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Democrat

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D)

Elijah Cummings Contact
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Email: n/a
DC Contact Information

Phone: 202-225-4741

Address: 2235 RHOB, DC 20515

State Office Contact Information

Phone: (410) 685-9199

Address: 1010 Park Avenue, Baltimore MD 21201-5600

Catonsville MD

Phone: (410) 719-8777

Fax: (410) 455-0110

Address: 754 Frederick Road, Catonsville MD 21228-4504

Ellicott City MD

Phone: (410) 465-8259

Fax: (410) 465-8740

Address: 8267 Main Street, Ellicott City MD 21043-9903

Elijah Cummings Staff
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Sort by INTEREST NAME TITLE
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Cozzolino, Brett
Legislative Correspondent
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Simms, Vernon
Chief of Staff
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Gibson, Diana
Staff Assistant
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Malone, Katie
Special Assistant
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Perkins, Trudy
Deputy Chief of Staff; Communications Director
Spikes, Harry
Deputy District Director
Stratton, Amy
Special Assistant
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Perkins, Trudy
Deputy Chief of Staff; Communications Director
Spikes, Harry
Deputy District Director
Stratton, Amy
Special Assistant
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Lane, Philisha
Staff Assistant
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Simms, Vernon
Chief of Staff
Cozzolino, Brett
Legislative Correspondent
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Spikes, Harry
Deputy District Director
Perkins, Trudy
Deputy Chief of Staff; Communications Director
Cozzolino, Brett
Legislative Correspondent
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Lane, Philisha
Staff Assistant
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Malone, Katie
Special Assistant
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Malone, Katie
Special Assistant
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Williams, Hope
Special Assistant
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Lane, Philisha
Staff Assistant
Perry, Deborah
Special Assistant
Spikes, Harry
Deputy District Director
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Malone, Katie
Special Assistant
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Williams, Hope
Special Assistant
Gibson, Diana
Staff Assistant
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Williams, Hope
Special Assistant
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Perkins, Trudy
Deputy Chief of Staff; Communications Director
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Williams, Hope
Special Assistant
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Malone, Katie
Special Assistant
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Cozzolino, Brett
Legislative Correspondent
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Williams, Hope
Special Assistant
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Lane, Philisha
Staff Assistant
Cozzolino, Brett
Legislative Correspondent
Stratton, Amy
Special Assistant
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Spikes, Harry
Deputy District Director
Stratton, Amy
Special Assistant
Cozzolino, Brett
Legislative Correspondent
Cozzolino, Brett
Legislative Correspondent
Cozzolino, Brett
Legislative Correspondent
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
McKinney, Francine
District Director; Special Projects; Community Outreach
Stratton, Amy
Special Assistant
Cozzolino, Brett
Legislative Correspondent
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Spikes, Harry
Deputy District Director
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Clay, Gerietta
Staff Assistant
Cozzolino, Brett
Legislative Correspondent
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Gibson, Diana
Staff Assistant
Lane, Philisha
Staff Assistant
Malone, Katie
Special Assistant
McKinney, Francine
District Director; Special Projects; Community Outreach
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Perkins, Trudy
Deputy Chief of Staff; Communications Director
Perry, Deborah
Special Assistant
Simms, Vernon
Chief of Staff
Spikes, Harry
Deputy District Director
Stratton, Amy
Special Assistant
Williams, Hope
Special Assistant
Fremgen, Jimmy
Senior Policy Advisor
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
Simms, Vernon
Chief of Staff
Perkins, Trudy
Deputy Chief of Staff; Communications Director
Perkins, Trudy
Deputy Chief of Staff; Communications Director
Spikes, Harry
Deputy District Director
McKinney, Francine
District Director; Special Projects; Community Outreach
Cozzolino, Brett
Legislative Correspondent
Owen, Suzanne
Legislative Director; Health Policy Advisor
McKinney, Francine
District Director; Special Projects; Community Outreach
Malone, Katie
Special Assistant
McKinney, Francine
District Director; Special Projects; Community Outreach
Perry, Deborah
Special Assistant
Stratton, Amy
Special Assistant
Williams, Hope
Special Assistant
Clay, Gerietta
Staff Assistant
Gibson, Diana
Staff Assistant
Lane, Philisha
Staff Assistant
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Elijah Cummings Committees
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Elijah Cummings Biography
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  • Elected: April 1996, 10th full term.
  • District: Maryland 7
  • Born: Jan. 18, 1951, Baltimore
  • Home: Baltimore
  • Education:

    Howard U., B.S. 1973, U. of MD, J.D. 1976

  • Professional Career:

    Practicing atty., 1976–96.

  • Political Career:

    MD House, 1982–96, Speaker pro tem, 1995–96.

  • Ethnicity: Black/African American
  • Religion:

    Baptist

  • Family: Married (Maya Rockeymoore)

Democrat Elijah Cummings, who came to Congress in a 1996 special election, is a liberal who can be blunt in defending his party. As the ranking Democrat on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, he parries with Republicans on investigations of the Obama administration that Cummings regularly dismisses as “witch hunts.” Read More

Democrat Elijah Cummings, who came to Congress in a 1996 special election, is a liberal who can be blunt in defending his party. As the ranking Democrat on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, he parries with Republicans on investigations of the Obama administration that Cummings regularly dismisses as “witch hunts.”

Cummings is the son of sharecroppers from South Carolina who moved north for a better life for their seven children. He grew up in Baltimore, where as an 11-year-old he was one of the first children to integrate a park's swimming pool. “People were throwing bottles, rocks, and screaming, calling us everything but a child of God,” he recalled to Baltimore magazine. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Howard University, and then got a law degree from the University of Maryland. He practiced law for a time in Baltimore, and then in 1982, at age 31, he ran successfully for the Maryland House of Delegates, where he served 16 years and rose through the ranks to become speaker pro tem.

He ran for the U.S. House after Kweisi Mfume resigned to become president of the NAACP. Cummings main competition was the Rev. Frank Reid III, stepbrother of Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke, who raised $255,000. Cummings had support from local businesses and community-development organizations, and raised $450,000. He won with 37% of the vote to 24% for Reid. He has not been seriously challenged in a primary or general election since then.

Cummings lives in troubled west Baltimore, and he is a crusader against drug abuse, for stricter gun control, and for help for low-income homeowners. In February 2015, he teamed with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren on a "Middle Class Prosperity Project," a series of public events aimed at trying to bolster their party's and President Obama's image with the middle class. "Families might have survived as their incomes flattened, except for one hard fact: the costs of basic needs like housing, education and child care exploded," the lawmakers wrote in a USA Today op-ed.

Cummings publicly battled with Edward DeMarco, overseer of government-backed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, for months in 2011 and 2012 over debt reduction for homeowners struggling to pay mortgages. He also is a staunch defender of labor unions, which have been his top source of campaign funds throughout his career. In the fall campaign season of 2010, when some Democrats were de-emphasizing their support of the health care overhaul, Cummings said he was doing just the opposite. “I know the media wants us to apologize for being Democrats,” he said at one rally. “They want us to apologize for health care. Why? Because the Democratic Party is the humane party.”

He is close to Obama, having bucked most of the Maryland Democratic establishment in 2007 by announcing his early support for the then-Illinois senator in the Democratic primary. He called Obama “absolutely brilliant” in an August 2011 speech, and regularly took to cable TV to rip Republican Mitt Romney during the 2012 presidential race. After Romney’s July trip to Europe in which he committed several widely publicized gaffes, Cummings declared Romney “not ready for prime time.”

On Oversight and Government Reform, Cummings has forcefully pushed back against the GOP on subpoena powers, Democrats’ access to records, and numerous other matters. When Utah Republican Jason Chaffetz took over the committee's chairmanship in January 2015, he promised that he would work with Democrats more cooperatively than his predecessor, California's volatile Darrell Issa. But at the panel's first meeting, Chaffetz pushed through a rules package that Cummings complained was "worse than the rules we had under Chairman Issa." Cummings and other Democrats tried and failed to roll back the chairman's ability to subpoena witnesses or documents without obtaining the prior consent of the ranking member, or putting the subpoena request to a vote of the full committee. 

Cummings' relationship with Issa also got off to a rocky start at the committee’s first organizational meeting in January 2011, when Issa deviated from tradition and proposed barring all opening statements from members to save time at hearings. When Cummings protested, Issa eventually relented, and complained to CNN in October that Cummings “is there to be a stopping, a stumbling block … to try to stop and help and protect the administration.” But the Democrat won respect from other GOP panel members. “It’s not about politics to him; he says what he believes,” South Carolina’s Trey Gowdy told The Hill newspaper. “And you can tell the ones who are saying it because it was in the memo they got that morning and you can tell the ones who it’s coming from their soul. And with Mr. Cummings, it’s coming from his soul.”

The biggest flare-up on the committee in the 112th Congress (2011-12) came when GOP lawmakers voted in 2012 to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for refusing to provide information relating to “Operation Fast and Furious,” a botched effort to trace guns to drug cartels and smugglers that instead allowed firearms to cross the border into their hands. Cummings was among Holder’s chief defenders, saying the attorney general “acted honorably.” When a draft of the contempt citation was leaked to the news media, Cummings sent Issa an angry letter saying the move “suggests that you are more interested in perpetuating your partisan political feud in the press than in obtaining any specific substantive information.”

When Republicans subsequently went after the Internal Revenue Service for allegedly targeting conservative groups, Cummings found himself the subject of unwanted attention. Activist Catherine Engelbrecht, founder of the organizations True the Vote and the King Street Patriots, accused the congressman in February 2014 of seeking to intimidate her by asking questions that subjected her to repeated federal agencies' scrutiny. Cummings denied the allegations, saying he was just trying to determine if voting rights had been infringed.

And a month later, when Cummings spoke at an IRS hearing, Issa abruptly adjourned the session, ordering staffers to cut off the Democrat's microphone. The Congressional Black Caucus rose to Cummings' defense to demand that Issa be stripped of his chairmanship and publicly apologize. Issa did apologize to Cummings, who later compared Issa's tactics to those used in the 1950s by Communist-hunting Sen. Joseph McCarthy.

Cummings got the Oversight ranking member slot in 2010 after the Republicans gained control of the House. Many Democrats worried that the top Democrat at the time, Edolphus Towns of New York, would not be a tough enough foil to the energetic and partisan Issa. Towns agreed to step aside, and Cummings took over the job after beating New York’s Carolyn Maloney by a 119-61 vote. Two years earlier, when California’s Henry Waxman was chosen to chair the Energy and Commerce Committee, some Democrats urged Cummings to challenge Towns to replace Waxman as chairman of Oversight. But Cummings did not run, partly to avoid conflict within the seniority-sensitive Congressional Black Caucus, an influential group that Cummings chaired in 2003 and 2004.

For all of his partisan rhetoric, Cummings also has a pragmatic streak that occasionally allows him to work with Republicans in legislative coalitions. He helped secure House passage in 2012 of the DATA Act, which requires federal agencies to publish spending information online in a searchable format. Cummings worked with Indiana conservative Republican Mark Souder to reauthorize the White House drug control office and to establish federal policy to combat rapidly multiplying methamphetamine labs.

When Democrats won the majority in 2006, he became chairman of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee at Transportation and Infrastructure, a useful niche for his port-dependent district. The House unanimously passed his bill in July 2009 to reform Coast Guard acquisition practices, and a year later he helped get an authorization bill for the agency into law that included some acquisition reforms as well as other changes. Even on Oversight, he took part in several bipartisan investigations in which he rebuked the administration for management deficiencies that led to a Secret Service prostitution scandal and a lavish General Services Administration conference in Las Vegas.

Cummings usually wins reelection by landslide margins, and in 2006 he was unopposed. He backed Mfume in the Democratic primary for the open Senate seat that year, and then played a constructive role in coalescing Democrats behind the eventual nominee, former Rep. Ben Cardin. Cummings suffered a personal tragedy in June 2011, when his nephew, Christopher Cummings, was fatally shot near Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., where the young man was a student.

Show Less
Elijah Cummings Election Results
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2012 General
Elijah Cummings (D)
Votes: 247,770
Percent: 76.62%
Frank Mirabile
Votes: 67,405
Percent: 20.84%
Ronald Owens-Bey
Votes: 8,211
Percent: 2.54%
2012 Primary
Elijah Cummings (D)
Votes: 49,625
Percent: 92.83%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (75%), 2008 (80%), 2006 (100%), 2004 (73%), 2002 (74%), 2000 (87%), 1998 (86%), 1996 (83%), 1996 special (81%)
Elijah Cummings Votes and Bills
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National Journal’s rating system is an objective method of analyzing voting. The liberal score means that the lawmaker’s votes were more liberal than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The conservative score means his votes were more conservative than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The composite score is an average of a lawmaker’s six issue-based scores. See all NJ Voting

More Liberal
More Conservative
2013 2012 2011
Economic 86 (L) : 14 (C) 89 (L) : - (C) 92 (L) : - (C)
Social 87 (L) : 7 (C) 85 (L) : - (C) 79 (L) : 20 (C)
Foreign 89 (L) : 10 (C) 88 (L) : 11 (C) 78 (L) : 18 (C)
Composite 88.5 (L) : 11.5 (C) 91.8 (L) : 8.2 (C) 85.2 (L) : 14.8 (C)
Interest Group Ratings

The vote ratings by 10 special interest groups provide insight into a lawmaker’s general ideology and the degree to which he or she agrees with the group’s point of view. Two organizations provide just one combined rating for 2011 and 2012, the two sessions of the 112th Congress. They are the ACLU and the ITIC. About the interest groups.

20112012
FRC1016
LCV9789
CFG918
ITIC-50
NTU1214
20112012
COC19-
ACLU-92
ACU40
ADA9595
AFSCME100-
Key House Votes

The key votes show how a member of Congress voted on the major bills of the year. N indicates a "no" vote; Y a "yes" vote. If a member voted "present" or was absent, the bill caption is not shown. For a complete description of the bills included in key votes, see the Almanac's Guide to Usage.

    • Pass GOP budget
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • End fiscal cliff
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Extend payroll tax cut
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Stop student loan hike
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Repeal health care
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Raise debt limit
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Pass cut, cap, balance
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Defund Planned Parenthood
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Repeal lightbulb ban
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Add endangered listings
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Speed troop withdrawal
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Regulate financial firms
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Pass tax cuts for some
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Stop detainee transfers
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Legalize immigrants' kids
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Repeal don't ask, tell
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Limit campaign funds
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Overturn Ledbetter
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass $820 billion stimulus
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Let guns in national parks
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass cap-and-trade
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Bar federal abortion funds
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass health care bill
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Bail out financial markets
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2008
    • Repeal D.C. gun law
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2008
    • Overhaul FISA
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2008
    • Increase minimum wage
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Expand SCHIP
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Raise CAFE standards
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Share immigration data
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Foreign aid abortion ban
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Ban gay bias in workplace
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Withdraw troops 8/08
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • No operations in Iran
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Free trade with Peru
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
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The Almanac is a members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics. Comprehensive online profiles include biographical and political summaries of elected officials, campaign expenditures, voting records, interest-group ratings, and congressional staff look-ups. In-depth overviews of each state and house district are included as well, along with demographic data, analysis of voting trends, and political histories.
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