Voicing support for \u0022legislation that would impose a federal moratorium on all utility shutoffs\u0022 during the coronavirus pandemic, a group of Senate Democrats on Friday sent a letter to 21 of the nation\u0026#039;s largest utility and telecommunications companies urging them to voluntarily stop terminating services for the duration of the crisis.\u0026nbsp;\u0022Because of the economic devastation wrought by the pandemic, millions of Americans are struggling to make ends meet and are at risk for having their electricity, water, and broadband services terminated,\u0022 the letter (pdf)—which was led by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)—said.\u0022In order to effectively address the concurrent public health and economic crises, the families you serve must have uninterrupted access to these essential public services.\u0022\u0026nbsp;—Democratic senators\u0022In order to effectively address the concurrent public health and economic crises, the families you serve must have uninterrupted access to these essential public services,\u0022 the senators asserted.The lawmakers noted that nearly 179 million Americans—\u0022a staggering number of people\u0022—are at risk of electricity shutoffs, and that \u0022minority and low-income families who have disproportionately borne the brunt of the current economic crisis are particularly at risk\u0022 for service cancellation or interruption.\u0026nbsp;Furthermore, \u0022shutoff moratoriums have expired (or were never implemented) in 33 states, and seven more states have moratoriums that will expire next month.\u0022Instead of a patchwork of solutions where some communities get relief \u0026amp; some don’t, we must stand together to tackle the urgent needs confronting Americans that are ignored by Senate GOP. I’m demanding comprehensive relief, including my national utility shutoff moratorium. pic.twitter.com/vD0AxUqyMM— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) October 22, 2020\u0022Every day more people in our communities become at risk for losing access to the water they need to wash their hands or the electricity they need to keep the lights on,\u0022 the senators wrote.\u0026nbsp;The letter also called the internet \u0022an essential public service\u0022—especially \u0022as millions of children are forced to learn remotely\u0022 during the pandemic—and warned that \u0022without a moratorium on electricity and broadband disconnections, many more children, in particular those in minority, low-income, and rural communities, are at risk of falling behind.\u0022\u0026nbsp;In addition to Brown and Merkley, the letter was signed by six other Democratic senators: Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Edward Markey (Mass.), Tina Smith (Minn.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Ron Wyden (Ore.), and Chris Van Hollen (Md.). Bernie Sanders (Vt.), an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, is also a signatory.\u0026nbsp;Earlier this week, over 120 advocacy organizations sent a letter to Dr. Robert R. Redfield, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, urging him to declare a national moratorium on water shutoffs—echoing a similar message from Reps. Harley Rouda (D-Calif.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) earlier this month.