Elijah E Cummings

Democrats fight for Elijah Cummings’ legacy — and a seat in Congress
Support from black women will be key in next Tuesday’s special election primary

Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, Democratic candidate for Maryland’s 7th District, greets guests before a service at the Zion Baptist Church in Baltimore, Md., on Sunday. She is running in a crowded Democratic primary to succeed her late husband, Rep. Elijah Cummings. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

BALTIMORE — Two dozen Democrats are running for the nomination in Maryland’s 7th District, but no one looms larger over the race than the late Elijah Cummings, whose death last fall prompted the upcoming special election.

What Cummings wanted in a successor — and what people think he would have wanted — have become big factors in this contest, where the two best-known candidates are his widow, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, and his friend and predecessor, Kweisi Mfume, who left Congress in 1996 to lead the NAACP.

Don’t go yet, John Lewis. We need you.
Atlantans take pride in their congressman. How many other Americans can say that?

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., stands near the statue of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the Capitol Rotunda before a memorial service for Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., in October. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — When Rep. John Lewis  announced Sunday night that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, you could almost hear the country cry. Democrats and Republicans, Hollywood actors and people who had simply met the congressman in an airport, all went to Twitter to ask the 17-term Georgia Democrat to fight one more time.

“You are loved. You are respected. You are magnificent,” Ava DuVernay wrote. “Praying for you, my friend,” former president Barack Obama tweeted. “The Late Show” host Steven Colbert called Lewis “a leader, a teacher, an example for us all,” while Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia, Lewis’ longtime friend who counts Lewis as a hero as he mounts his own fight against Parkinson’s disease, wrote, “They don’t make them stronger or braver.”

34 images that defined 2019 in Congress: Photos of the Year
A busy year as captured by CQ Roll Call’s photojournalists

poyheader

We asked each of our three photojournalists to select their favorite photographs from 2019. Below is their unique view of political news events in Washington, as well as daily life on and around Capitol Hill.

Homeland Security announces easing of facial recognition rule
Lawmakers, civil rights groups and tech companies have raised privacy concerns

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has clarified that facial recognition scans at airports remain voluntary for U.S. citizens. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images file photo)

Homeland Security officials continue to step back from their published plan to require use of facial recognition technology on American citizens at U.S. airports when they arrive from or depart to international destinations.

The Trump administration’s proposed mandatory use of the technology was included in the so-called unified agenda, published in late November, which sets out the regulatory changes agencies intend to pursue in coming months. The proposal sought to expand mandatory facial recognition at U.S. airports “to provide that all travelers, including U.S. citizens, may be required to be photographed upon entry and/or departure.”

Democrats pick Maloney to succeed Cummings as Oversight Committee leader
14-term New Yorker will take gavel as probes of Trump administration go forward

House Democrats selected Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., to be chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Newly elected House Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney promised on Wednesday to do her best to “follow the honorable example” of former Chairman Elijah E. Cummings, who rolled out a rigorous oversight agenda of the Trump administration this year before his death last month.

“I am deeply humbled and grateful to my colleagues for entrusting me with the chairmanship,” Maloney said in a statement.

Lots of no-shows for impeachment inquiry depositions
Overall Democrats participated more than Republicans, who had complained about access

Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, left, and Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., make their way to votes in the Capitol on Friday. Jordan referred to the lack of attendance at the impeachment depositions in appealing for Gaetz to be able to attend. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated Nov. 21, 2:28 p.m. | Only a fifth of the 104 members on the three House panels that conducted the impeachment inquiry depositions attended and participated in a majority of the proceedings, according to a CQ Roll Call analysis of the available deposition transcripts.

The Intelligence Committee has released transcripts for 15 of the 17 depositions it has conducted with two other panels: Oversight and Reform and Foreign Affairs. 

Maloney gets Oversight gavel nod from Steering Committee; Connolly will challenge in full caucus vote
Dem group gives New York Democrat 35-17 edge over Connolly in recommendation to succeed Elijah E. Cummings

New York Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney on Tuesday won the recommendation of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee to lead the House Oversight and Reform Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney won the recommendation of the influential House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee on Tuesday to chair the Oversight and Reform Committee, one of the key panels investigating President Donald Trump.

The New York Democrat, the most senior member on the panel, got the nod over Virginia’s Gerald E. Connolly by 35 votes to 17 in a second round of voting.

House Democrats weigh seniority and gender politics in replacing Cummings
Maloney in line to chair Oversight panel, but two men are also on secret ballot

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., has seniority on the Oversight and Reform Committee but must defeat two challengers in a secret vote this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats will confront longtime divisions over gender politics and how much weight to give seniority when they hold a secret vote Wednesday to select a permanent leader for a committee investigating possible ethical violations in President Donald Trump’s administration. 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi elevated the most senior member of the Oversight and Reform Committee, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney of New York, to acting chairwoman after Chairman Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland died last month, per caucus rules.

Payment to Elijah Cummings’ wife continues long-standing tradition
Stopgap spending measure released Monday includes $174,000 to Maya Rockeymoore Cummings

Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, widow of the late Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., will receive the death gratuity in the latest stopgap spending measure. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, the widow of the late Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, will receive an $174,000 payment as part of a continuing resolution that is expected to keep the government open through Dec. 20.

The personal payment in this latest spending bill continues a long-standing practice of providing a death gratuity for a departed member’s survivors. The gratuity is usually included in the next appropriations bill following a lawmakers's death and is paid to the “next of kin” in the amount of one year’s compensation — $174,000.

House to take up Dec. 20 stopgap measure Tuesday
House Appropriations Democrats released the draft stopgap measure Monday afternoon after a morning of last-minute haggling

Disputes over potential add-ons between lawmakers in Congress and the White House on Monday was holding up a potential deal to pass a monthlong stopgap funding measure needed to avoid a government shutdown. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House is moving forward to quickly take up a monthlong continuing resolution that would extend temporary funding levels for federal agencies. The measure will be on the floor Tuesday, according to House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md.

House Appropriations Democrats released the draft stopgap measure Monday afternoon after a morning of last-minute haggling over special additions. The measure would replace the current CR, which expires Nov. 21, with a new deadline of Dec. 20 to finish up fiscal 2020 spending bills.