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Does Stimulus Embrace Free Alcohol and Marijuana for San Francisco’s Homeless?

President Joe Biden signed a $ 1.9 trillion historic stimulus bill on March 11 to help Americans through the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the bill has not been easy in the Capitol, and many Republicans have criticized the incentive, arguing that it is an expensive expense for liberal priorities unrelated to COVID.

The American Rescue Plan’s aid package includes funding for a national vaccination plan and immediate and direct support for families most affected by the pandemic.

The package also helps governments maintain critical services and avoid layoffs, and provides resources to troubled communities after the crisis.

A fact sheet published by Senator Alex Padilla, D-Calif., Estimates California would receive $ 1.2 billion for homeowners and $ 590 million for combating homelessness.

The claim

On Monday House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Tweeted that the Bay Area Bailout for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Was “$ 600 million for San Francisco from which covers part of the bill for free alcohol and marijuana for the homeless. “

Pelosi currently represents California’s 12th District, which encompasses most of San Francisco. She has represented the city since 1987.

“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, this bailout is too expensive, corrupt and liberal,” McCarthy added in his tweet, which included a video clip of his comments on the stimulus for Fox News.

The tweet has been retweeted more than 3,700 times at the time of writing and has been favored by more than 9,700 Twitter users. McCarthy said the incentive “reward bad behavior” and called the “wrong bill at the wrong time”.

Did you know already? – Nancy Pelosi’s Bay Area bailout included $ 600 million for San Francisco, part of which covered the bill for free alcohol and marijuana for the homeless.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this bailout is too expensive, too corrupt and too liberal. pic.twitter.com/K6vabaCeKu

– Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) March 14, 2021

The facts

San Francisco will receive around $ 600 million in incentives which, according to the mayor’s office, “will help us prevent many of the drastic cuts that would otherwise be on the table.”

The stimulus will temporarily close much of the city’s $ 650 million budget deficit over the next two years, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Sarah Owens, assistant press director of the San Francisco Mayor’s Office, London Breed, told Newsweek that the stimulus can prevent budget cuts and “provide immediate relief to our small businesses, our arts and cultural organizations and residents who are struggling.” . “

She added that San Francisco’s funds will be allocated by the federal government under the upcoming budget cycle for fiscal years 2021-22 and 2022-23.

In response to McCarthy’s comments, Owens said, “The claim that the US bailout fund will be used for alcohol and drugs for the homeless is false.

“No federal funding has been or will be used for San Francisco’s harm reduction services in shelter-in-place hotels, including the city’s managed alcohol program.

“Funds to combat homelessness will be allocated to the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing to support its efforts to expand the city’s emergency safety net and get more people out of the homelessness and into homes.

“This could include rapid relocation, permanent supportive housing, navigation center services and shelter.”

Last May, San Francisco provided drugs and alcohol to the homeless in quarantine hotels across the city. The city government received some criticism after the controversial policy came to light and misinformation quickly spread.

On May 8, the conservative youth group Turning Point USA posted a meme on Facebook claiming that the government is abusing tax revenues: “San Francisco provides drugs and alcohol to the homeless in hotels at the taxpayer’s expense. … thank you, left! “

However, the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFPH) later confirmed that the alcohol and tobacco were not paid for by the taxpayer.

“Alcohol and tobacco were paid for with private donations,” said Jenna Lane, health communications specialist for the San Francisco Department of Public Health Behavior, USA TODAY on May 13th.

A man walks his dog past a homeless man sleeping under a message that said on 1. While the city has been supplying homeless residents with drugs and alcohol last year so they wouldn’t get the drugs in dangerous or illegal ways, this is it was not paid by the taxpayer.
Josh Edelson / Getty

Cannabis for both medical and adult recreational use is legal under California law, and therefore legal in San Francisco.

SFPH said the policy is an “evidence-based harm reduction strategy” designed to prevent guests from leaving quarantine to look for substances.

Speaking to Newsweek, Pelosi’s assistant chief of staff, Drew Hammill, said no federal funds would be used to provide alcohol and marijuana to the homeless in San Francisco.

“As always, the minority leader has no idea what he is talking about, but he is desperate to come up with political arguments that he cannot substantiate,” added Hammill.

McCarthy’s office did not respond to a request from Newsweek to expand its claim.

The regulation

Not correct.

While it’s true that the city of San Francisco provided marijuana and alcohol to homeless residents last year so they wouldn’t use the drugs in dangerous or illegal ways, it wasn’t taxpayer funded.

It was funded by private donations and is not tied to the city’s finances or the latest economic cycle.

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