Congressional leaders moved swiftly Wednesday to override President Obama’s veto of a bill that would allow the families of victims of 9/11 to sue Saudi Arabia for whatever connection it might have to the terrorists attacks 15 years ago. It was the correct course to address a flawed veto.
It was also the first time Congress voted to override a veto from Mr. Obama.
“If the Saudis did nothing wrong, they should not fear this legislation. If they were culpable in 9/11, they should be held accountable,” Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York, the No. 2 Democrat in the chamber and a sponsor of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, told The Washington Times.
Congressional reports declassified this summer included alleged (but unsubstantiated) connections between the 9/11 attackers — 15 of 19 were Saudi citizens — and the Saudi government.
Saudi Arabia has denied that its officials had any involvement in the attacks. A lawsuit would resolve any lingering questions.
The president insists the legislation will damage relations with a Middle East “ally” and could prompt retaliatory lawsuits against the U.S. Backers of the bill point out that the concept of sovereign immunity is not absolute. There already are exceptions.
It takes two-thirds of each chamber of Congress to override a veto. Justice for the families of 9/11 demanded no less.
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