Politics

Rep. Carolyn Maloney becomes acting chair of House Oversight Committee after Elijah Cummings' death

Key Points
  • Following the death of former chair Elijah Cummings, Rep. Carolyn Maloney will take over as acting chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee.
  • A permanent head for the panel, which is helping to lead an impeachment probe into President Donald Trump, will be elected later.
  • "Elijah Cummings was a courageous leader and trailblazer for our nation, and a true friend and mentor to me," Maloney wrote in a tweet.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) speaking at the press conference held after the passage of H.R.1327, the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act, at the Capitol in Washington, DC last July.
Michael Brochstein | SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images

Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York will take over as the acting chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee following the death of Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland.

A senior Democratic leadership aide told NBC News that Maloney will take over since she ranks second-in-command on the committee, but a permanent chair will be elected "at a later time."

The committee, under Cummings' leadership, closely scrutinized President Donald Trump, including helping to lead the impeachment inquiry.

Like Cummings, Maloney has served for more than two decades House. Her background is starkly different. He was a black man who represented low-income Baltimore neighborhoods. Maloney is a white woman representing the Upper East Side, one of the nation's wealthiest areas.

In a press release, Maloney paid tribute to her late colleague. "In an era where our politics have been plagued by coarseness and personal attacks, Elijah represented grace, dignity and empathy under the most trying of circumstances," she said.

Cummings, 68, died Thursday morning due to long-term health complications, according to his office.

"Elijah Cummings was a courageous leader and trailblazer for our nation, and a true friend and mentor to me," Maloney, 73, wrote in a tweet following his death.

Maloney tweet

— Additional reporting by CNBC's Tucker Higgins.

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Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings dies at age 68