Reps. Tlaib, Dingell, & Kildee Urge Congress to Protect Residents Facing High Water Bills, Shutoffs in Coronavirus Response

March 13, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, Congressmembers Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), and Dan Kildee (MI-05) sent a letter to congressional leadership urging that they include resources to protect residents facing high water bills and water shutoff as Congress considers legislation in response to the spread of the coronavirus.


“Water shutoffs disproportionately impact cities with higher rates of poverty, unemployment, and people of color. In the city of Detroit, for example, 112,000 households had their water shut off between 2014 and 2018. In 2017 alone, it was estimated that one in 10 Detroiters experienced a shutoff. While in recent days the state of Michigan and Detroit have taken proactive measures to restore water service to communities during this crisis to mitigate health risks from the coronavirus, sadly, this issue spans well beyond Michigan. More communities across the U.S. will be facing the same challenges and must have the resources to act,” the letter read.


The letter comes as families across the nation are living without access to clean water or are in danger of getting their water shut off. One of the top prevention measures against the spread of the coronavirus is frequent hand washing.


“Thus, as Congress considers additional legislative actions to address the coronavirus, we must work together, in a bipartisan fashion, to provide relief for communities with high water bills. It is unconscionable that during an infectious disease outbreak, like with the coronavirus, communities would continue to shut off people’s access to water. Surely in the richest country in the world, we can ensure that every American has access to safe and affordable water,” the letter continued. 


The letter was signed by twelve members of Congress and sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.


The full letter can be read here.