White House can't pay its water bill because of shutdown. Official discusses turning it off.
President Trump's government shutdown is preventing it from paying its water bill. Right now the Treasury is around $6 million short and if it doesn't eventually get paid, it could be a very big problem for the Trump administration.
A D.C. Water spokesman, Vincent Morris, the local authority, said that they weren't planning on turning off the White House's services at this point but he didn't rule it out, either.
“We very rarely shut off any customer’s water. It’s a last resort. We certainly don’t expect to shut off water in this case either,” Morris said.
Since President Trump is unable to pay the bill, Morris alluded to the fact that late fees may apply, too, which as we know will come straight out of the pockets of taxpayers.
The main residence of the executive branch aside, other federal buildings in the D.C. area are being affected. In total, $16.5 million is owed to the city for water and sewer services, but the Treasury only paid about $10.5 million of that.
One key question: How long can the federal government go without paying its bill?
D.C. Water’s chairman Tommy Wells is asking this same question. He pressed the water agency's top financial official at a public meeting last week: “to the absurd, or the furthest out: How long can we carry the federal government before it creates a fiscal weakness to the enterprise?”
We have half the answer: According to Matthew Brown, the agency's vice president of finance and procurement, if the late bill gets over $20 million that's when things will start to "be a real problem."
Could that be when the city finally turns off the White House's utilities? It's possible.