Trump Blames Puerto Rico, Says Aid Can't Last 'Forever'

Trump Blames Puerto Rico, Says Aid Can't Last 'Forever'

Damage to Puerto Rico caused by Hurricane Maria 22 days ago could take months - if not years - to fix, as some on the ground have said, but President Donald Trump on Thursday said that the US government cannot stay there "forever". The President was likely irked by San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz for repeatedly appearing on cable news to ask for more help for Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico and its agencies owe more than $70 billion to creditors.

House Speaker Paul Ryan will lead a bipartisan delegation visiting Puerto Rico on Friday, according to the speaker's office.

Forty-five deaths in Puerto Rico have been blamed on Maria, about 85 percent of Puerto Rico residents still lack electricity and the government says it hopes to have electricity restored completely by March.

Ryan said he didn't know about Trump's tweets.

"Congress to decide how much to spend.We can not keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been wonderful (under the most hard circumstances) in P.R. forever!" he added.

In a series of tweets, the president added, "electric and all infrastructure was disaster before hurricanes".

Officials in Puerto Rico have said it could take $5 billion to get the island's electrical infrastructure up and running again. "There will be a period in which we hope sooner rather than later, the U.S. military and (the Federal Emergency Management Agency), generally speaking, can withdraw because then the government and people of Puerto Rico are recovering sufficiently to start the process of rebuilding". "Mr. President, fulfill your moral imperative towards the people of Puerto Rico".

To hear more about what tech companies are doing, and about and grass-roots efforts to bring aid to the island, listen to the interview above.

Toxic waste is not the only drinking water worry in Puerto Rico.

At the Pentagon, Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. told reporters "there's still plenty of work to be done" by the military troops in Puerto Rico.

The recovery has moved slowly since Maria struck the United States territory on September 20, leaving most of the island without basic services such as power and running water, according to residents, relief workers and local elected officials.

Bernie Williams, a Puerto Rico native, is lending a hand in Hurricane Maria efforts.

. The financial situation is more complicated than Trump's tweets suggest.

The House of Representatives approved a $36.5 billion disaster aid package Thursday to help victims struggling to recover from a string of devastating hurricanes and wildfires. For now, it ignores huge demands from the powerful Florida and Texas delegations, which together pressed for some $40 billion more.

The House bill includes a one-time payment of $1.27 billion to help Puerto Rico receive access to the U.S. Disaster Nutrition Program. A FEMA spokeswoman later said the agency would remain in Puerto Rico and other disaster-hit areas "every day" throughout their recoveries. He has promised that the island will get what it needs.

"Puerto Ricans are Americans, and we don't abandon each other".



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