U.S. President Donald Trump doesn’t want to deliver additional relief funding to Puerto Rico, White House officials told congressional appropriators Monday, CNN reports.
A White House aide told CNN that, although funding cuts have not been finalized, the U.S. territory has been excluded from a spending bill intended for states damaged by this year's hurricanes.
The aide reported that as Puerto Rican officials have not expired the relief funds, the White House has decided to forego any additional financial support “because they don’t need it and will most likely not be able to spend it.”
Last month, a tweet from the president clearly illustrated his position on the territories petitions for further assistance, saying: “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!"
When the revised death toll announced in October revealed that nearly 3,000 residents had died in the wake of Hurricane Maria, Trump dismissed the report and accused Democrats of exploiting the figures as part of a smear campaign against his administration.
Eleven months after the deadly hurricane hit the island in September 2017, residents were still without power, thousands were displaced, and hundreds of homes destroyed.