Senate Dems introduce bill to block Trump from using military funds to build wall

As reported by The Hill:

Senate Democrats introduced legislation on Monday to prevent President Trump from using military and disaster relief funds to construct the U.S.-Mexico border wall should he declare a national emergency.

The legislation would prevent Trump from using funding from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers civil works funds and military construction funding “for the construction of barriers, land acquisition, or any other associated activities on the southern border without specific statutory authorization from Congress” if he declared a national emergency.

Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) said that while an emergency declaration to construct the U.S.-Mexico border wall would be challenged in court, “Congress should not wait for the courts to act.”

“We must stand up and assert our role as a co-equal branch of government, and we must prevent the president from going around Congress to raid critical funds … for a politically-motivated, unjustified national emergency declaration that isn’t based in reality,” he said.

Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) added that the bill would “prevent funds designated for critical military construction and disaster response” from being used to build the wall in the event Trump declares a national emergency.

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Democrats estimate that approximately $35 billion from the fiscal 2018 funding cycle is “subject to raiding”—being repurposed for constructing the border wall — including money for disaster relief and military construction projects.

More than a dozen Democrats, including Udall and Heinrich, introduced the Restrictions Against Illegitimate Declarations for Emergency Re-appropriations Act. Among the RAIDER Act’s supporters are Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who are both running for the party’s 2020 nomination.

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