The right-wing news network’s outrage that “Biden may force American taxpayers to foot [the] bill” for shelter-in-place hotel rooms fails to acknowledge that Trump forced taxpayers to foot the same bill.
“We have a new president. I love saying that,” Mayor Breed beamed Monday afternoon’s press conference announcing that outdoor dining and personal services will be able resume Thursday as the city and state loosen COVID-19 restrictions. But Breed’s beaming was related to a different topic, namely new president Joe Biden’s executive order promising of 100% federal reimbursement for the shelter-in-place hotel program, whereas the Trump administration had only been reimbursing 75% by providing funding through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). “What that does for our budget is incredible,” Breed said Monday.
Trumpnik news source and MyPillow ad repository Fox News, by contrast, does not love saying we have a new president. And in the wake of Trump’s loss and new competition from even-batshittier conservative TV networks, Fox News has had to take an even harder rightward turn. Hence we see Fox News’ take on the shelter-in-place hotel funding, which comes with the headline “Biden may force American taxpayers to foot bill for San Francisco homeless hotels.”
President Biden may force American taxpayers to pick up bill for San Francisco homeless hotelsPosted by Fox & Friends on Sunday, January 24, 2021
That report, unsurprisingly, does not acknowledge that federal tax dollars have been used for this very program going back to April 2020, which was very much during the Trump administration, as the San Francisco Business Times reported back then.
In the interest of being “fair and balanced,” or “we report, you decide,” or whatever Fox News' motto is these days, we will acknowledge this is not a totally apple-to-apples comparison. Under Trump, FEMA was providing 75% reimbursement, under Biden it is 100% reimbursement — so, just 25% more is being kicked our way.
Further, FEMA under Trump had provided only vague guidance on how long the funds would keep flowing, so City Hall was contemplating having to end the program back in the autumn when it seemed like Trump might still win. According to Biden’s executive order, “FEMA shall make assistance under this section available at a 100 percent Federal cost share until September 30, 2021,” which is the kind of certainty that city administrators just love.
So if we’re talking about footing a bill, yes, taxpayers will be footing a higher bill under Biden for the San Francisco shelter-in-place hotel program. But to ignore that a very similar taxpayer-funded program was afoot during the Trump administration is the kind of amnesia to which Fox News will need to adhere to keep up with the Alex Joneses at competing upstarts like Newsmax and OANN.
Related: Hotel Diva in San Francisco Will Become Supportive Housing for Homeless [SFist]
Screenshot: Fox News