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

Posted: Updated:

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on federal aid for hurricane=ravaged Puerto Rico (all times local):

7:35 a.m.

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.

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

___

4:44 a.m.

The House is on track to deliver a sweeping bipartisan vote for President Donald Trump's request for additional disaster aid, $16 billion to pay flood insurance claims, and emergency funding to help the cash-strapped government of Puerto Rico stay afloat.

Thursday's hurricane aid package totals $36.5 billion and follows a $15.3 billion measure that passed last month. The measure sticks close to the White House request, ignoring - for now - huge demands from the powerful Florida and Texas delegations, who together pressed for some $40 billion more.

Several lawmakers from hurricane-hit states said a third interim aid request is anticipated shortly - with a final, huge hurricane recovering and rebuilding package likely to be acted upon by the end of the year.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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