Time: 10:51 p.m. CEST
The White House has until midnight Friday to submit the veto to Congress.
President Barack Obama could veto the legislation, which would permit the families of the 9/11 victims to sue the Saudi government. The White House has until midnight Friday to submit the veto to Congress. The White House press secretary Josh Earnest did not reveal the steps, but said, forthcoming Obama veto is “politically inconvenient,” but the President would take the heat to protect the U.S. personnel from foreign lawsuits.
On Friday, CNN comments the “Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act” had immense support among lawmakers who voted for the bill earlier after the pressure from victims’ groups. The bill could end the immunity for the foreign countries in the United States and would allow the federal civil suits to go forward only if the country is determined that has participation in the U.S. terror attack. The White House says the bill could prompt other nations to change their laws to upholding sovereign immunity, which protects states from legal liability, says CNN.
Members of the Obama administration, representatives of the Saudi government made the lobbying effort on Capitol Hill against the bill. The President is in difficult situations because has the point that is similar to that of the Kingdom, regardless opposing views on the counterterrorism efforts. Saudi Arabia denies any involvement in the 9/11 attacks. The President would be at odds with family members of 9/11 victims who protested this week. Even if the President veto the bill, the Congress could override, which will be the first override for the Obama’s presidency.
The European Union offered support to the opponents of the bill and issued a “demarche” statement to the State Department. A bipartisan group of the former national security officials said in a letter to Obama, “The harm this legislation will cause the United States will be both dramatic and long-lasting,” the letter read, citing arguments over weakening sovereign immunity, CNN reports.
Its signatories included veterans of Republican and Democratic administrations, including Stephen Hadley, a national security adviser to President George W. Bush; Michael Mukasey, a US attorney general under Bush; William Cohen, a secretary of defense under President Bill Clinton; and Richard Clarke, a national security aide to Bush and Clinton.