President Trump lashed out at Senate Democrats for voting against a GOP-backed disaster bill that would have aided US farmers but that Democrats argued didn’t go far enough to help hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.
In a series of five tweets he began posting late Monday and continued sending Tuesday morning, Trump called the Caribbean island a “mess” and said its politicians “are incompetent or corrupt.”
“The Democrats today killed a Bill that would have provided great relief to Farmers and yet more money to Puerto Rico despite the fact that Puerto Rico has already been scheduled to receive more hurricane relief funding than any ‘place’ in history,’ the president posted on his Twitter page Monday evening.
After calling Puerto Ricans “GREAT” and the country’s lawmakers “corrupt,” Trump railed that “their government can’t do anything right, the place is a mess – nothing works.”
“FEMA & the Military worked emergency miracles, but politicians like the crazed and incompetent Mayor of San Juan have done such a poor job of bringing the Island back to health,” Trump continued. “91 Billion Dollars to Puerto Rico, and now the Dems want to give them more, taking dollars away from our Farmers and so many others. Disgraceful!”
After a break of about eight hours, Trump continued the onslaught against Puerto Rico, claiming that all their “politicians do is complain & ask for more money. The pols are grossly incompetent, spend the money foolishly or corruptly, & only take from USA.”
“The best thing that ever happened to Puerto Rico is President Donald J. Trump,” he concluded Tuesday morning.
The tweetstorm was in reaction to Democrats blocking a disaster bill on Monday that would have provided assistance to victims of hurricanes in Florida, George and North Carolina, floods in the South and Midwest, and wildfires in California.
The GOP-sponsored bill would have provided $13.45 billion in funding but Democrats said the $600 million allocated for Puerto Rico wasn’t enough to help the country recover from Hurricane Maria.
Trump has repeatedly claimed that Puerto Rico got $91 billion in aid, but that figure accounts for $50 billion in payments the island is expected to receive in the coming years.
And, according to a study published by BMJ Global Health, the federal response after hurricanes Harvey and Irma in Texas and Florida was “faster and more generous” than the response to Puerto Rico after Maria.
In the nine-day period after the hurricanes struck, people in Florida and Texas received nearly $100 million from FEMA, while Puerto Ricans got roughly $6 million.