October 23, 2018 / 3:45 PM / 8 months ago

Trump accuses Puerto Rico of using disaster funds for other debt

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump, with first lady Melania Trump and local officials, stops to speak with reporters outside a hurricane relief distribution center at Calvary Chapel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, October 3, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday accused Puerto Rico’s politicians of using “massive and ridiculously high amounts of hurricane/disaster funding” to pay off other debts, and said he would not allow a bailout with relief money.

“The U.S. will NOT bail out long outstanding & unpaid obligations with hurricane relief money!,” Trump said on Twitter.

A federally appointed oversight board on Tuesday approved a fiscal reform plan for Puerto Rico over opposition from the island’s elected government. The plan calls for a range of fiscal and structural reforms, reduces government spending and takes into account an additional $20 billion in federal disaster relief funds.

(Adds dropped words “an additional” in last paragraph.)

Reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by Tim Ahmann

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