NC congressman to support bill that allows 9/11 lawsuits against Saudi Arabia

NC congressman to support bill that allows 9/11 lawsuits against Saudi Arabia

NC congressman to support bill that allows 9/11 lawsuits against Saudi Arabia

The House passed the measure by voice, without recorded individual votes, which is not technically considered unanimous. The bill is strongly opposed by Saudi Arabia.

The legislation reflects the diminished influence of a Saudi royal family that once enjoyed close personal ties with both of the Bush White Houses. The Senate passed it unanimously in May.

Defying a veto threat from the Obama administration, the House of Representatives Friday passed by voice vote a bill that would allow terror victims of the attacks on September 11, 2001 to sue Saudi Arabia.

Terry Strada, national head of 9/11 Families United For Justice Against Terrorism, dismissed fears the U.S. could be the target of lawsuits.

Fifteen of the 19 September 11 hijackers who crashed airliners in NY, outside Washington and in Pennsylvania were Saudi nationals.

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"We recognize that your Administration has expressed concerns that Saudi Arabia could react negatively if the United States passes this measure", they wrote.

No official Saudi complicity in the Al-Qaeda attacks of 9/11 has been proven, and the kingdom has never been formally implicated. Obama promises to veto the bill, which is likely to hit his desk just days ahead of the 9/11 anniversary.

The Saudi Arabian government declined to comment on the House vote.

Advocates for the legislation dispute the validity of the White House's arguments, pointing out countries that have done nothing wrong and don't support terrorists have nothing to worry about.

Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, said the us government should be more concerned about the families of the victims than "diplomatic niceties".

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Even if Mr. Obama vetoes the bill, it's possible Congress might have the votes to override his veto.

The bill now goes to the desk of Obama, who has strongly suggested said he will veto it, as it could strain relations with Saudi Arabia and could open the door to retaliatory lawsuits against US citizens overseas. "If Saudi Arabia had no involvement with the attacks, it has nothing to fear from litigation".

"This legislation would change longstanding worldwide law regarding sovereign immunity", Earnest said. He said it would be up to a jury to decide if the Saudis were involved in the attacks.

Long-classified portions of a congressional inquiry into the attacks that were released in July found that the hijackers may have had assistance from Saudis connected to their government. Those pages did not significantly add to the information that had already been made public through other documents and reports.

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