Tags: Trump Administration | trump | puerto rico

Trump: Puerto Rico, US Govt Need to Confront Island's Debt Load

Friday, 29 September 2017 12:06 PM

President Donald Trump defended himself against criticism of his administration's handling of the crisis in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, saying the federal government is fully engaged in responding to storm damage of "historic and catastrophic severity."

"We're literally starting from scratch," Trump said Friday in a speech to the National Association of Manufacturers. He said the hurricane had damaged roads and sewage systems and knocked out the electric power grid. "Nobody has ever seen anything like it."

White House Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert said Thursday that 10,000 federal personnel, including from the military, are on the island and involved in relief efforts.

Democrats in Congress are urging the administration to step the federal response, and Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida said Thursday that the White House hasn't grasped the significance of the damage in Puerto Rico compared to recent hurricane damage in his state and Texas.

Trump said the island's police and truck drivers are "very substantially gone" taking care of their own families and that the federal government has had to bring in truck drivers, security and other personnel.

Trump said the U.S. territory, which already was facing mounting debt and a shrinking economy, will need a costly recovery effort. The territorial government will have to work with federal authorities to determine "how this massive rebuilding effort — it will be one of the biggest ever — will be funded and organized, and what we'll do with the tremendous amount of existing debt already on the island." he said.

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Puerto Rico needs to work with the U.S. government to determine how to fund rebuilding after Hurricane Maria and what to do about the territory's heavy debt load, President Donald Trump said on Friday.
trump, puerto rico
Friday, 29 September 2017 12:06 PM
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