Senate Democrats on Monday introduced a bill that would prevent President Trump from using money already appropriated for the U.S. military to help build a border wall in the event that the President declares a national emergency to accomplish that purpose.

The bill would prevent the use of disaster relief funds, Army Corps of Engineers civil works funds, and military construction funding without the specific authorization of Congress.

“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,” Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., said.

President Trump has not altered his stance on the possibility of another partial government shutdown,  and reinforcing his position in a Sunday interview on Face the Nation. The Federal government, including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is fully funded until Feb. 15, but after that funding for DHS and some other functions is set to expire.

When speaking Sunday about declaring a national emergency, President Trump said it was still an option he was considering.

“Well, I don’t—I don’t take anything off the table. I don’t like to take things off the table,” Trump said in the interview.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., responded to President Trump’s interview via Twitter by saying:

“@realDonaldTrump, your last shutdown caused immeasurable pain to 800,000 American workers, contractors, and their families, costing us billions in the process. Stop threatening to take them hostage with yet another shutdown.”

The President is set to deliver his State of the Union address Tuesday night, and last week told reporters to listen closely to what he has to say during and after the address.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.