“It’s not a Republican issue or a Democrat issue,” Dyer, a Republican and former police chief for the city, told the Washington Post. “It’s a public health issue. It’s an economic issue. And it’s a public safety issue.”
The federal aid, say many GOP mayors and governors, will help keep local police and firefighters employed, prevent the closures of struggling local businesses, and provide resources for swelling numbers of hungry and homeless residents.
Last Friday, Biden hosted a bipartisan group of local and state officials at the White House to discuss their most urgent concerns. “You folks are all on the front lines and dealing with the crisis since day one,” he told the group, which included the GOP governors of Maryland and Arkansas along with the Republican mayors of Miami and Oklahoma. According to the Post, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez later told reporters that he’d had more communication with the Biden White House in the first several weeks of his administration than with Trump’s administration “in the entirety.”
The pain has not been spread evenly among states and locales, with those that rely more on tourism and fossil fuels typically taking a harder economic hit during the pandemic. But everyone’s budget has been impacted, according to Oklahoma City’s Republican Mayor David Holt. “I don’t know of any city that hasn’t been affected negatively,” Holt said. “Some may be worse off than others. But we have all had to make cuts.”
What the bipartisan group demonstrated more than anything is just how far out in the wilderness GOP lawmakers in Washington are in their criticism of the bill. Biden not only has the support of a number of cities and states run by Republicans, but an impressively broad spectrum of the American public.
It seems the only people carping about the so-called “blue state bailouts” is Washington Republicans, who used their power in 2017 to pass a costly $2 trillion tax giveaway to the rich. Today, most everyone else outside of congressional Republicans is both desperate and eager for the federal aid. Yet another instance where a manufactured GOP talking point turns out to be wildly off the mark in the real world.