US: Senate votes to override Obama veto on 9/11 bill on Saudi Arabia

29th Sep 2016
US: Senate votes to override Obama veto on 9/11 bill on Saudi Arabia

By Michael Hernandez

 

WASHINGTON (AA): The Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly voted in favor of overriding President Barack Obama’s veto of legislation that would allow the victims of terror attacks to sue foreign governments.

The measure received support well beyond a two-thirds super majority to pass, officially receiving 97 votes in favor in the 100-member chamber.

Jack Reed of Nevada cast the sole dissenting vote. Two senators did not vote.

The Justice Against State Sponsors of Terrorism Act is backed by families of Sept. 11, 2001, victims who are seeking the ability to sue Saudi Arabia for its alleged involvement.

Versions of the bill have been circulating around the capitol for years, but only this year has it received enough support to see a full vote.

The administration has maintained that the legislation would have unintended consequences for the U.S., opening the door for lawsuits aimed at U.S. service members, diplomats and other officials.

During congressional testimony last week, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter remarked that “were another country to behave reciprocally towards the United States that could be a problem for some of our service members.”

Those concerns apparently did not sway lawmakers from backing the bill.

The House is expected to vote on the measure Thursday. If the chamber votes to approve, which it is widely expected to do, it will be the first time that a presidential veto would be overturned under Obama.
[Image of Seal of US Senate by Ipankonin/Creative Commons]

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