Senate Dems introduce bill to prevent Trump from using disaster funds to build wall

A group of Senate Democrats, including several 2020 contenders, have introduced legislation that would prevent President TrumpDonald John TrumpA better VA, with mental health services, is essential for America's veterans Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit MORE from using disaster relief funds to finance a wall along the southern border.

The Protecting Disaster Relief Funds Act would block Trump from taking funds allocated to the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Housing and Urban Development or the Army Corps of Engineers for disaster relief and using that money to construct physical barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.

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The senators backing the bill include several who have already entered the presidential race — Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenGillibrand seizes on abortion debate to jump-start campaign CEO pay rising twice as fast as worker pay: AP Senate Democrats to House: Tamp down the impeachment talk MORE (D-Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisSan Francisco police chief apologizes for raid on journalist's home Gillibrand seizes on abortion debate to jump-start campaign Senate Democrats to House: Tamp down the impeachment talk MORE (D-Calif.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandGillibrand seizes on abortion debate to jump-start campaign Senate Democrats to House: Tamp down the impeachment talk Senate confirms Army, Navy chiefs MORE (D-N.Y.) — as well as Bernie SandersBernie SandersGillibrand seizes on abortion debate to jump-start campaign DNC boss says candidates to be involved in debate lottery CEO pay rising twice as fast as worker pay: AP MORE (I-Vt.), who is reportedly on the verge of making his announcement. 

Harris said in a statement announcing the legislation that Trump "cannot go around Congress to fund his ridiculous vanity project."

"I'm proud to introduce this bill today to ensure that funds intended for victims of natural disasters do not go towards a wall that Congress won't fund and people on the border don't even want," she added. "This bill will stand up for Congress' power of the purse and help California families affected by recent natural disasters begin the process of recovery."

Trump on Friday declared a national emergency at the southern border in an effort to circumvent Congress and spend billions on barriers along the border.

It's unclear where those funds will come from, but the White House has left open the possibility that he could use disaster funds for the project, according to The Associated Press.