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 TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

The senators backing the bill include several who have already entered the presidential race — Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSteyer calls on DNC to expand polling criteria for debates Gabbard hits DNC over poll criteria for debates The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch MORE (D-Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisSteyer calls on DNC to expand polling criteria for debates Gabbard hits DNC over poll criteria for debates The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch MORE (D-Calif.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch Gabbard, Steyer inch toward making third Democratic debate Gillibrand unveils mental health plan MORE (D-N.Y.) — as well as Bernie SandersBernie SandersHickenlooper day-old Senate bid faces pushback from progressives Steyer calls on DNC to expand polling criteria for debates Andrew Yang: News coverage of Trump a 'microcosm' of issues facing country 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.