Senate Unanimously Passes Bill Allowing 9/11 Families to Sue Saudi Arabia

White House 'Strongly Opposes' Bill

by Jason Ditz, May 17, 2016

Despite threats from the Saudi government to collapse the US economy in retaliation, the US Senate today unanimously agreed to pass a bill allowing victims of 9/11 to sue Saudi Arabia for its role in the attack.

Under US law, Saudi Arabia would normally be protected from such lawsuits by sovereign immunity. This law strips immunity from lawsuits against states related to the 9/11 terrorist attack. This exposes the Saudi government.

Saudi FM Adel al-Jubeir insisted that Saudi Arabia would respond to the law by selling $750 billion in US Treasury assets, which would massively raise US interest rates, damage the dollar, and do severe harm to the US economy.

White House officials have said they oppose the bill, and oppose the idea of exposing other governments to financial liability for terror attacks, arguing that it could inspire other nations to follow suit and expose the US to similar lawsuits for its many misdeeds abroad.

With the Senate passing the bill unanimously, however, the White House likely has limited ability to block it, if the House also follows suit.

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