WASHINGTON —Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) admonished President Donald Trump Tuesday for telling Puerto Rican officials that the recovery effort has “thrown our budget a little out of whack.”
“Mr. President, enough. Stop blaming Puerto Rico for the storm that devastated their shores, and roll up your sleeves and get the recovery on track. That’s your job as president,” Schumer said during a press briefing on Capitol Hill Tuesday. “I don’t remember the president telling Texas that they threw our budget out of whack after Harvey. Or Florida after Irma.”
Schumer went on to accuse Trump of hypocrisy for expressing dismay at the budget while simultaneously pursuing Republican-lead tax reform.
“To have the gall to complain about Puerto Rico throwing our budget out of whack – while proposing tax cuts for millionaires that will cost trillions of dollars – boggles the mind,” Schumer said.
The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center released a report last week concluding that the tax plan in its current form would benefit Americans within the highest income bracket and ultimately reduce federal revenue by $2.4 trillion over the first decade.
Trump arrived in Puerto Rico on Tuesday to survey the damage from Hurricane Maria, which placed the U.S. territory on the brink of a humanitarian crisis.
While meeting with Puerto Rican officials at Luis Muñiz Air National Guard Base in Carloina, Trump touched on the budget.
“Now, I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you’ve thrown our budget a little out of whack because we’ve spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico, and that’s fine,” Trump said. “We’ve saved a lot of lives.”
Schumer and Trump have had a complicated relationship in recent weeks.
While at odds politically, Trump eschewed input from Congressional Republicans by compromising with Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on a plan to fund the government through September in exchange for border security funds that excluded a border wall.