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US Congress overrides Obama veto of Saudi 9/11 bill

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WASHINGTON: The US House of Representatives joined the Senate Wednesday in overriding President Barack Obama’s veto of a bill allowing 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia.

The House voted 348-77 to reject the veto shortly after a 97-1 Senate vote to override it, the first such rebuke in Obama’s eight year presidency.

President Obama on Friday vetoed a bill allowing 9/11 families to sue Saudi Arabia.

While expressing “deep sympathy” for the families of the victims, Obama said the law would be “detrimental to US national interests.”

The White House tried and failed to have the legislation — which was unanimously passed by Congress — scrapped or substantially revised.

US Senate rejects Obama veto of Saudi September 11 bill

 

The White House insists Obama did not veto because of concerns over ties with Saudi Arabia, saying it is worried the bill would set a dangerous legal precedent, undermining the principle of sovereign immunity.

The European Union and a host of countries have expressed similar concerns.

But that technical legal argument will struggle to be heard over emotive accusations that Obama is putting relations with Saudi Arabia before 9/11 victims.

Saudi Arab, having billions of dollars assets in US banks, had warned the US of consequences, in case of the legislation against the country.

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