Trump says Puerto Rico can't get aid 'forever'

Elias Hubbard
October 12, 2017

President Donald Trump slammed Puerto Rico Thursday, claiming its critical infrastructure was a "disaster" before it was hit by two hurricanes and threatened to pull out emergency management personnel from the storm-ravaged island. A total lack of.accountability say the Governor.

He then went on to propose that the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the military and first responders - who he said "have been wonderful (under the most hard circumstances)" - can not stay in the US territory "forever!" "There is still devastation, Americans are still dying". But Trump has repeatedly defended himself against criticism, once suggesting that the island was relying too heavily on federal assistance and wasn't doing enough to help itself.

House lawmakers unveiled a bill Tuesday night that would provide $36.5 billion in emergency funding for hurricane and wildfire relief requested by the Trump administration.

The remark came after Trump tweeted Thursday that the federal government would not keep FEMA workers and troops on the island indefinitely. Of that amount, $4.9 billion is earmarked for loans to local governments to ensure that the cash-strapped Puerto Rico can keep government programs operating beyond October 31. The bill is expected to be voted on by the full House later this week and then taken up by the Senate as early as next week.

"These funds are vital right now, in the near term, to get the aid where it is needed most", House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen said in a statement. Democratic Representative Nydia Velázquez of NY, which has a large Puerto Rican community, said the relief package was "just the start" of federal aid to the island, where large areas remain without electricity or running water three weeks after Hurricane Maria made landfall.

The administration stepped up its relief efforts in Puerto Rico late last month.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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