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Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Trump continues “unhinged” attack on Puerto Rico

Seeks aid cut-off to hurricane-ravaged US territory

Image may contain: 1 person, meme, suit and text"He can huff and puff all he wants but he cannot escape the death of 3,000 on his watch."

That was San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz's response to President Donald Trump's Monday night tweet-storm, in which he once again inflated the amount of federal aid Puerto Rico has received since Hurricane Maria and attacked Cruz as "crazed and incompetent."

"He is unhinged," Cruz tweeted in response to the president's rant, which came after a GOP emergency aid bill stalled in the Senate, in part due to Democratic opposition over the legislation's inadequate relief to Puerto Rico.

"He knows his response was insufficient at best," the San Juan Mayor continued. "Shame on you!"

Trump's Puerto Rico rant came as over a million U.S. citizens on the island are facing massive food stamp cuts amid congressional inaction.

The president has repeatedly claimed Puerto Rico has received $91 billion in federal disaster relief. According to the Washington Post, this number "appears to be a steep inflation of what's actually been appropriated."

Trump has also reportedly told aides that he "doesn't want another single dollar going to the island."



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The $13 billion relief bill that failed in the Senate Monday included $600 million in aid for Puerto Rico's food stamp program, as well as aid to California, North and South Carolina, and other states.

As the Post reported, Senate Democrats argued the GOP legislation is "inadequate to meet the U.S. territory’s needs as it attempts to recover from Hurricane Maria."

According to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine last year, as many as 6,000 people may have died in Puerto Rico due to Hurricane Maria.

"Democrats are embracing a House-passed relief bill containing hundreds of millions of dollars more for Puerto Rico than the GOP version, but it, too, failed to advance Monday as Republicans opposed it," the Post reported. 

"Trump opposes sending any additional aid to Puerto Rico apart from the food stamp money, funding Republicans convinced him to accept as the price for passing the long-pending disaster bill."

In a statement last week, Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Rosselló accused Trump of treating residents of the island as second-class citizens.

"People from all over the nation, and the world, have witnessed the inequalities Americans face on the island," Rosselló said. "Mr. President: Enough with the insults and demeaning characterizations."