Congress rejects Obama veto, Saudi September 11 bill becomes law

Congress on Wednesday overwhelmingly rejected President Barack Obama’s veto of legislation
allowing relatives of the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia, the first veto override of his presidency, just four months before it ends.

The House of Representatives voted 348-77 against the veto, hours after the Senate rejected it 97-1, meaning the “Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act” will become law.

The vote was a blow to Obama as well as to Saudi Arabia, one of the United States’ longest- standing allies in the Arab world, and some
lawmakers who supported the override already plan to revisit the issue.

Obama said he thought the Congress had made a mistake, reiterating his belief that the legislation set a dangerous precedent and indicating that he thought political considerations were behind the vote.

“If you’re perceived as voting against 9/11 families right before an election, not surprisingly, that’s a hard vote for people to take. But it would have been the right thing to do,” he said on CNN.

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