WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) released the following statement today after news that Congressman Elijah E. Cummings, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, died after complications from longstanding health challenges.

“There are few leaders, in this Congress or in the world, with the strength and integrity to consistently stand on their values and lead with the interests of others as their primary focus. That kind of leadership is amazing to behold, and that’s what I saw in Elijah Cummings. His loss will be felt in the city he fought for, among the workers he sought to protect, and across a country that may never understand how dedicated he was to their best and brightest futures.

“When I arrived to Congress and joined him on the Oversight and Reform Committee, I immediately found a colleague always willing to share his knowledge and experience, and someone who taught me so much. His diligent work on that Committee, to protect federal employees, whistleblowers, access to healthcare, basic constitutional principles and more, were an extension of his belief in the kind of people and country we should be.

“I am heartbroken to see our nation lose such a fighter, but I take comfort in knowing that he inspired us all to do more and be better for generations yet unborn, and I will not be alone in taking up the battles he fought. I send prayers of comfort, peace and condolence to his family at this moment of grief.”