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The House and the Senate vetoed President Obama’s veto (which apparently is a thing that can happen)


Finally, the House seems to be agreeing on things (but not the next SCOTUS justice) but they voted 348 to 77 to veto President Barack Obama's veto of a bill that allows families and victims to sue Saudi Arabia over the 9/11 attacks. Not a good move, said Obama who called it a "mistake" and warned of potentially huge downsides.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest remarked on the incident:

“The single most embarrassing thing the United States Senate has done possibly since 1983.”

The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism (JASTA) bill allows families of victims of the 9/11 attacks to sue any member of the Saudi Arabia government suspected of playing a role in the attacks. Most of the hijackers – 15 of the 19 - were from Saudi Arabia, but the country was a key U.S. ally in the region and said it had nothing to do with the attacks.

This was the first time Obama's veto was overturned in his presidency. The downside of the bill is that it now leaves the U.S. open to getting sued in foreign courts.

Obama spoke about how the decision came at a difficult time, right before the elections and after the 15th anniversary of 9/11. He called it a "political vote."

"It's an example of why sometimes you have to do what's hard. And, frankly, I wish Congress here had done what's hard... If you're perceived as voting against 9/11 families right before an election, not surprisingly, that's a hard vote for people to take. But it would have been the right thing to do."

Saudi interest groups have lobbied against the bill and said they'd taken steps since 2001 to disrupt terrorist activities in their country. Experts say the country can still harm the U.S. by cutting off diplomatic ties and scaling back counterterrorism cooperation.

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The House and the Senate vetoed President Obama’s veto (which apparently is a thing that can happen)

Anugya Chitransh

Anugya is originally from New Delhi, India. She studied journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in New York, graduating with a master's in international reporting. She plans to travel one day to all the places she reads about. She likes reading fiction, pop music, and going to the beach, but absolutely hates anyone mangling or shortening her name (which is quite common). She binge watches Korean dramas and anime series. She's a freelance writer and has produced content that has appeared in NBC, The Times of India, Time Out Delhi, and other publications.

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