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President Trump lashes out at hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico

President Trump lashes out at hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico

Donald Trump warned on Thursday (Oct 12) that his willingness to help hurricane-battered Puerto Rico was not unlimited, prompting a furious backlash with the major of San Juan branding the US president a "Hater in Chief".

Forty-five deaths in Puerto Rico have been blamed on Maria, about 85 percent of Puerto Rico residents still lack electricity and the government says it hopes to have electricity restored completely by March.

Pelosi also lashed out at Trump for his expected decertification of the Iran Nuclear deal and his executive order directing his administration to rewrite federal rules so consumers can have wider access to health insurance plans featuring lower premiums.

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

"Our focus has continued to be in supporting FEMA and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in deployment of logistical support forces, commodities and medical capabilities, and we certainly still have air missions that are moving food and water and other vital capabilities into Puerto Rico", Miller told AFP. But it is Trump's tone toward Puerto Rico that has drawn the most criticism.

Trump brought up the country's debt crisis in a tweet Thursday morning.

The US President began lobbing hurricane relief supplies into a sedate crowd of Puerto Ricans during today's visit.

The House has passed a $36.5 billion measure that would replenish government disaster aid funds and help the cash-strapped government of Puerto Rico keep functioning in the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

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.

The editorial said if that were the case, there would be constant media coverage and the president "certainly wouldn't be threatening to abandon federal relief efforts".

The nation could "rally" to focus on Puerto Rico's long-neglected economic problems.

Democratic Representative Nydia Velazquez of New York, which has a large Puerto Rican community, said on the House floor that the island is facing a "humanitarian crisis". The death toll in Florida after Hurricane Irma, which made landfall on Sept. 10, also reached 75, the Miami Herald reported, not counting the more than 38 people who died in the Caribbean. So some are turning to wells at Superfund sites on the island-areas designated the most toxic in US territory.

FEMA is the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which oversees disaster response in the United States.

But conservatives argued that the longer Congress waits, the less excuse it has for not finding spending offsets.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers agreed that additional help would likely be needed.