Elijah E. Cummings

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Elijah Cummings
Elijah Cummings

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Elijah Cummings is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 7th district of Maryland.

Early Life

Congressman Elijah E. Cummings was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, where he still resides today.[1]

Education

He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Howard University, serving as Student Government President and graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and then graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law.[2]

Private Affiliations

Congressman Cummings serves on numerous boards and commissions. He is spearheading an effort to strengthen the Maritime curriculum at the Maritime Academy in Baltimore. He is the Chairman of the Maritime for Primary and Secondary Education Coalition (MPSEC). He also serves on the U.S. Naval Academy Board of Visitors, the Morgan State University Board of Regents, the Baltimore Aquarium Board of Trustees, and the Baltimore Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors. He is an honorary Board member of the SEED School of Maryland, KIPP Baltimore Schools, and the Baltimore School for the Arts.[3]

Political Career

He began his career of public service in the Maryland House of Delegates, where he served for sixteen years and became the first African American in Maryland history to be named Speaker Pro Tem. Since 1996, Congressman Cummings has proudly represented Maryland’s 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Congressman Cummings currently serves as the Ranking Member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. As the main investigative committee in the House of Representatives, Oversight and Government Reform has jurisdiction to investigate any federal program and any matter with federal policy implications. As the Committee’s Ranking Member, Congressman Cummings fights to hold the Presidential Administration to a high standard of excellence and to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in the actions of the government of the United States. He also seeks to identify appropriate reforms that prevent waste, fraud and abuse and that ensure government programs meet the needs of the American people.

Congressman Cummings is also a senior member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, serving on both the Subcommitte on Coast Guard and Maritime Transport and the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit.

Congressman Cummings has consistently been an advocate for the rights of those facing foreclosure and holds regular Foreclosure Prevention Seminars for people who are at risk of being foreclosed upon. The homeowners are matched with lenders to work out loan modifications on site to prevent foreclosure. He began the 112th Congress by requesting that the first hearing in the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform investigate the causes of, and potential solutions to, the foreclosure crisis. [4]

Progressive conference

On Saturday, January 19, 2001, Progressive Maryland and the Campaign for America's Future co-sponsored an event — The Working Families Legislative Conference — designed to link local Maryland issues with a national progressive agenda. The conference will focus on key local and national issues including: Affordable Housing, Health Care, Living Wage, Public Financing of Campaigns, and Afterschool Programs.

The conference took place at Martin’s Crosswinds, 7400 Greenway Center, Greenbelt, MD from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Speakers listed included Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (likely), Congressman Ben Cardin, Congressman Elijah Cummings (likely), Robert Borosage, from the Campaign for America's Future, State Senator Chris Van Hollen, Delegate Mark Shriver, and Delegate John Hurson.

The Working Families Legislative Conference was part of a series of regionally based Next Agenda conferences, "representing a new kind of partnership between CAF and state-level progressive organizations — unity coalitions which are coming together around a progressive action agenda for their state and for the nation".

“We are proud to be helping to co-sponsor this remarkable conference,” said CAF co-director, Roger Hickey. “Through our collaboration with state-level citizen groups, like Progressive Maryland, we are able to rally support for an economic recovery agenda that works for states and for the country. This mission was important before September 11. Now it is essential.”

“We must organize at the grassroots, build power in localities and states, and create in theses ‘laboratories of democracy’ the formula for economic success in Washington, DC.” said Sean Dobson, one of the leaders of Progressive Maryland.[5]

HR 3000

On September 3, 2003 Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) introduced H.R. 3000, the United States Universal Health Service Act, which would provide health coverage for all Americans. H.R. 3000 would establish a United States Health Service (USHS), which would eliminate profit issues from health care because it would be owned and controlled by the public and administered primarily at the local level.[6]

According to the Communist Party USA's People's World, initial supporters of HR 3000 were Julia Carson, (D-Ind.), Donna Christensen (D-Va.), John Conyers (D-Mich.), Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), Danny Davis (D-Ill.), Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Ill.), Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), Major Owens (D-N.Y.), Donald Payne (D-N.J.), and Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.).

The World went on to say;[7]

We will not win the United States Health Service without a massive, prolonged struggle by working people against the corporate defenders of the current for-profit health care industry.

Socialist financial plan

Sept. 30, the day after the original bailout compromise went down in flames. The progressive Democrats placed a new plan—the “No BAILOUTS Act” (Bringing Accountability, Increased Liquidity, Oversight, and Upholding Taxpayer Security)—on the table that John Nichols of The Nation says “would impose a securities tax equivalent to one quarter of one percent of profits and empower the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to deal more effectively with bank failures.”

The bill—sponsored by US Reps. Peter DeFazio(D-Ore.), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Robert Scott (D-Va.), Elijah Cummings and Donna Edwards (both D-Md.), Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Rush Holt, Jr.,(D NJ) —would change the way securities are valued, applying “an economic value standard to measure the capital of financial institutions,” as opposed to a market standard, an increase in the federal deposit insurance maximum and other accounting measures designed to create breathing room. It also would require the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to purchase certificates that would be repaid.

“What I’m proposing is to use both market discipline and regulatory functions at virtually no cost to taxpayers to unclog the arteries of commerce so banks can begin lending again,’’ DeFazio said, according to The Oregonian.

In a letter introducing the plan, he said that Congress needed to “take swift, uncomplicated steps to ensure the financial markets return to working order. After that, we can work to resolve the housing crisis and pass effective job stimulus.”

Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, said the plan would “restore confidence in the financial markets without writing a blank check to the same Wall Street banks and CEOs who got us into this mess.”

“This is an important, short-term solution that protects taxpayers and their savings accounts,” he added. “To revive the economy over the long-term, we must address rising unemployment, stagnant wages, the healthcare crisis, and a tax system that is tilted in favor of the wealthy.”

DeFazio and the SEIU acknowledge that this is just the first step toward fixing the economy. Once a progressive rescue plan is in place, the Democrats create a rescue plan for homeowners facing foreclosure, enact a public works and green energy stimulus to get people working, fix the nation’s infrastructure and refocus the nation’s economy on sustainable principles. [8]

Congressional Progressive Caucus

As of February 20 2009 Elijah Cummings was listed as a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.[9]

Congressional Black Caucus

Elijah E. Cummings is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus for the 113th Congress:[10]

2009 Raskin event

Congressman Elijah Cummings and Attorney General Doug Gansler Co-Chairs of Maryland for Obama, hosted an " extraordinary gala event for SENATOR JAMIE RASKIN, Chair of Montgomery County for Obama at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Friday, January 9, 2009 - 8:00 pm.[11]

HR 365

HR 365 was introduced by Michigan Democratic Rep. Hansen Clarke, in 2011, in a YouTube video posted on the representative's page, he said "We need to cut, cap, and forgive student loan debt," and that "That is the true debt that is burdening American families. We cut student loan debt we'll have a freer more prosperous country."

The bill has been sponsored by House Representatives Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, Keith Ellison of Minnesota John Conyers of Michigan, and Elijah Cummings of Maryland.[12]

Communist organized healthcare meeting

Baltimore Young Communist League leader Jordan Farrar was involved with Barack Obama’s Organizing for America and he served on the committee which organized a rally on October 23, 2009, at the Senator Theater, Baltimore, for OFA to support President Obama’s health care bill.

Baltimore Councillor Bill Henry spoke, as did local NAACP leader Marvin L. Cheatham.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) was featured guest at Farrar’s event as well.[13]

In her remarks, event organizer, Communist Party USA member Caroli Mullen targeted "moderate" Congress people who were sitting on the fence, telling the audience that "Democrats better get some spine,"

According to Mullen, reform must be based on the premise that health care is a right, not a privilege.

Mullen told the World how the event was conceived. "We were literally sitting around the kitchen talking about how the 'tea-baggers' were getting publicity by disrupting town hall meetings. The media was ignoring the majority of us who favor reform. We needed to stage a public event to let Congress know Baltimore supported a public option."

Mullen said that while she supports a public option, a single-payer system was the best way to provide comprehensive, universal care.

Congressman Cummings pointed out that two Maryland companies - BlueCross-BlueShield and United Heathcare, control 80% of the private health care market.

Cummings said "what good is having choice if you can't afford it? A public option gives us real choice because it will bring down costs."[14]

Supported Lifting the Gaza Blockade

On Jan. 27, 2010, U.S. Representatives Keith Ellison and Jim McDermott led 52 other members of Congress in signing a letter addressed to President Barack Obama, calling for him to use diplomatic pressure to resolve the blockade affecting Gaza. Elijah E. Cummings was one of the signatories of the letter. [15] The entire letter together with a complete list of signatories can be read by clicking here.

21st Century Democrats

On July 28, 2010, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Congressman Elijah Cummings and former "Green Jobs Czar", Van Jones spoke about the future of American politics at the kick-off event for 21st Century Democrats' 2010 Youth Leadership Speaker Series. The event was sponsored by Representative John Lewis and Senator Tom Harkin.[16] 21st Century Democrats is led by one-time DSAer, Jim Scheibel.

Creamer connection

Elijah Cummings for Congress has been a client of Robert Creamer's Strategic Consulting Group.[17]

HR 365

HR 365 was introduced by Michigan Democratic Rep. Hansen Clarke, in 2011, in a YouTube video posted on the representative's page, he said "We need to cut, cap, and forgive student loan debt," and that "That is the true debt that is burdening American families. We cut student loan debt we'll have a freer more prosperous country."

The bill has been sponsored by House Representatives Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, Keith Ellison of Minnesota John Conyers of Michigan, and Elijah Cummings of Maryland.[18]

Response to IPS report

According to a 2011 report, twenty-five of the 100 highest paid US CEOs earned more last year than their companies paid in federal income tax, a pay study said on Wednesday.

It also found many of the companies spent more on lobbying than they did on taxes.

At a time when lawmakers are facing tough choices in a quest to slash the national debt, the report from the Institute for Policy Studies , a "left-leaning Washington think tank, quickly hit a nerve".

After reading it, Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings, ranking member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, called for hearings on executive compensation.

In a letter to that committee’s chairman, Republican Darrell Issa, Cummings asked “to examine the extent to which the problems in CEO compensation that led to the economic crisis continue to exist today”. [19]

Leading with Love

Leading with Love was an event to celebrate 5 years of the Marxist led National Domestic Workers Alliance. It was held in Washington DC, DC, November 14, 2012.

Members of the Host Committee included Elijah Cummings.[20]

Progressive Maryland endorsement

In 2012 Progressive Maryland endorsed U.S. Senator Ben Cardin for re-election, and also urges members to support four out of eight Democratic candidates for Congress:

Hugo Chavez's oil

On Jan. 31, 2013, at the Night of Peace Family Shelter in Baltimore, CITGO Petroleum Corp. President and CEO Alejandro Granado and Citizens Energy Corp. Chairman Joseph P. Kennedy II launched the eighth annual CITGO-Venezuela Heating Oil Program with the first heating oil delivery of this winter’s initiative.

The program, which began as a single donation in 2005 in response to the high prices of heating oil resulting from hurricanes Katrina and Rita, has grown well beyond its original scope. Today, it has become a humanitarian symbol of unity between the people of Venezuela and those in need in the United States.

“The CITGO-Venezuela Heating Oil Program has been one of the most important energy assistance efforts in the United States. This year, as families across the Eastern Seaboard struggle to recover from the losses caused by Hurricane Sandy, this donation becomes even more significant,” said Granado. “This energy assistance program is an integral example of the humanitarian principles endorsed by the CITGO ultimate shareholder, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.”

Congressman Elijah Cummings of Maryland, who also spoke during the event, reiterated the importance of helping those in need. “I commend CITGO and Citizens Energy Corp. for launching the Heating Oil Program this year. This program is literally life-saving for so many whose resources are already stretched thin in tough economic times. I stand with the many Baltimore and Washington recipients who thank both CITGO and Citizens for their commitment to helping our communities,” he said.

Echoing those sentiments, Venezuela’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs for North America Claudia Salerno Caldera addressed the plight of poor people and why humanitarian assistance is so vital. “The vision of social responsibility in the energy policy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has allowed us to assure that our profits benefit the neediest people in our country. Just as the government of President Hugo Chávez has made significant efforts in the fight against poverty and in the promotion of social justice in Venezuela, this program demonstrates that our commitment to the poor transcends all boundaries, ideological and geographical,” Salerno said.[22]

Staff

The following are past and present staff:[23]

External links

References

  1. http://cummings.house.gov/about/biography.shtml. Official Bio. Accessed 8/8/11.
  2. http://cummings.house.gov/about/biography.shtml. Official Bio. Accessed 8/8/11.
  3. http://cummings.house.gov/about/biography.shtml. Official Bio. Accessed 8/8/11.
  4. http://cummings.house.gov/about/biography.shtml. Official Bio. Accessed 8/8/11.
  5. CAF press release, Press Release: Md Working Families Legislative Conference Pushes New Progressive Agenda
  6. http://lee.house.gov/common/popup/popup.cfm?action=item.print&itemID=641, Lee press release, September 3, 2003]
  7. Rep. Lee introduces universal health care bill, by: David Lawrence October 9 2003
  8. http://www.populist.com/08.19.kalet.html, Populists Stymie Wall Street, From The Progressive Populist, November 1, 2008,
  9. Congressional Progressive Caucus website: Caucus Member List
  10. Congressional Black Caucus: Members (accessed on Feb. 24, 2011)
  11. Montgomery County Progressive Alliance blogspot, Friday Jan 9: Gala event for SENATOR JAMIE RASKIN
  12. PW, Forgive student loans and save the economy, by: Jordan Farrar September 27 2011
  13. Rep. Elijah Cummings - Public Option Health Care Rally, Uploaded on Oct 24, 2009
  14. PW, Baltimore demands a public health care option, by: Les Bayless, October 27 2009
  15. The Minnesota Independent: Ellison, McCollum and Oberstar urge Obama to lift Gaza blockade, Jan. 26, 2010 (accessed on March 14, 2011)
  16. 21st Century Democrats: 2010 Youth Leadership Speaker Series (accessed on Feb. 9, 2011)
  17. SCG A Partial List of SCG Clients, accessed Dec. 2, 2013
  18. PW, Forgive student loans and save the economy, by: Jordan Farrar September 27 2011
  19. The Indian Express, Reuters : Washington, Thu Sep 01 2011, 09:21 hrs
  20. LEL webpage, accessed Jan. 21st, 2012
  21. THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012, Progressive Maryland Issues 2012 Voter Guide // Maryland Juice, INTERESTING: No Endorsement for Democrat John Delaney in District 6
  22. S F Bayview, Eighth Annual Citgo-Venezuela Heating Oil Program launched, February 2, 2013
  23. http://www.legistorm.com/member/561/Rep_Elijah_Cummings_MD.html. Accessed 12/09/2011
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