President Obama’s veto of a bill allowing the families of September 11 victims to sue the Saudi Arabian government was harshly rejected by Congress on Wednesday.
With this veto, the bill will become a law giving victim’s families the right to sue the Saudi Arabian government. To override this veto, both the House of Representatives and the Senate need a two-thirds vote. The House vote was 348-77 and the Senate was 97-1. This was the Obama’s first overridden veto in his almost full two terms of presidency. In the Senate, only Harry Reid voted for the bill.
“It’s very simple. If the Saudis were culpable, they should be held accountable. If they had nothing to do with 9/11, they have nothing to fear,” Senator Charles Schumer said.
The Obama Administration scoffed at the bill, which was championed by victims’ families, calling it “the most embarrassing” law passed by Congress in three decades.
NY Times reported that: In recent days, Mr. Obama, Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter and General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, all wrote letters to Congress warning of the dangers of overriding the veto. The law “could be devastating to the Department of Defense and its service members,” Mr. Obama wrote, “and there is no doubt that the consequences could be equally significant for our foreign affairs and intelligence communities.”