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Obama Vetoes 9/11 Bill

Obama Vetoes 9/11 Bill

The proposed law, which allows families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks to sue governments for an alleged role, would be "detrimental to United States national interests", he said in a veto message to the Senate. While Obama and the administration says that this would break a longstanding practice that protects sovereign nations from these types of legal threats, the White House is also anxious that American officials could now be sued in foreign courts over US military or diplomatic actions taken overseas.

"If JASTA were enacted, courts could potentially consider even minimal allegations accusing U.S. allies or partners of complicity in a particular terrorist attack in the United States to be sufficient to open the door to litigation and wide-ranging discovery against a foreign country", Obama said.

The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act would allow the families of 9/11 victims to sue Riyadh if it is found to be legally liable for helping to support the devastating terror attacks.

"I have deep sympathy for the families of the victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, who have suffered grievously", Obama wrote in his veto message to Congress, according to The New York Times.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has pledged to hold an override vote next week, and House Speaker Paul Ryan says there is enough support in his chamber tooverturn the veto.

"This veto denies Americans the opportunity to hold those evil extremists accountable through the very system of justice that they tried - and failed - to strike down", Blumenthal said.

The president delayed vetoing the bill until the last possible moment, while his staff last week asked members of Congress to back off an override.

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Obama issued the veto behind closed doors Friday without fanfare, reluctant to call attention to a debate that has pitted him against the families of terrorism victims.

"Americans are in countries all over the world", House Armed Services Committee chairman Mac Thornberry, a Republican, said in a letter urging colleagues to support a veto. Families of the victims spent years lobbying for the right to sue the kingdom in USA courts for any role elements of Saudi Arabia's government may have played.

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister had warned that the bill could cause his government to withdraw U.S. investments.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is at odds with Mr Obama over the legislation, saying through a spokesman she would sign the Bill if she were president. His spokesman, David Popp, said Friday the Senate will consider the veto override "as soon as practicable in this work period".

Republican nominee Donald Trump said the veto "will go down as one of the low points of his presidency", and that he would sign the bill as president.

"That's what's driving the President's decision to veto this bill - not because it's politically convenient, it's not".

On Friday, September 9th, the United States House of Representatives passed the "Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act", or JASTA, by a voice vote with no objections.


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