Puerto Ricans desperate for water are drinking from Superfund sites

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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.

Rep. Nydia Velázquez, D-N.Y., who was born and raised in Puerto Rico, said the bill would not be able to help the territory's 5,000 residents at risk of starvation or the 85 percent of the population still without electricity.

More than a dozen years after Hurricane Katrina pounded the Gulf Coast, FEMA was slated to dole out nearly half a billion dollars in fiscal year 2017 to fund relief efforts, mostly in Louisiana, after the hurricane and subsequent storms Rita and Wilma.

"The bigger concern is in the long term", he told Reuters in a 30-minute telephone interview as the House of Representatives moved ahead with a $4.9 billion loan for Puerto Rico as well as billions more in disaster relief.

"I know people are concerned that not every state's need is met, but this is, I think, a good step in the right direction", Frelinghuysen said of the current measure. When NPR's Tom Gjelten asked about Trump's latest tweets, a spokesman said the governor has spoken with the White House asking for "clarification". He quoted journalist Sharyl Attkisson, tweeting "Puerto Rico survived the Hurricanes, now a financial crisis looms largely of their own making".

"The state of affairs would simply be seen as unacceptable, which it is", the editorial said.

"There are reports of residents obtaining, or trying to obtain, drinking water from wells at hazardous waste 'Superfund' sites in Puerto Rico", the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said in a release. "So we got to make sure the taxpayer isn't continually stuck with bills out of thin air".

"It is shameful that President Trump is threatening to abandon these Americans when they most need the federal government's help", said Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer, the second-ranking House Democrat.

The words were taken by some as a hint at abandoning Puerto Rico. Congress to decide how much to spend.We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!

The House passed a $26.5 billion aid bill Thursday to help hurricane-hit states and Puerto Rico.

It was not immediately clear which Superfund sites the EPA was referring to.

Rubio said he suggested forming an advisory group during a conversation with Trump on Sunday.

The President also says the island nation should be "proud" of their low death toll.

"He seemed to like the idea, and said they would follow up and see what that would look like", Rubio said. Last month, Trump accused San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz of "poor leadership" and said she and others in Puerto Rico "want everything to be done for them".

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