House Passes Bill Allowing 9/11 Families to Sue Saudi Arabia Amid Veto Threat


Posted on: September 9th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The House overwhelmingly approved a bill Friday that would give the families of 9/11 victims the ability to sue Saudi Arabia in U.S. courts, pitting Congress against the White House ahead of the 15th anniversary of the terror attacks.

The White House has suggested that President Obama would veto the measure over concerns that it would open the U.S. up to lawsuits in other countries.

“The president of the United States continues to harbor serious concerns that this legislation would make the United States vulnerable in other court systems around the world,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said in May.

If he does, Congress would be in a position to override Obama’s veto for the first time in his presidency. More than two-thirds of the members of the House and Senate support the proposal, which Saudi Arabia has criticized.

“There are always diplomatic considerations that get in the way of justice, but if a court proves the Saudis were complicit in 9/11, they should be held accountable,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, said in a statement today.

Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-New York, said the bill would help the families looking for “closure” 15 years after the attacks.

The bill cleared the House shortly before noon, after the chamber commemorated the 15th anniversary of 9/11 in a ceremony on the House steps.

Many 9/11 families traveled from New York this morning to watch the vote from the House gallery.

The vote comes after the intelligence community released 28 classified pages of Congress’ first investigation into the Sept. 11 attacks, which described ties between several of the hijackers and individuals loyal to Saudi Arabia. Saudi officials have denied any connection to the terrorist attack.

Intelligence officials say the information was preliminary and was further investigated in later 9/11 probes.

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