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Heard on the Hill: All Bottled Out

Congress spends about $860,000 a year on bottled water, and D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) thinks it’s time Members got off the bottle.

Norton is one of 16 Members whose offices have ditched bottles for tap water, and she’s urging her colleagues to also make the switch. Norton says she can’t believe most Members don’t use a filtration system like the one in her office.

“It’s so much more convenient than to fool around with these great big jugs of water,” Norton tells HOH. “It’s always available, it’s filtered, it tastes just fine.”

For Norton, saying no to bottled water means Congress will get what it is already paying for as a D.C. water customer.

“I would encourage my Republican colleagues to look right in front of them for a way to save $1 million,” she adds. “They’re paying for water redundantly.”

Norton appeared at a press conference Tuesday sponsored by Corporate Accountability International’s Think Outside the Bottle campaign to promote the effort. Advocates also delivered 65,000
public comments to the
office of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to encourage Congress to go bottle-free.

Reps. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.), David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Chip Cravaack (R-Minn.), Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.), Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas), Donna Edwards (D-Md.), Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Tom Latham (R-Iowa), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.), Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.) have given up bottled water.

“I can guarantee D.C. tap water is safe to drink,” Norton adds. “When I go to a restaurant, I never pay for water.”

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