Obama to veto bill allowing 9/11 lawsuits against Riyadh

Congress last week approved legislation that would allow survivors and families of victims of the 9/11 attacks to sue the Saudi Arabian government for damages.

Courtesy of: Reuters
Courtesy of: Reuters

The Tribute in Light shines on the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in Manhattan, New York, September 11, 2016.

President Barack Obama will veto a bill passed by both houses of Congress that will allow survivors and families of victims of the September 11 attacks to sue the Saudi Arabia's government for damages. 

"It's not hard to imagine other countries using this law as an excuse to haul US diplomats or US service members or even US companies into courts all around the world," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Monday.

"I do anticipate the president would veto this legislation when it is presented to him," he said.

Earnest said Obama would try to persuade lawmakers in both houses to change course.

The House of Representatives on Friday, passed the bill by voice vote, without objections, after the Senate passed it unanimously in May.

Congressional aides said the measure appeared to have enough support, two-thirds majorities in both the Senate and House, for lawmakers to override an Obama veto for the first time since he took office in January 2009. However, it was not clear when the vote would take place. 

The Senate sent the bill to Obama on Monday night, giving him a 10-day window to veto the measure that would end on Sept 23. 

The Senate has been aiming to leave the capital as soon as this week and the House next week. Lawmakers are only expected to return to Washington again until the November 8, elections.

Under the Constitution, Obama has 10 days to veto the bill before it automatically becomes law. The Constitution also allows a "pocket veto," in which the president can defeat a bill just by holding onto it until Congress is out of session.




TRTWorld and agencies