We can not aid Puerto Rico 'forever'

Army personnel unload a helicopter carrying hurricane relief supplies Thursday in the town of Cidra Puerto Rico

In a series of tweets, the president added, "electric and all infrastructure was disaster before hurricanes".

Cruz's comments were likely in response to early morning tweets Thursday from the president, where he said Congress needs to act quickly to provide relief because "FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been unbelievable (under the most hard circumstances) in P.R. forever!"

Velázquez said the funds earmarked for loans to local governments would assist Puerto Rico's "liquidity crisis" and that steps must be taken to ensure that creditors are unable to access funds meant for disaster relief.

White House chief of staff John Kelly also touched on Puerto Rico at a press conference Thursday, saying Trump's tweet was "exactly accurate", considering they would not be there forever. "There will be a period in which we hope sooner rather than later, the USA military and (the Federal Emergency Management Agency), generally speaking, can withdraw because then the government and people of Puerto Rico are recovering sufficiently to start the process of rebuilding".

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San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, with whom Trump has had a running war of words, tweeted that the president's comments were "unbecoming" to a commander in chief and "seem more to come from a 'Hater in Chief'".

In response, Cruz wrote, "The goal is one: saving lives".

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday he said will bring "great, great health care" to millions of people, said Puerto Rico can't be helped "forever", and urged the Senate to confirm Kirstjen Nielsen as his secretary of homeland security.

According to the White House transcript, Pence addressed the people of Puerto Rico when he said, "We are with you, we stand with you, and we will be with you every single day until Puerto Rico is restored bigger and better than ever before". The social media company's video from the island, however, took flak from tech critics as being insensitive to Puerto Rico. He says Puerto Rico shouldn't expect federal help "forever". Democrats are expected overwhelmingly to support the bill, as are Republicans from Texas and Florida, where residents have also been battered by recent hurricanes.

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60 percent of wastewater treatment plants are working on generator power. More than 45 deaths have been attributed to the storm, and 90 percent of the island is without electricity. In addition to the federal effort, 22 states have responded to calls for aid in Puerto Rico.

A news release from the Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday said that there are "reports of residents obtaining, or trying to obtain, drinking water from wells at hazardous waste "Superfund" sites in Puerto Rico". The recovery effort comes after the government-owned electricity utility PREPA filed for bankruptcy in July - and after Puerto Rico itself filed for bankruptcy, facing more than $120 billion in debt, as NPR's Samantha Raphelson has reported.

When he visited Puerto Rico last week, Trump said, "Now I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you've thrown our budget a little out of whack, because we've spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico, and that's fine". 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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