US Senate passes bill allowing 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The US Senate on Tuesday approved legislation that would allow victims of the 9/11 terror attacks to sue Saudi Arabia, defying vocal opposition from the White House.

The upper chamber approved the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act by unanimous consent.

“This bill is very near and dear to my heart as a New Yorker because it would allow the victims of 9/11 to pursue some small measure of justice,” Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said. “[This is] another example of the [John] Cornyn-Schumer collaboration, which works pretty well around here.”

US President Obama has threatened to veto the bill. Schumer said he wouldn’t uphold a veto, and expects that most senators wouldn’t, either, the Hill reported.

“I think we easily get the two-thirds override if the president should veto,” Schumer said.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said he and Schumer are talking with leadership in both parties to get an “expedited” vote on the bill in the House.

The bill would allow victims of terror attacks on US soil or surviving family members to bring lawsuits against nation-states for activities supporting terrorism.

The legislation will now head to the House, where lawmakers have also introduced their own version of the bill.

The legislation has also drawn criticism from the Saudi government. Top Saudi officials reportedly threatened to sell off billions of dollars in U.S. assets if Congress passed the bill.

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, pushed back against the reports in Geneva earlier this month while warning that the legislation could impact Saudi investments.

By Tasnim News Agency