When he vetoed unanimous legislation that would have allowed the families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia in federal court, President Obama, for once despite the historic tendency of Democrats to stand together on issues, found himself standing alone.
Even New York Senator Chuck Schumer (D) called the veto a “disappointing decision,” and told Politico that the Senate will “swiftly” vote to override it. After all, “If the Saudis did nothing wrong, they should not fear this legislation. If they were culpable in 9/11, they should be held accountable.”
Obama, however, had long promised to veto the bill because of fears of economic retaliation along with the possibility that other countries could change their immunity laws in a legal tit for tat with America.
“Removing sovereign immunity in U.S. courts from foreign governments that are not designated as state sponsors of terrorism,” Obama said in a statement, “based solely on allegations that such foreign governments’ actions abroad had a connection to terrorism-related injuries on U.S. soil, threatens to undermine these longstanding principles that protect the United States, our forces, and our personnel.”
For his part, Donald Trump called President Obama’s decision “shameful” on Friday. His campaign released a statement slamming Obama’s decision and the logic behind it.
“President Obama’s veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act is shameful and will go down as one of the low points of his presidency. That President Obama would deny the parents, spouses and children of those we lost on that horrific day the chance to close this painful chapter in their lives is a disgrace.”
If the veto is overturned, which would take two-thirds majorities in both the House and the Senate, it will mark the very first of Obama’s presidency.
US Protected Saudi Arabia Officials Involved in 9/11: New York Post
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