Trump hits Dems over stalled disaster relief, says Puerto Rico ‘should be very happy’

President Trump on Monday blamed Democrats for delaying a disaster relief bill that has been stalled in Congress for months and suggested Puerto Rico “should be very happy” with the recovery assistance it has received thus far.

Trump claimed that Democrats are responsible for a breakdown in negotiations over disaster relief funding and, as a result, the party is delaying money for several other states in need of money following flooding and other natural disasters.

“The Dems don’t want farmers to get any help,” Trump tweeted. “Puerto Rico should be very happy and the Dems should stop blocking much needed Disaster Relief!”{mosads}

The president asserted that Puerto Rico has received $91 billion in relief funding as it recovers from Hurricane Maria. However, a Washington Post fact-check of his claim found that the island has thus far received $11 billion in recovery funds, but could receive up to $91 billion over the course of several years.


Senators last month punted on billions in disaster aid for parts of the Midwest, South and Puerto Rico after they were unable to come to an agreement on funding.

The Senate Republican disaster aid bill would have provided $13.45 billion for recovery from recent storms, hurricanes and fires, including $600 million in food aid for Puerto Rico. But Democrats and top Puerto Rican officials argued the amount is insufficient to help the island tackle lingering structural damage caused by the 2017 hurricanes.

The Democrat-held House this week is expected to take up its own disaster aid bill. 

Trump has endured intense criticism for his administration’s handling of recovery efforts in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, which devastated the island in 2017 and left nearly 3,000 dead. Trump has repeatedly defended his performance, giving it high marks and attacking island officials who criticized him.

Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora, a Puerto Rico native, said he will skip the team’s visit to the White House this week over the administration’s hurricane response.

Tags disaster relief Donald Trump Puerto Rico Trump tweets

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