Trump says Puerto Rico can't get aid `forever'

President Donald Trump is criticizing hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico and says the government can't keep federal aid there "forever."

Trump criticized the U.S. territory in a series of tweets Thursday. He says there is a "total lack of accountability" and "electric and all infrastructure was disaster before hurricanes."

The president adds: "We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!"

The House is on track to back Trump's request for billions more in disaster aid, $16 billion to pay flood insurance claims and emergency funding to help the cash-strapped government of Puerto Rico stay afloat.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is traveling to Puerto Rico on Friday. He has promised that the U.S. territory will get what it needs, but most of the island remains without power, and many of its more isolated residents still lack drinking water.

Hurricane Maria struck Sept. 20. It has killed at least 45 people, and about 85 percent of Puerto Rico residents still lack electricity.

A steady series of disasters -- massive flooding in Texas, hurricane damage in Florida, and a humanitarian crisis in hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico -- could be putting 2017 on track to rival Hurricane Katrina and other 2005 storms as the most costly set of disasters ever. Katrina required about $110 billion in emergency appropriations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

 

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