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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

How Florida House members voted on Obama veto override

The Florida vote


The Florida vote



WASHINGTON - The House voted 348-77 to override President Obama's veto of the 9/11 bill. Here's how it went among the Florida delegation.

One Republican voted in the minority: Rep. David Jolly.

Six Democrats voted in the majority: Reps. Corrine Brown, Ted Deutch, Gwen Graham, Alcee Hastings, Patrick Murphy and Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

All others voted party line, except Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, who voted "present."

Here is Jolly's explanation:

"‘Terrorism' at the hands of a foreign government is simply another term for an act of war, and we should respond to these acts with every ounce of resolve our nation can muster. We have done so for generations, relying on military, diplomatic and political leadership to respond appropriately and deploy our men and women in uniform to defeat our enemies. Countless men and women have sacrificed their last full measure for the cause of our freedom and security.

"But we don't litigate acts of war in civil courtrooms. We litigate them on battlefields, with valor and with overwhelming force.

"By authorizing courtroom litigation of acts of war, we empower other nations to do the same. And we imperil the security of our military and diplomatic personnel, as well as our assets in regions around the globe.

"Consider the number of times our nation intervenes for the cause of freedom and security around the globe. Now consider if our personnel and assets on the ground were subject to civil liability in those nations. It compromises our mission, and it compromises the security of our men and women in uniform and those in our diplomatic corps.

"Nothing can heal the wounds of the surviving families of September 11, 2001. Nothing can heal the wounds of a nation whose heart breaks for those innocent lives lost at the hands of our enemies.  We will never forget the tragedy and loss of that day. We will never forget the heartbreak. And let us never weaken our resolve to defeat the forces of terror, so that we may ensure that we as a nation, and our brothers and sisters who suffered such loss, never face such a tragedy again."

Castor entered this statement into the record:

"Mr. Speaker, today the U.S House Representatives voted on an override of the President’s veto of S. 2040. This bill narrows the scope of sovereign immunity by allowing U.S. Courts to hear cases against a foreign state involving injury, death and damages as a result of a tort. Very recently my husband’s law firm has undertaken legal representation of a client that seeks to recover from a foreign state the value of claims previously paid.  I believe that Rule III in conjunction with Rule XIII, clause 2, leads me to abstain from the vote on this subject to avoid even the impression of a conflict and to adhere to both the spirit and letter of the Rules."

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 5:34pm]


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