FEMA, first responders can't be in Puerto Rico 'forever'

"It's heart breaking and it lacks knowledge" of the federal government's responsibility "to the people of our country", House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said of Mr. Trump's tweets Thursday.

@POTUS your comments about Puerto Rico are unbecoming of a Commander in Chief they seem more to come from a "Hater in Chief".

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

In fact, FEMA has already spent $2 million in Puerto Rico relief this year - connected to Hurricane Irene in 2011.

He added: "There will be a period in which ... we hope sooner rather than later, to where the United States military and FEMA, generally speaking, can withdraw because then the government and the people of Puerto Rico are recovering sufficiently to start the process of rebuilding". The death toll in Florida after Hurricane Irma, which made landfall on September 10, also reached 75, the Miami Herald reported, not counting the more than 38 people who died in the Caribbean.

President Donald Trump is criticizing hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico and says the government can't keep federal aid there "forever".

Trump's comments on Twitter on Thursday morning were followed by White House reassurances that the administration was "committed" to disaster relief in Puerto Rico.

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Puerto Rico's economy ground to a halt in the storm.

The governor's office did not respond to queries about the total amount of aid requested, which is now equivalent to around half of Puerto Rico's debt of some $73 billion. Puerto Rico's Treasury Secretary Raul Maldonado said last week that the government was poised to run out of money at the end of October, and may have to furlough government employees, a move that would hinder recovery efforts.

60 percent of wastewater treatment plants are working on generator power.

"I don't think there's going to be a federal bailout in which billions of dollars are spent to bail out Puerto Rico".

Democrats said Trump's tweets were deplorable, given that the 3 million-plus U.S. citizens on Puerto Rico are confronting the kind of hardships that would draw howls of outrage if they affected a state.

Trump's comments had prompted swift condemnation from some Democratic lawmakers, who said threatening to withdraw help from Puerto Rico would amount to abandoning U.S. citizens as the island struggles with the storm's aftermath. But the source conceded the optics of the president's handling of the crisis in Puerto Rico have been "terrible". As Tom Gjelten reported Wednesday night, the island has 78 mayors - and, he added, "They're said to be accustomed to doing their business without interference from above".

Cole said the price tag could rise as relief efforts transition from emergency response to rebuilding. It wasn't immediately clear what prompted the president's reference to her on Twitter. (He must have seen the promotion last Sunday.) See my interview w/Puerto Rico's governor on the island's fiscal disaster prior to the hurricane.

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