WASHINGTON (Alliance News) – Puerto Rico continues to reel from the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria, but President Donald Trump has said federal aid for the island cannot go on forever.
Trump made a series of posts about Puerto Rico to Twitter on Thursday and seemed to hint at pulling out emergency responders.
“We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!” Trump tweeted.
The tweet from Trump comes even though the Puerto Rican government says most of the island remains without power and only 55% of residents have telecommunications service.
Responding to the tweet, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer accused Trump of treating Puerto Ricans differently than other Americans when it comes to natural disasters.
“FEMA needs to stay until the job is done and right now, it’s not even close to done,” Schumer tweeted. “There is still devastation, Americans are still dying. FEMA needs to stay until the job is done.”
The Trump administration has faced some criticism for the response to Hurricane Maria, although the president has previously suggested that the island’s geography and certain Puerto Rican leaders are to blame for the slow recovery.
“‘Puerto Rico survived the Hurricanes, now a financial crisis looms largely of their own making.’ says Sharyl Attkisson,” Trump tweeted on Thursday, referencing a conservative journalist. “A total lack of accountability say the Governor.”
“Electric and all infrastructure was disaster before hurricanes,” he added. “Congress to decide how much to spend.”
Trump’s reference to Congress comes as the House is scheduled to vote later in the day on a USD36.5 billion disaster relief bill that includes a USD4.9 billion emergency loan program for Puerto Rico.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX