Trump: We can’t keep FEMA, military in Puerto Rico forever – By Louis Nelson (politico.com) / Oct 12 2017
President Donald Trump warned Thursday that there is a limit to how much federal aid he is willing to expend on Puerto Rico and that “we cannot keep” federal response workers on the island “forever.”
“’Puerto Rico survived the Hurricanes, now a financial crisis looms largely of their own making,’ says Sharyl Attkisson. A total lack of accountability say the Governor. Electric and all infrastructure was disaster before hurricanes,” Trump wrote on Twitter Thursday morning in a series of posts. “Congress to decide how much to spend. We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!”
Attkisson hosts a weekly newsmagazine show for conservative-leaning Sinclair Broadcasting.
Puerto Rico has struggled in recent weeks with the devastation from a particularly heavy hurricane season, one that included a direct hit from Hurricane Maria late last month that left much of the island destroyed. The official death toll from the storm has risen to 45, CNN reported Wednesday, and at least 113 people are unaccounted for.
A website set up by the Puerto Rican government showed that nearly 90 percent of the island was still without power as of Wednesday and 47 percent does not have telephone service. Providing medical care remains a challenge on the island, the New York Times reported Tuesday, and as of Wednesday just 43 of the island’s 72 open hospitals are currently operating with power.
Trump’s online remark about the potential limits of federal aid to Puerto Rico sparked a response from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who linked to the president’s message in her own post to Twitter, adding that “we don’t abandon Americans in their time of need. PR & USVI need MORE help, not less, from the federal govt.” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) agreed, writing on Twitter that “There is still devastation, Americans are still dying. FEMA needs to stay until the job is done.”
Later Thursday afternoon, the House is poised to approve a $36 billion aid package intended largely for Puerto Rico — the largest disaster package since Hurricane Sandy.
The money would replenish FEMA’s coffers by roughly $18 billion, which lawmakers say is enough to last for several more weeks. That includes $4.9 billion in emergency loans to ensure the cash-strapped island government can pay its workers and other debts.
But GOP leaders have been clear that another installment of aid will be needed before the end of this year. Emergency responders from all federal agencies, from FEMA to the Defense Department, have been going quickly through their cash reserves in Puerto Rico’s worst disaster in decades.
Despite the ongoing challenges that remain on the island, Trump has claimed credit for a successful recovery effort in Puerto Rico, even as he has feuded publicly with the mayor of the island’s capital, San Juan. The president has also at times seemed to blame Puerto Rico itself, which was forced to declare a type of bankruptcy last spring, for at least some of the island’s current issues. He wrote online last month that “big decisions” loom about the rebuiling of the island.
“Puerto Rico, which was already suffering from broken infrastructure & massive debt, is in deep trouble,” Trump wrote on Twitter last month. “It’s old electrical grid, which was in terrible shape, was devastated. Much of the Island was destroyed, with billions of dollars owed to Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with.”
PB/TK – Please define your use of the term “Forever” POTUS Donnie, because Hurricane Irma hit Florida in early September and FEMA is still setting Disaster Recovery Centers in Orlando and other cities, yet Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico a few weeks later and your ready to pull out.
FEMA was still helping victims of Katrina 10 years after devastation.
All I gotta say is “We have a 2 week exit strategy for Puerto Rico but zero after 16 years in Afghanistan?”