Trump, as part of broader remarks that touched upon everything from Special Adviser Robert Muller's Report and Healthcare for Trade and North Korea, dropped his way of identifying total disaster relief aids that had been distributed on the road. of a series of storms and hurricanes in 2017. This is a matter Trump has had for months – mentioning Puerto Rico's finances and disaster relief many times in meetings with lawmakers and officials as they worked through the iterations of the next calamity bill for relief.
"The question was – are we spending the money wisely?" Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican from South Carolina. "I do not mind helping the people of Puerto Rico, but we have to spend the money wisely."
Trumps, senators said, then used a table to show the difference between what Puerto Rico received in comparison to other countries like Texas and Florida. At one point, Trump notes that Puerto Rico has received more than $ 90 billion in aid. Congressional officials have asked about the total amount indicated by Trump, which does not track what Congress has provided support to this point.
"I agree that you should always be aware of how the money is spent, but Puerto Rico certainly has needs that are different from some of these other places," Rubio added, noting that the island had
Asked about comment on the Senator's description of Trump's remarks, the White House said in a statement.
"The Trump administration is determined to have the island received unprecedented support and is about to receive tens of billions of dollars from taxpayers, but the Trump administration will not put taxpayers on the hook to fix for decades." A crisis that has left the island with profoundly rooted economic problems. "
Sen. Richard Shelby, Chairman of the Budget Commission, said Trump had said that Puerto Rico had won a lot of money before, and many were not spent wisely, and I think this is given. "
ubernatorat Puerto Rico Ricardo Roselyo shook reported by Trump's comments in a long statement saying that they "are below the dignity of a sitting president of the United States. They continue to have no empathy, they are irresponsible, sorry, and above all unjustified. "1
" I invite the president to stop hearing rumors and utterly wrong advice, "Roselo said," Instead he has to come to Puerto Rico to hear people on the ground at first glance. "I invite him to provide all the resources at his disposal to help Americans in Puerto Rico, as he did for Texas and Alabama
The issue of Puerto Rico – and the President's frustration with what the island has received so far – now comes to the fore when MEPs work to reach a disaster relief package. The Senate, which announced its own version of $ 13.4 billion on Tuesday, includes $ 600 million for an additional meal support program, or food for the island. Senate voted on Tuesday to begin consideration of the bill.
But PP's efforts are not enough, which Parliament's Democrats call for help for Puerto Rico.
"Democrats of houses are opposed to this bill because it does not adequately address disaster relief and reconstruction in Puerto Rico and the territories," Hollander, a spokeswoman for the Budget Committee, told the Senate bill. "If the Senate adopts this bill, we will insist on going to a conference to make sure we meet the needs of all Americans."
Republican Senator Rick Scott, of Florida, said the issue of funding for Puerto Rico is "a continuing conversation" between Trump and Scott. "His opinion is that we have to make this bill now, as both Florida and Puerto Rico need this funding now," said spokesman Chris Hartlin. "The senator is determined to fight for the people of Puerto Rico in the US Senate, so his first speech and his first amendment was to fund food aid for Puerto Rico."
CNN Ryan Nobels, Betsy Klein and Jim Acosta contributed to this report.