(CNN)White House officials have told congressional leaders and appropriators that President Donald Trump does not want any additional relief funding sent to Puerto Rico, a congressional leadership aide told CNN on Monday.
While there are no talks to cut funds that have already been appropriated, a White House aide said negotiations have focused on keeping Puerto Rico relief funding out of a supplemental spending bill that would fund relief efforts in parts of the south that were ravaged by hurricanes this year.
That aide noted Puerto Rican officials haven’t yet spent all the money Congress has set aside for them, and said the administration is moving to stop any more money from going to help the island “because they don’t need it and will most likely not be able to spend it.”
Trump’s latest positioning on Puerto Rico was first reported by Axios
. The White House has been making this known on Capitol Hill for “a while now,” the congressional leadership aide said.
Trump has previously taken aim at Puerto Rican officials
for their management of the billions in relief funds his administration has appropriated for storm recovery, accusing the island’s leaders of spending some of that money for reasons other than hurricane clean-up.
“The people of Puerto Rico are wonderful but the inept politicians are trying to use the massive and ridiculously high amounts of hurricane/disaster funding to pay off other obligations,” Trump tweeted on October 23
. “The U.S. will NOT bail out long outstanding & unpaid obligations with hurricane relief money!”
In February, Puerto Rico received $16 billion in federal aid under a disaster relief package signed by Trump.
The funding for the devastated island was part of a $90 billion package agreed upon by Senate leaders as part a two-year budget deal to avert a government shutdown. The relief deal covered a number of major disasters across the US, including Hurricanes Maria, Irma and Harvey, and wildfires in California.
Puerto Rico had estimated it would need $94 billion to rebuild the devastated island after two destructive hurricanes hit, shredding its power grid and infrastructure.
CNN’s Donna Borak, Betsy Klein and Maegan Vazquez contributed to this report.