Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump
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 Trump 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.
The senators backing the bill include several who have already entered the presidential race - Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) - as well as Bernie Sanders (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.