Congress just voted to override President Obama’s veto of the bill to allow the 9/11 victim’s families to sue Saudi Arabia in overwhelming numbers.
Democrats in large numbers joined with Republicans to deliver a remarkable rebuke to the president. The 97-to-1 vote in the Senate and the 348-to-77 vote in the House displayed the enduring power of the Sept. 11 families in Washington and the diminishing influence here of the Saudi government.
The new law, enacted over the fierce objections of the White House, immediately alters the legal landscape. American courts could seize Saudi assets to pay for any judgment obtained by the Sept. 11 families, while Saudi officials have warned they might need to sell off hundreds of billions of dollars in holdings in the United States to avoid such an outcome.
The reason Obama vetoed the bill is because he openly admitted he was worried that the bill would open the door to lawsuits against US diplomats and military members abroad.
Of course, the Saudi Arabian government continues to deny that it has any responsibility in the 9/11 attacks.
“I think it was a mistake, and I understand why it happened,” Mr. Obama said at a CNN town hall-style meeting with military personnel in Fort Lee, Va. “It’s an example of why sometimes, you have to do what’s hard, and frankly, I wish Congress here had done what’s hard. I didn’t expect it, because if you’re perceived as voting against 9/11 families right before an election, not surprisingly, that’s a hard vote for people to take. But it would have been the right thing to do.”
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