Obama vetoes Sept. 11 Saudi bill; top Senate Democrat vows override
“President Barack Obama on Friday vetoed legislation allowing families of victims of the Sept. 11 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia, a move expected to prompt the U.S. Congress to overturn his decision with a rare veto override, the first of his presidency.
Obama said the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act would hurt U.S. national security. The bill passed earlier this month in reaction to long-running suspicions, denied by Saudi Arabia, that hijackers of the four U.S. jetliners that attacked the United States in 2001 were backed by the Saudi government.
Obama said other countries could use the law, known as JASTA, as an excuse to sue U.S. diplomats, service members or companies – even for actions of foreign organizations that had received U.S. aid, equipment or training.
“Removing sovereign immunity in U.S. courts from foreign governments that are not designated as state sponsors of terrorism, based solely on allegations that such foreign governments’ actions abroad had a connection to terrorism-related injuries on U.S. soil, threatens to undermine these longstanding principles that protect the United States, our forces, and our personnel,” Obama said in a statement.
New York Senator Chuck Schumer, who has championed the measure, immediately made clear how difficult it will be for Obama to sustain the veto.
If two-thirds of the lawmakers in each of the Senate and House of Representatives vote to override Obama’s veto, the law would stand, the first such override since he became president in 2009. Obama leaves office in January.
Schumer, the No. 3 Democrat in the Senate, issued a statement within moments of receiving the veto promising that it would be “swiftly and soundly overturned.”
A group of survivors and families have pressed Congress to uphold the legislation, calling Obama’s veto explanation “unconvincing and unsupportable.”
The Saudi government has lobbied heavily to stop the bill, as has the European Union.”
….Continue reading @ Reuters
Obama Vetoes 9/11 Bill, Defends Saudi Arabia from Lawsuits
“President Barack Obama has vetoed a bill that would have allowed the families of 9/11 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia.
The move sets Obama up for a possible first veto override by Congress. Both chambers passed the bill by voice vote. The House sent Obama the bill just before the 15th anniversary of the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001.
Obama says the bill would “upset longstanding international principles regarding sovereign immunity.”
The bill would have given 9/11 families the right to sue in U.S. court for any role that elements of the Saudi government may have played in the attacks.
Fifteen of the 19 men who carried out the attacks were Saudi nationals.”
….Continue reading @ Breitbart