Tags: puertorico | hurricane | maria | twitter | tweet

Trump Rips Puerto Rico's Misuse of Hurricane Relief Funds

donald trump
(AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 23 October 2018 12:03 PM

Puerto Rico's "inept politicians" run their island to bankruptcy before last year's Hurricane Maria and now are misusing "massive and ridiculously high" hurricane relief funding from the United States as a way to "bail out" the bankrupt island, President Trump tweeted Tuesday. 

"The people of Puerto Rico are wonderful but the inept politicians are trying to use the massive and ridiculously high amounts of hurricane/disaster funding to pay off other obligations. The U.S. will NOT bail out long outstanding & unpaid obligations with hurricane relief money!"

Trump's tweet came on the day Puerto Rico's federally appointed financial oversight board unanimously approved a revised fiscal reform plan meant to put the bankrupt island on a path toward solvency.

Puerto Rico's elected government opposed the revised plan for being too strict, likely leading to the tweet from President Trump.

The vote by the seven members of the board was unanimous even though some raised concerns about the plan's ultimate viability to help Puerto Rico resume fiscal balance and economic growth.

As in previous versions, the commonwealth's revised fiscal plan calls for a range of fiscal and structural reforms as well as stiff reductions in government spending.

In addition to revised data on actual revenues and expenses, the new plan was updated to account for lower levels of migration from the island following Hurricane Maria as well as an additional $20 billion in federal disaster relief funding. It also imposes more cuts to government spending, which has raised opposition from the island's government.

"This is not a fiscal plan for economic development, this is an austerity plan," Gov. Ricardo Rossello said as the board met in San Juan to approve revised fiscal plans for both the commonwealth and the University of Puerto Rico.

The revised plan for the commonwealth calls for a reduction of $427 million in government spending across agencies for this fiscal year, almost doubling to $926 million in fiscal year 2020.

Material from Reuters was used in this report.

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Puerto Rico's "inept politicians" run their island to bankruptcy before last year's Hurricane Maria and now are misusing "massive and ridiculously high" hurricane relief funding from the United States as a way to "bail out" the bankrupt island, President Trump tweeted Tuesday. 
puertorico, hurricane, maria, twitter, tweet
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2018-03-23
Tuesday, 23 October 2018 12:03 PM
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