WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA) today issued the following statement after the death of Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

“The passing of Chairman Elijah Cummings is a profound loss for the nation, Maryland, and those who, like me, were lucky enough to call him both a colleague and friend. 

“Chairman Cummings devoted his life to service, starting as a teen on the front lines of the civil rights movement. Since then, his lifetime of dedication to justice made him an icon in the fight for equality in his local community and nationwide. A passionate advocate, he leaves the legacy of a generation who showed us that we can be better. In his unyielding way, he sought and rallied for the truth that the American people deserve. For that, we are grateful.

“Chairman Cummings was a tremendous leader, but more importantly he was a great human being. I served beside him in Congress for decades, and I had the privilege to work closely with him on the Benghazi Committee. While we served together for years, it didn’t take long for me to realize he was an incredible human being with acute moral clarity. As Chairman of the Committee on Oversight, he wielded immense power, but he did so with grace. The entire Congress will deeply miss his voice, perspective, and grace.

“I extend my deepest condolences to his family, friends, and all those whose lives have been affected by his service to our nation.”