfred Vaughn – Clergy
- Deaconess Margaret Ann Howie – New Psalmist Baptist Church
- Mr. Larry Gibson – Mentor
- Mr. Jon Alexander – Mentee
- Dr. Leana Wen – Mentee
- Mr. Harry Spikes – Congressional Staff
The funeral service for the late longtime Maryland congressman Elijah Cummings, who died last week at the age of 68, will be at New Psalmist Baptist Church in Baltimore Friday. Cummings lay in state Thursday in the U.S. Capitol.