Who Is Elijah Cummings? New Details About The Chair Of House Oversight Committee In The Michael Cohen Testimony

He's been a U.S. Rep. since 1996.

Who Is Elijah Cummings? New Details About The Chair Of House Oversight Committee In The Michael Cohen Testimony getty

Who is Elijah Cummings? If you’ve been watching the Michael Cohen testimony this morning, you've seen Cummings' face and heard him speak. Since the hearing began, Cummings has already dealt with pushback from Rep. Mark Meadows, who immediately tried to postpone the hearing. After a vote, the hearing continued, and is currently in progress.

But though Cummings is the current Chair of the House Oversight Committee, which is the “main investigative committee in the U.S. House of Representatives,” he’s had a long career in politics. Here are eight details to know about Rep. Cummings’ career and personal life.


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1. He holds multiple degrees.



A post shared by Elijah E. Cummings (@repcummings) on Nov 12, 2015 at 11:34am PST

After graduating from high school, he attended Howard University and served in the student government as treasurer and president. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science in 1973.


After graduation, he attended the University of Maryland School of Law and earned his J.D. in 1976. He practiced law for almost 20 years before being elected to the House. Cummings currently has 12 honorary doctoral degrees.

2. He’s had a lengthy career.

Cummings currently serves as a U.S. Representative for Maryland’s 7th congressional district. He’s served since 1996 and has been re-elected nine times.

Before becoming a U.S. Representative, he was in the Maryland House of Delegates, and the Chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland in the Maryland General Assembly.

3. And he serves on multiple committees.

Currently, Cummings is on the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and is Chair of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He was also on the Select Committee on Benghazi. He’s a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and was Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.


In addition, he’s on Maryland boards and commissions: Board of Visitors to the United States Naval Academy, the Elijah Cummings Youth Program in Israel, and is an honorary member of the Baltimore Zoo Board of Trustees. He’s also been on Congressional panel hearings about steroids back in 2005. The panel investigated steroids in sports and questioned Mark McGwire.

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4. He’s introduced legislation over the years.



A post shared by Elijah E. Cummings (@repcummings) on Jun 11, 2016 at 6:57pm PDT

One of the bills he introduced, the Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments of 2014, was a bipartisan bill and was signed into law by Barack Obama. He supported the Smart Savings Act and introduced the All Circuit Review Extension Act.


5. He’s also written for publications.

Cummings currently writes a bi-weekly column for the Baltimore Afro-American newspaper. He also frequently holds speaking engagements.

6. He’s Baptist.

The Cummings family are active members of the New Psalmist Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland.

7. He’s married.

His wife, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, is chairwoman of the Maryland Democratic Party. She also previously ran for Governor of Maryland. She owns a consulting firm and has a PhD in Political Science. The couple has three children.


8. He suffered from health issues.

In 2017, he had surgery to repair his aortic valve, which, according to the American Heart Association, is a “minimally invasive surgical procedure [that] repairs the valve without removing the old, damaged valve.” He was absent from work for two months.

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Samantha Maffucci is an associate editor for YourTango who focuses on writing trending news and entertainment pieces. In her free time, you can find her obsessing about cats, wine, and all things Vanderpump Rules.