Obama likely to veto bill allowing 9/11 families to sue Saudi Arabia

President Barack Obama speaks to members of the news media while meeting with Congressional leadership to discuss a Congressional agenda and his recent trip to Asia in the Oval Office of the White House on Monday. The president will likely veto a recent bill passed by Congress that allows relatives of 9/11 victims to sue foreign governments over the Sept. 11 attacks. Pool Photo by Michael Reynolds/UPI

WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 (UPI) — President Barack Obama will likely reject a bill from Congress that allows relatives of 9/11 victims to sue foreign governments or officials over the terror attacks, the White House said Monday.

The House cleared the legislation on Friday and it’s been sent to Obama’s desk.

The bill, which the Senate passed in May, narrows the scope of foreign sovereign immunity by authorizing federal courts to hear criminal and civil cases against a foreign state or official suspected to have been involved in an act of international terrorism and to impose liability when applicable.

The White House is concerned that such ability to sue over the attacks could open diplomats and other leaders to lawsuits.

“It’s not hard to imagine other countries using this law as an excuse to haul U.S. diplomats or U.S. service members or even U.S. companies into courts all around the world,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Monday.

Some analysts have said the legislation is largely intended to allow lawsuits against Saudi Arabia, which has been linked indirectly to the attacks.

If Obama shuts down the bill, it will be the 11th veto of his presidency.


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