Trump puts Puerto Rico on notice over hurricane aid




 

US President Donald Trump has griped about emergency relief efforts in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, saying federal aid cannot continue “forever”.
In tweets, he accused Puerto Rico of a “total lack of accountability”, adding that “electric and all infrastructure was disaster before hurricanes”.
The island, whose 3.4 million residents are US citizens, is 90% without power, some three weeks after Hurricane Maria.
Congress is weighing a multi-billion dollar aid package for the territory.
Lawmakers are expected to approve $36.5bn (£28bn) in emergency storm relief for Puerto Rico, Florida, Texas and the US Virgin Islands, as well as wildfire-ravaged California.
In Thursday’s tweets, the US president noted it was up to “Congress to decide how much to spend”.
But he added: “We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!”
It comes a week after US Vice-President Pence pledged the administration would be with Puerto Rico “every step of the way”, as he visited the island.
The storm killed at least 45 people in the US territory, while more than 100 others remain unaccounted for, say Puerto Rico officials.
The island is saddled with about $72bn in pre-hurricane debt that is being overseen by a federally created oversight board.

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