Friday, 15 December, 2017

As House weighs hurricane aid, Trump lashes out at Puerto Rico- again

As House weighs hurricane aid, Trump lashes out at Puerto Rico- again As House weighs hurricane aid, Trump lashes out at Puerto Rico- again
Patty Aguilar | 12 October, 2017, 20:59

Trump, however, has defended his handling of the situation, suggesting late last month that the US territory's leadership and others on the island were relying too heavily on federal assistance and should do more to help themselves.

House Speaker Paul Ryan says the government needs to ensure that - in his words - "Puerto Rico can begin to stand on its own two feet".

Families wash clothing in a a river under a highway bridge in Coamo, Puerto Rico, a city on the southern coast of the island on Monday, October 2, 2017. Last month, Trump accused San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz of "poor leadership" and said she and others in Puerto Rico "want everything to be done for them".

Water has been an issue in the weeks following Hurricane Maria, with residents tapping into pipes along the roadside and lining up at public spigots to trap water in any container they can carry. "It doesn't make sense", said Victor Hernandez, a native of Puerto Rico and South Palm Beach resident who went to the island after Maria to try to help speed relief efforts. He says Puerto Rico shouldn't expect federal help "forever".

The mayor tweeted that Trump is "incapable of fulfilling the moral imperative to help the people of PR. Shame on you!"

"We can not keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders" in Puerto Rico "forever", President Trump said Thursday, hinting at a possible limit on federal aid to the island territory where 3.4 million Americans have struggled to recover from two destructive hurricanes.

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

Mr. Trump, who has been criticized for a slow and not always empathetic response to the storms that ravaged the United States territory, sounded off in a series of early-morning tweets. More than a third of Puerto Ricans are still struggling to live without drinking water. It has killed at least 45 people, and about 85 percent of Puerto Rico residents still lack electricity.

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