Trump lashes out at Puerto Rico as House weighs aid package

Puerto Rico water

Puerto Rico water

Three weeks since Maria made landfall, much of Puerto Rico, an island of 3.4 million people, remains without power.

The agency is also still spending millions of dollars this year on recovery plans in the wake of Hurricanes Gustav in Louisiana and Ike in Texas from 2008.

Major League Baseball has raised over $15 million in aid so far to help people that have been affected by the storm as well as those impacted by the quake in Mexico. But Trump's tweets Thursday raised questions about whether the USA would remain there for the long haul.

White House legislative affairs director Marc Short said on CNN's "The Situation Room" that he did not view Trump's tweets as a "threat" to withdraw aid to Puerto Rico and conceded he did not know why Trump decided to make those statements Thursday morning.

Congress is reportedly prepared to sign off on $6 billion in aid following Hurricanes Irma and Maria, as well as the California wild fires.

"Not long after, Yulin Cruz responded via Twitter: "@POTUS It is not that you do not get it; you are incapable of fulfilling the moral imperative to help the people of PR. Shame on you.!"

"Why do you continue to treat Puerto Ricans differently than other Americans when it comes to natural disasters?"

Hours after that message was posted, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said via Twitter, "The U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico are requesting the support that any of our fellow citizens would receive across our Nation".

"The people of Puerto Rico are American citizens and they deserve federal assistance to recover and rebuild", Jennifer Hing, a spokeswoman for House Appropriations Committee chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen, said in a statement to Anadolu Agency.

Attkisson is a journalist who works for conservative Sinclair Broadcasting.

"I don't have a great answer for you on the timing", Short said. "'It's not a decision as is, it's a law that all the resources must be available for Puerto Rico". House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said the government needs to ensure that Puerto Rico can "begin to stand on its own two feet" and said the US has "got to do more to help Puerto Rico rebuild its own economy".

The bill would give Puerto Rico access to a $4.9 billion low-interest Treasury Department loan to help the territory pay salaries and other expenses to avoid a government shutdown.

Ryan will travel to the island with House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen of New Jersey and Rep. Nita Lowey of NY, the top Democrat on the panel.

The House of Representatives approved a $36.5 billion disaster aid package Thursday to help victims struggling to recover from a string of devastating hurricanes and wildfires.