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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Obama shouldn't veto 9/11 legislation, Florida lawmaker says



Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, today joined other lawmakers in pressing President Obama to back off a veto threat over legislation that would allow 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia.

“Congress has unanimously spoken,” Buchanan said in a statement, referring to a voice vote on Friday. “American victims of terrorism should be able to hold accountable those responsible for their loss. I urge the president to sign this bill into law.”

The 9/11 attacks hold special resonance in Buchanan’s district as terrorists lived and trained in the area and President George W. Bush was at an elementary school in Sarasota that morning.

The Senate had already passed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act.

“Even an ally like Saudi Arabia needs to understand our country will never compromise when it comes to keeping Americans safe and punishing those behind terrorist attacks,” Buchanan said. “It’s disgraceful that victims’ families cannot get into court to make their case."

The White House has resisted the legislation over fears it could open up the U.S. to retaliation in foreign courts. Saudi Arabia has also lobbied against the bill.

UPDATE: WH Press Secretary Josh Earnest outlined today the objections and said Obama would make the case in the face of any attempt to override a veto.

[Last modified: Monday, September 12, 2016 2:13pm]


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