Following last Friday’s presidential veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has announced that the vote on an attempted veto override will be held on Wednesday. The House also says a vote is expected later this week.
Both the House and Senate voted unanimously in favor of JASTA, which would allow the families of 9/11 victims’ families to sue Saudi Arabia over its involvement in supporting attackers in the lead-up to the attack. President Obama has warned the bill is a threat to national security, because other countries could follow suit, exposing the US to lawsuits for its own misdeeds.
The House is believed to have more than enough votes to override, and while senators from both parties have expressed confidence as well, the Senate has been the focus of heavy lobbying from both the White House and Saudi lobbyist factions, hoping enough senators change their vote to sustain the veto.
Obama has initially hoped to hold off on the veto and override until after the November election, which might’ve allowed Democrats senators no longer facing an imminent election to jump ship and side with him with relative impunity. The Senate pushed the matter, however, and forced a veto deadline of last Friday.
President Obama has not had a single veto overridden in his presidency, though with public support strongly on the side of the bill, there is considerable pressure on the senate to override this one. Those wishing to contact their senators to express support for JASTA can find the contact information here, and should do so before Wednesday.
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