(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) today joined Congressmembers Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), and Dan Kildee (MI-05) and 80 House colleagues in urging House and Senate leadership to include a water shutoff prohibition in the final version of the latest COVID-19 stimulus bill. 

The Members wrote: “We write to strongly urge you to include a prohibition on water shutoffs as you negotiate an agreement on a response to the coronavirus pandemic. Access to safe water is an essential public health and safety measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As such, any final agreement on the COVID-19 stimulus response bill must include robust provisions preventing water shutoffs,” the letter reads. 

The push comes as House and Senate leadership negotiate provisions of the third piece of legislation aimed at responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. The House version of the bill, the Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act, included provisions that would prohibit water shutoffs. The Senate version, currently being finalized, does not include language designed to help families who are going without access to clean, safe water during this crucial time.

The Members wrote: “Households that have their water disconnected are less able to protect themselves from COVID-19. According to the CDC, one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to wash one’s hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Access to safe water is essential to maintain proper hygiene and prevent the transmission of COVID-19 to individuals inside and outside the household."

The full letter and list of signers can be viewed here.