Ryan vows to deliver aid to Puerto Rico

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Tuesday that Hurricane Maria has caused a “humanitarian crisis” in Puerto Rico and vowed that Congress will soon deliver aid to the island’s millions of residents.

“This has been a devastating hurricane. This is a humanitarian crisis,” Ryan told reporters at a news conference. “The images and the stories coming out of the island have been heart breaking and devastating.

“This is our country and these are our citizens.”

Ryan’s remarks come as Democrats blast President Trump for what they see is his inadequate response to the devastation and suffering in Puerto Rico and his focus on issues like NFL players kneeling in protest during the national anthem.

{mosads}Trump said Tuesday at the White House that he will travel to the hurricane-ravaged U.S. territory next week.

“They need help and they are going to get our help,” Ryan said of Puerto Rico’s 3.5 million residents. “I want the people of Puerto Rico to know that we are in this with them.”

The Speaker said the U.S. is currently conducting a “rescue mission” in Puerto Rico and that Congress will act once the Trump administration sends an aid request.

“I want the people of Puerto Rico to know that they are going to get the kind of support and aid that Texas and Florida have [received],” said Ryan, who spent last week’s House recess touring areas in Texas and Florida that had been damaged in recent weeks by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

“Right now it’s search and rescue; it’s humanitarian. And when we get the kind of information we need from the administration, we will be doing more in Congress to act to help all of these hurricane victims wherever they are because these hurricanes have wreaked havoc on all of our citizens.”

“The Trump administration is going to do all that it needs to do to get the information to us so that Congress again will act in response to these hurricanes,” Ryan said.

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