Congress Overrides Obama’s Veto Of Sept. 11 Bill
Congress has rejected a veto by President Barack Obama for the first time since he became president.
The House voted 348-77 Wednesday to override his veto of legislation and allow the families of Sept. 11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia for the kingdom’s alleged backing of the attackers.
The Senate had voted 97-1 to override his veto.
The lawsuit legislation now becomes law despite elements that Obama and top Pentagon officials warn could put U.S. troops and interests at risk.
Several lawmakers who voted for the legislation acknowledged the defects could trigger lawsuits from people in other countries opposed to U.S. policies and military actions.
But proponents said the bill is narrowly tailored and applies only to acts of terrorism that occur on U.S. soil.
The White House says the U.S. Senate vote to override President Barack Obama’s veto of Sept. 11 legislation is an “embarrassing” shirking of its duties.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest claims members of the Senate Judiciary Committee were unfamiliar with the bill’s impact on military personnel and voted to uphold it anyway.
Earnest called the vote the “single most embarrassing thing” the Senate has done in decades and “an abdication” of its responsibility.
The comments reflect White House frustration after failing to persuade Senate Democrats to stand by the president. If the House follows suit, the override will be Obama’s first.
The legislation would allow Sept. 11 victims’ families to sue the government of Saudi Arabia.
Obama says it would set a dangerous precedent for Americans serving and living abroad.