WASHINGTON, DC – Paterson's Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) issued the following statement in response to the passing of his longtime House colleague Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD-07).

“I am in deep mourning for my friend Elijah Cummings. Trying circumstances are a crucible for leadership, and in the most difficult moment facing our nation, Elijah always stood straight with unstinting strength, unshakeable grace, and charitable civility and with those qualities led the House. Every member of our Congress respected Elijah Cummings. You can’t say that about many of the great people who pass through our chamber. More than that, Elijah’s love for his home Baltimore was boundless and rich. His loss is devastating not just for our nation but Elijah’s Charm City too.  At a time when America cries out for leadership, Chairman Cummings was the exact man we needed for our time. I’m praying for Elijah’s family and his city.”

Cummings has served in the US House of Representatives, including in numerous leadership positions, since 1996, died on Thursday.

Pascrell followed his statement by urging the House to rename H.R. 3, the landmark Lower Drug Costs Now Act, for Cummings in honor of his life dedication to justice and equal opportunity for all Americans.