posted at 8:41 pm on September 22, 2016 by John Sexton
As Ed pointed out earlier today, President Obama is expected to veto a bipartisan bill which would allow 9/11 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia in U.S. courts. House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have already said they will return to work next week in order to override that veto and, today, Nancy Pelosi said she will join them. From the Hill:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday she’ll oppose President Obama if he vetoes legislation empowering families of victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to sue Saudi Arabia in U.S. courts.
“I’ve worked with these families for a very long time, and I think they should have their day in court,” Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol…
“I think it’s going to happen,” she said. “The families will have the votes.”
Dubbed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, or JASTA, the legislation would empower those injured in the 9/11 attacks and the families of the deceased to sue Saudi Arabia in U.S. courts. Saudi officials have long been suspected of supporting the hijackers who carried out the strikes — charges the nation denies — and the victims have sought for years to bring their cases before a judge.
Mitch McConnell said Tuesday he would bring the Senate back into session next week if necessary. From the Washington Post:
The White House has said the president intends to veto the bill, which it has until Friday night to do. McConnell (R-Ky.) said the Senate would act soon after.
“At whatever point the president vetoes it, we will have to take it up, and there will be a roll call vote on the veto override,” McConnell told reporters. “Our assumption is that the veto will be overridden.”
Having Pelosi side with leading Republicans could be enough to give Obama pause. Does he want to ruin his perfect veto record over an issue that could be used against Democrats in November? We should know by tomorrow evening.
Here’s the basic argument over the bill, pro and con, from Fox News’ Special Report: