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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 TrumpVeteran accused in alleged border wall scheme faces new charges Arizona Republicans to brush off DOJ concern about election audit FEC drops investigation into Trump hush money payments 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 WarrenHillicon Valley: Broadband companies funded fake net neutrality comments, investigation finds | Twitter rolls out tip feature | Google to adopt 'hybrid work week' Warren: Trump is 'a danger to democracy' Biden backs COVID-19 vaccine patent waivers MORE (D-Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHarris's uncle discusses COVID-19 surge in India: 'The conditions are pretty bad' Updating the aging infrastructure in Historically Black Colleges and Universities Bowser on Manchin's DC statehood stance: He's 'not right' MORE (D-Calif.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandAustin tight lipped on whether to take sexual assault cases out of commanders' hands Gillibrand touts legislation to lower drug costs: This idea 'is deeply bipartisan' A bipartisan effort to prevent the scourge of sexual assault in the armed forces MORE (D-N.Y.) — as well as Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders on Cheney drama: GOP is an 'anti-democratic cult' Briahna Joy Gray: Biden campaign promises will struggle if Republicans win back Congress Biden backs COVID-19 vaccine patent waivers 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.