While it passed unanimously in both the House and Senate, the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) is far from law, with both the Saudi Arabian government, and the White House, engaged in substantial lobbying campaigns in the Senate trying to get enough people on board to sustain a veto of the legislation.
JASTA would allow families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia over their role in the attacks, which President Obama has argued would set a dangerous precedent, exposing the US to overseas lawsuits related to their assorted misdeeds over the years.
The Saudis have threatened to “punish” the US by dumping US Treasury securities on the market, potentially collapsing the US dollar. They have also claimed any lawsuits against the Saudi government would fuel terror recruitment inside the country.
Several senators have appeared relatively ambivalent on the matter in recent comments, and the White House says it will hold off the veto until after the November elections, in the hopes that overwhelming pressure from voters will be ignored by newly reelected Senators who will then be safe from political repercussions for jumping ship and siding with the president.