Whitmer, other mayors praise Covid relief, call lack of agreement during pandemic 'a shame'

Michigan's top elected leader is excited about the massive legislation that just cleared Congress. 

"This is truly one of the boldest pieces of legislation in the past century," said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. "Fourteen-hundred dollar checks, an extension of unemployment benefits, aid to thousands of small businesses and restaurants."

But not everyone is celebrating the relief. 

"President Biden, similar to our own governor - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer - have chosen from the start it’s either going to be my way or the high way," said Ted Goodman, the communications director at the state's Republican Party.

The dichotomy in opinions about the $1.9 trillion-dollar COVID-19 relief was passed without a single vote of support from Republicans in the House of Representatives or the Senate. 

The party-line vote has many wondering what, if anything, can elected leaders agree on.

"I think it’s really a shame this pandemic has been politicized and much-needed relief for Americans during this national crisis draws a party-line vote," said St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, in Florida.

Kriseman was one of the few government leaders on a virtual call with Whitmer to discuss the relief package. He, along with Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett said the bill was focused on fighting the pandemic. 

RELATED: Power struggle between Michigan governor, GOP Legislature could put COVID-19 funds at risk

"Support for safely reopening schools and getting our kids in class and back on track," said Whitmer. "Overall, the bill will lift tens of millions of kids out of poverty."

However, Goodman says the bill doesn't support working Michiganders. "Only a small percentage of the funding in this bill is going to go towards direct relief to those that have been impacted adversely by coronavirus." 

"Let’s have a package that's actually good for the hardworking men and women of this country that are looking to safely return to work," he said.

Michigan is slated to receive $10 billion of the relief money, which will go toward higher education, K-12 schooling, vaccine infrastructure, and child care. About $880 million is going to Detroit.