We Cannot Help Puerto Rico 'Forever!'

Puerto Rico's death toll from Hurricane Maria rises to 43, power outages remain

Puerto Rico's death toll from Hurricane Maria rises to 43, power outages remain

"Mr. President, fulfill your moral imperative towards the people of Puerto Rico".

The House of Representatives is expected to vote Thursday on a bill to provide an additional $36.5 billion for hurricane disaster relief efforts, including in Puerto Rico.

The Washington Post on Thursday published an op-ed urging Congress to give Puerto Rico the resources it needs in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

"It is time to stop treating the people of Puerto Rico like second-class citizens".

His comments - in which he also blamed the beleaguered island for a financial crisis "largely of their own making" and infrastructure that was a "disaster" before the hurricane - come as Puerto Rico still reels from a lack of electricity, public health access and a rising death toll.

Trump tweeted early in the morning that the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the US military and first responders can't stay in Puerto Rico indefinitely, prompting criticism from San Juan's mayor, among others.

Four US 'sanctuary cities' may be violating law: US Attorney General Sessions
In April, a presidential executive order that would have cut off funds to sanctuary cities was stymied by a judge's order. The city has said its policies are legal, and vowed to sue if money is actually taken away.

Vox reported that conflicting numbers from the US government and the Puerto Rican government have made it hard to estimate exactly how many people died - a figure that could go well into the hundreds. One-third of the island lacks clean running water and just 8 percent of its roads are passable, according to government statistics.

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 financial situation is more complicated than Trump's tweets suggest. Yet lenders continued to extend credit to Puerto Rico despite its economic struggles, while pension costs strained Puerto Rico's government and its infrastructure deteriorated. For now, it ignores huge demands from the powerful Florida and Texas delegations, which together pressed for some $40 billion more. Katrina required about $110 billion in emergency appropriations.

"They're not going to be there for ever", he said, referring to personnel from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the USA military.

Nearly $5 billion of the funding could be used to help the government of Puerto Rico and its local jurisdictions stay functional as they endure unsustainable cash shortfalls in the aftermath of Maria. He has promised that the island will get what it needs.

And Alejandro García Padilla, the former governor of Puerto Rico, said it is important be plain about what this is: "racist". "It's not easy when you are continue to suffer - see the suffering of the people without food, without water, and actually living in a humanitarian crisis".

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