Senate overrides Obama veto on 9/11 bill, Families Can Sue Saudi Arabia

The U.S. Senate voted Wednesday to override President Obama’s veto of a bill that would allow the families of 9/11 victims to circumvent foreign immunity claims and sue Saudi Arabia.

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), was the only dissenting vote, with 97 other Senators voting to override Obama’s veto. This marks the first time during Obama’s presidency that Senate has overridden his veto.

The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), sponsored by Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), was passed by Congress earlier this month. According to The Hill, the bill “would create an exception in the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, allowing the victims of terrorism to sue foreign sponsors of attacks on U.S. soil.”

The White House has already expressed its disappointment in the Senate’s vote on Wednesday.

Obama has only vetoed 12 bills during his presidency, including JASTA. Congress has not succeeded in overriding any.

Saudi Arabia has been facing increased pressure from Western politicians and human rights organizations in recent months, especially due to the war crimes the Saudi-led coalition has committed in Yemen. Last week, a bipartisan bill in the Senate seeking to block the U.S. arms sale to Saudi Arabia was voted on, but failed to receive enough votes.