Trump lashes out at Puerto Rico as House passes aid package

Trump lashes out at Puerto Rico as House passes aid package

The White House on Thursday evening issued a statement saying the Trump administration was "pleased" that the House had approved the relief funds and pledged to work with Congress going forward to provide resources to recover and rebuild.

"@POTUS your comments about Puerto Rico are unbecoming of a Commander in Chief they seem more to come from a "Hater in Chief", she tweeted.

The Department of Defense said Wednesday that 16 percent of the island's residents are without power, although the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority puts the figure closer to 10 percent after an outage at one nuclear plant.

White House legislative affairs director Marc Short said on CNN's "The Situation Room" that he did not view Trump's tweets as a "threat" to withdraw aid to Puerto Rico and conceded he did not know why Trump decided to make those statements Thursday morning.

Cuomo continued to press Perry and questioned how he could call the efforts a "success story" when "there are people starving" in Puerto Rico, to which Perry replied that they're "not starving". The death toll in Florida after Hurricane Irma, which made landfall on September 10, also reached 75, the Miami Herald reported, not counting the more than 38 people who died in the Caribbean.

Trump and his aides on Thursday suggested that there would be a limit to how much help Puerto Rico could expect from Washington to solve some of its longer-term problems, although Trump is expected to sign the latest emergency package.

"The president is committed to helping to make sure that we do what is necessary to help to rebuild the island, but there are some elements that pre-existed the hurricane", Marc Short said on CNN.

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"'Puerto Rico survived the Hurricanes, now a financial crisis looms largely of their own making, ' says Sharyl Attkisson", Trump posted.

Puerto Rico lost population and jobs after Congress eliminated special tax breaks in 2006, making it more hard to repay its debts.

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.

60 percent of wastewater treatment plants are working on generator power.

Amid the humanitarian catastrophe, Trump took to Twitter to threaten an end to aid for the USA territory. The recovery effort comes after the government-owned electricity utility PREPA filed for bankruptcy in July - and after Puerto Rico itself filed for bankruptcy, facing more than $120 billion in debt, as NPR's Samantha Raphelson has reported.

"While you are amusing yourself throwing paper towels at us, your compatriots and the world are sending love and help our way". He added, "We've saved a lot of lives".

It was not immediately clear which Superfund sites the EPA was referring to. (He must have seen the promotion last Sunday.) See my interview w/Puerto Rico's governor on the island's fiscal disaster prior to the hurricane.

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