Obama’s Veto of Bill to Let 9/11 Families Sue Saudi Arabia Will Cement His Legacy
At a time when Congress is polarized and gridlocked to the point of being nearly dysfunctional, one single piece of legislation united the senators and representatives from all fifty states, receiving a unanimous vote on its way to the president’s desk for signature.
Even in the most contentious and hotly contested presidential election season in recent history, the Republican and Democrat candidates – unable to see eye-to-eye on virtually any issue – agreed that the legislation should become law.
Yet, President Barack Obama made his stand and vetoed the “Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act” that would have allowed families of 9/11 victims the right to sue Saudi Arabia for its role in supporting the terrorists who planned and carried out the deadly attacks in 2001 leaving 3,000 Americans dead in the twin towers of New York City, at the Pentagon in Washington D.C. and buried in a field in rural Pennsylvania.
Of the 19 terrorists who hijacked four jets on September 11, 2001, turning them into massive weapons for maximum damage, 15 were Saudis.
Obama’s veto – only the 12th in his presidency – comes at a time when every member of the House of Representatives is up for re-election, with a third of the Senate also on the campaign trail.
Saying he has “deep sympathy for the families of the victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001,” President Obama said the law is “neither an effective nor a coordinated way for us to respond to indications that a foreign government might have been behind a terrorist attack.”
Obama, however, he did not indicate what he felt would be an effective response.
Obama said he invoked his Constitutional right to veto the bill to prevent the U.S. becoming vulnerable to such suits by other countries, but there is speculation that the move is based on
The 9/11 Families & Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism released a statement expressing “outrage” calling Obama’s rationale both “unconvincing and unsupportable.”
Hillary Clinton’s campaign said she would sign the bill into law if elected, while Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump called Obama’s veto “shameful” saying that the 9/11 families deserve their day in court.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, a co-sponsor of the bill, has said is confident that the Senate has enough votes to override the veto, and victim families plan to meet with lawmakers to urge them to hold firm.