In veto override of recent 9/11 bill, a lesson on responsible governance

by | Oct 21, 2016 | Congress | Comments

In light of the recent fifteen year anniversary of the September 11 terrorism attacks, a new bill been passed through Congress in order to allow 9/11 victims to sue the Saudi Arabian government for compensation.   The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) passed through Congress only to be vetoed by President Barack Obama.  President Obama deemed this bill against the best interest of the United States as a whole.  Although many of these victims are still waking up to the constant reminder of the day their lives’ changed forever, Obama fears that this will open up the US to more potential negative side effects that will not justify compensating these victims of terror.  Some of these side effects and reasonings include introducing the idea of suing the United States for our military ventures, as well as money placement in offshore interests.  Another key aspect that Obama points out is that Saudi Arabia has not even claimed responsibilities for this tragic day in US history.

Shortly after the veto however, Senate and House issued a rebuttal in the form of overriding the veto. The right has acknowledged the potential risks in the following: Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, said that “nobody had really focused on the potential downside in terms of our international relationships, and I think it was just a ball dropped.”  This “ball dropped” could lead to many greater risks of international relations if the opportunity and will to sue the Saudi Arabian government is unleashed.  Although these victims see a reward in the risk by having their story told in a courtroom, this could potentially lead to greater consequences.