The death of Rep. Elijah Cummings removes from the scene a champion of justice reform who fought to give “untold Americans second chances,” a leading justice advocacy group said Thursday.
“We were privileged to work closely with Chairman Cummings on his second chance employment bill, the Fair Chance Act, which is just one of the countless ways he put people above partisanship,” said the Justice Action Network in a prepared statement.
The influential bipartisan lobby group paid tribute to Cummings, who died Thursday at the age of 68, as someone whose work on criminal justice reform gave untold Americans second chances.”
Cummings (D-MD), chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, was mourned by legislators of both parties.
He was a “good man” who would “help you where he could,” even if you disagreed with him, said Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, reports CNN.
“There is a void in the House today that will be hard to fill.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Cummings death represented the loss of “our North Star.”
“He was a leader of towering character and integrity, whose stirring voice and steadfast values pushed the Congress and country to rise always to a higher purpose,” she said.
Cummings, who played a leading role in the congressional efforts to impeach President Donald Trump, died under hospice care early Thursday after battling an illness.
Trump joined in the outpouring of condolences.
“My warmest condolences to the family and many friends of Congressman Elijah Cummings,” the president tweeted. “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!”