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Watch Nancy Pelosi’s Moving Tribute To Elijah Cummings: ‘A Leader Of Towering Character And Integrity’

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi paid moving tribute to Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings — who passed away early Thursday morning at the age of 68 — calling him a “leader of towering character and integrity.”

Speaker Pelosi opened her weekly press conference by addressing the passing of her longtime colleague.

Today is a very sad day for us, as we all awakened to the sad news of the passing of our dear friend, revered and respected colleague, Congressman, Mr. Chairman Elijah Cummings of Maryland. My brother in Baltimore.

He was, in the Congress, Elijah was considered a North Star. He was a leader of towering character and integrity. He lived the American dream in his own family, his parents were sharecroppers. He [graduated] phi beta kappa from Howard, a chairman of a very important committee in the Congress of the United States.

He lived the American dream, and he wanted it for everyone else. He spoke with unsurpassed clarity and moral integrity when he spoke on the floor. I had the just coincidental opportunity to speak, to be a breakfast with someone who served with him in the state legislature in Maryland, and he said when Elijah Cummings would come stand up in the state legislature, in the House of Delegates as it’s called there, the room would fall silent, because everyone wanted to hear what Elijah has to say.

And that is, of course, what is the case in Congress, in his committee, and in the country. He used to always say ‘Our children are our living messengers to a future we will never see.’ So he wanted to be sure that that future was going to be better for them, and that they would bring with them our values.

Pelosi then announced that H.R. 3 would be renamed in Cummings’ honor.

Rep. Cummings was sworn in to the Congress for the first time in 1996, and gave a stirring speech on the House floor following the oath.

Watch the clip above, via C-Span.

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