Congress rejects Obama veto of Saudi 9/11 lawsuits bill
Congress has voted to override President Barack Obama’s veto of a bill that would allow families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabian officials. In the first veto override of his presidency, the Senate voted ninety-seven to one and the House of Representatives three hundred and thirty-eight to seventy-four, meaning the bill becomes law. The White House described the move as “embarrassing”.
The president argues the bill could expose US companies, troops and officials to potential lawsuits abroad. The bill amends a 1976 law that shields other countries from American lawsuits, allowing victims’ families the right to sue any member of the Saudi government suspected of playing a role in the 9/11 attacks. Mr Obama argued in his veto that the bill would undermine US-Saudi relations and warned of tit-for-tat lawsuits against US service members in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. But the measure’s supporters contended the legislation only applies to acts of terrorism that have occurred on US soil.