Thanks, Joe! You all may now pay for San Francisco's homeless hotels

The hits just keep on coming from the huge stacks of executive orders that Joe Biden has been signing. Some of them deal with wrecking our border security and wiping out girls’ sports in schools, but many of the rest involve lots of “free money” to be spread around. One example of that phenomenon was Biden’s order from last Thursday making funds available to reimburse state and municipal governments for the cost of emergency housing for the homeless during the pandemic. Mentioned in the order were the hotels in San Francisco that were used for homeless housing over the past year. But as with many of these orders, there weren’t a lot of specifics included, so nobody is sure precisely how it would apply. (Fox News)

San Francisco hotels used to house homeless people may be fully funded by the federal government this year, thanks to an executive order signed by President Joe Biden signed last Thursday.

Under the order, certain kinds of emergency housing for the homeless are eligible to be fully reimbursed through September.

San Francisco, which has one of the highest homeless populations in the nation, spends between $15 million to $18 million per month to house more than 2,200 people in about 25 hotels, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

I really enjoyed the headline from the Fox News report linked above. “Biden may pick up the tab for San Francisco homeless hotels.” That’s really generous. I mean, I’d heard some rumors about him doing really well for himself on Hunter’s China deals, but at 15 to 18 million per month, that’s going to be a pretty steep tab. Oh, wait… what’s that? You didn’t mean he was going to pay for the hotel costs personally but instead stick the taxpayers with the bill? How silly of me.

It’s worth pointing out that this isn’t exactly a “new” policy. The funding would be coming through FEMA and that agency had already said last year that they would pay for eligible homeless housing projects “through the end of the pandemic,” though they didn’t specify when that would be. Biden’s order covers the situation through September. So in reality, if anyone was “picking up the tab” it would have been Donald Trump since he was in charge of FEMA when the offer was extended.

There’s nothing specifically “wrong” with this sort of supplemental assistance. The individual states and cities are responsible for their own costs in assisting the homeless, but the federal government regularly kicks in emergency funds during times of crisis and natural disasters. Such aid frequently comes through FEMA. When it comes to the pandemic, a state of emergency has clearly been declared, so a bit of government largesse isn’t out of line.

What may be missing is the appropriate level of legislative oversight for this sort of offer. When a hurricane strikes a specific region, it’s easy to define who should be in line for FEMA assistance. But the pandemic covers the entire country. Will this type of funding for homeless housing be applied equally everywhere or will some areas get preferential treatment? Answering those questions should be the responsibility of the appropriate congressional committees.

I mostly wanted to highlight this story for you as yet another in the long list of examples we’re seeing of the rapidly shifting approach of the mainstream media in the post-Trump world. Everything the last president did was examined in great detail with the media searching for any hint of some personal motive behind Donald Trump’s actions. But Good Time Joe can slosh around taxpayer dollars wherever he likes with no questions asked and those actions will be pointed to as Biden’s “generous” nature and our ongoing “return to normality.” Don’t buy into the hype. The swamp is still the swamp.