WASHINGTON—Yesterday, Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), and Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) applauded the passage of their Water Debt Relief Act, which was included as part of the Assistance, Quality, and Affordability Act, in the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s subcommittee markup. After today’s passage, this legislation, which would help struggling customers – many whom have accrued water debt throughout the pandemic and are in frontline communities – by establishing a residential emergency relief program for public water systems thorough the Environmental Protection Agency, now awaits final consideration by the full committee.
“Water is a human right that too many have been forced to go without for far too long,” said Rep. Tlaib. “Bold action that addresses the root causes of water shutoffs and the affordability crisis is long overdue and the committee’s advancement of this bill is an important step toward accomplishing that. I look forward to further collaborating with my colleagues to ensure clean, safe, and affordable water is accessible for all.”
“No person living in the U.S. should be forced to survive without safe and clean water access, let alone during a global pandemic,” said Rep. Dingell. “We need federal programs to help people in Michigan and across the U.S. access essential needs like water without worrying about the bills piling up. Today’s advancement of the Water Debt Relief Act in the Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee is one step closer to widespread safe and clean water for all.”
“Ensuring that our constituents have clean, safe, and reliable access to water should be a top priority in Congress,” said Rep. Blunt Rochester. “The Water Debt Relief Act of 2021 will help ensure that customers who have accrued debt throughout the pandemic are able to make payments and help ensure they don’t have disruptions to their water service. I’m proud that the Energy and Commerce Committee advanced this critical piece of legislation, today.”
The full text of the bill is available here.