Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said she was "outraged" at the federal government for not doing more to help people in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands after those U.S. territories were ravaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Warren, along with several other Democratic lawmakers, submitted a letter to Trump on Friday requesting he utilize all authorities granted to him under the Defense Production Act, which allows the president to prioritize materials and services to promote emergency repairs, supply lines, and restoration of vital utilities and facilities destroyed or damaged by a natural disaster.
"The situation in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands is dire and demands a dramatic and immediate response to alleviate untold suffering," they wrote.
.@realDonaldTrump should use his authority to more quickly & comprehensively respond to Puerto Rico & the USVI. These Americans need us. pic.twitter.com/s7pHTXOkyV— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) September 29, 2017
Warren also expressed her dissatisfaction with the federal government's response on Twitter.
"With every day that passes, I'm more outraged that the federal govt isn't doing more to help our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico & the USVI," Warren tweeted.
With every day that passes, Im more outraged that the federal govt isnt doing more to help our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico & the USVI.— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) September 29, 2017
Additionally, Warren requested Congress pass a funding bill that would help the island with hurricane relief efforts."Congress must immediately take up an appropriations bill to come to Puerto Rico & the US Virgin Islands' aid," Warren wrote.
Congress must immediately take up an appropriations bill to come to Puerto Rico & the US Virgin Islands aid.— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) September 29, 2017
Although Democrats have been critical that Trump has not responded quickly enough, Trump did increase aid to Puerto Rico this week, and agreed to ease shipping rules in the hopes of getting aid there more quickly. Federal Emergency Management Agency officials, first responders, and the military have been sent to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to assist those recovering from the aftermath of recent hurricanes.
"I have to say that the administration has responded to our petitions. FEMA, Brock Long, has been on the phone virtually all the time with me, checking out how things are going," Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello said.
"The different components of the national guard, military, FEMA and our government are working together on the priorities," he said.
At least 16 people have died in connection to Maria and through relief and repair efforts are underway, power may not be returned to the entirety of the island for six months.
Trump will visit Puerto Rico on Tuesday and is also expected to make a stop in the Virgin Islands as well at some point.