- The federal government is unable to pay some of its water bill to the city of Washington, DC, due to the federal government shutdown.
- DC Water officials joked about cutting off the White House’s water due to the delinquency on Tuesday, according to local radio station WAMU.
- A DC Water spokesperson told WAMU that the utility has the right to cut off any customers water after 30 days of nonpayment, but that it is a final resort and unlikely to actually happen to the White House.
The government shutdown could quite literally leave President Donald Trump and the White House high and dry.
According to WAMU, a local radio station, DC Water officials joked about cutting off the White House’s water supply during a meeting on Tuesday, due to the federal government’s inability to pay its full bill.
Matthew Brown, chief financial officer at DC Water, told members at their meeting that the Treasury Department informed the board that $US5 million of the federal government’s $US16.5 million first quarter water bill could not be paid due to the shutdown.
“That brings up an interesting question, is there a time from nonpayment when we cut someone’s water off?” asked Tommy Wells, the DC Water board chairman, according to WAMU.
“1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, is that what you’re talking about?” another board member responded.
Vincent Morris, DC Water’s spokesperson, told WAMU that cutting off the White House water was technically an option.
“Conceivably, DC Water can shut off service for nonpayment to any customer,” Morris said.
According to DC Water rules, any customer that is 30 days late on payment can have his or her water shut off. But the spokesperson did say that the move is a “last resort” for nonpaying customers and the board would “never want to do it.”
While Trump had threatened to shut to federal government down for “months or even years,” Brown told board members that the federal government’s delinquency wouldn’t be a problem for DC Water for at least a year.
As it stands, the federal government is in day 19 of a partial shutdown, with no end in sight. Trump is still demanding that Democrats include $US5.7 billion towards a wall along the US-Mexico border in any funding bill, while Democratic leader insist that no border wall funding will be including in a measure to reopen the government.
The strain of the shutdown is starting to impact federal services and the roughly 800,000 government workers who are not receiving pay during the closure.
The shutdown is also tied for the second-longest in modern history as of Wednesday.
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