We can not aid Puerto Rico 'forever'

We can not aid Puerto Rico 'forever'

He tweeted: "We can not keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been fantastic (under the most hard circumstances) in P.R. forever!"

Puerto Rico is struggling to recover after Hurricane Maria ripped through the island, leaving 44 people dead and cutting power and running water to much of its population, and its governor this week appealed to Trump for billions in additional federal aid.

Three weeks after Maria made landfall, much of Puerto Rico, an island of 3.4 million people, remains without power.

The broadside came as the House headed toward passage of a $36.5 billion disaster aid package, including assistance for Puerto Rico.

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Trump said earlier Thursday on Twitter that Puerto Rico has a "total lack of accountability" and "electric and all infrastructure was disaster before hurricanes".

Although Puerto Ricans pay into the U.S. Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security systems, they can not collect the same benefits as citizens in the 50 states, which shifts more of their health care costs onto the territory's government.

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Top Democrats assailed Trump for his Thursday tweets sounding off on Puerto Rico.

Others, including House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, and Puerto Rican mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, also pleaded with Trump to not abandon the island, home to 3.4 million USA citizens.

The words were taken by some as a hint at abandoning Puerto Rico.

Significant relief efforts remain underway in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, totaling over $1.4 billion this year in disaster recovery money, plus another $1.2 billion this year after Hurricane Matthew last year.

Trump's remarks on Thursday cap those he said while visiting the island on October 3 when he said Puerto Rico's hurricane wasn't a "real catastrophe" like Hurricane Katrina and that response to relief efforts were "throwing our budget a little out of whack". The pragmatic solution is to grant Puerto Rico statehood and funnel investment into the island so that its people can benefit from the contributions that they have made to the USA for over a century. Currently, more than 10,000 active duty military personnel from Puerto Rico serve across the branches of the U.S. Armed Forces (Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration).

FEMA continues relief efforts for even smaller, lower-profile recovery efforts, dropping millions of dollars this year on floods in Iowa from 2008, Tennessee from 2010, North Dakota from 2011 and Colorado from 2013.

Frelinghuysen is scheduled to be part of a delegation led by House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) that will visit Puerto Rico on Friday to see the hurricane's devastation firsthand. He has promised that the island will get what it needs. It has killed at least 45 people, and about 85 percent of Puerto Rico residents still lack electricity.

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