Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Senate Votes to Override Obama's Veto of Saudi 9/11 Lawsuit Bill (VIDEO)

And the vote was 97-1?

Can Obama really be that badly on the wrong side of the issue?

Indeed he can.

At USA Today, "Congress rejects Obama veto of 9/11 bill; first override of his presidency":
WASHINGTON — The House and Senate voted Wednesday to reject President Obama's veto of legislation allowing lawsuits against foreign sponsors of terrorism — the first successful override of a presidential veto since Obama took office.

The president had vetoed the legislation Friday because he said the bill — known as the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, or JASTA — would infringe on the president’s ability to conduct foreign policy. It was the 12th veto of his presidency.

But after an intense push by 9/11 survivors and families of victims who want to sue Saudi Arabia based on claims the country played a role in the 2001 terror attacks, even Obama’s Democratic allies on Capitol Hill voted to override his veto.

The House voted 348-77, well above the two-thirds majority needed. The final vote tally in the Senate was 97-1. Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., cast the lone dissenting vote.

"In our polarized politics of today, this is pretty much close to a miraculous occurrence," Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said. Democrats and Republicans in both chambers agreed, he said, that the bill "gives the victims of the terrorist attack on our own soil an opportunity to seek the justice they deserve."

The top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said he shared some of Obama's concerns but said the victims' rights outweighed them.

"We cannot in good conscience close the courthouse door to those families who have suffered unimaginable losses," Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., said.

Obama told CNN on Wednesday that he thinks overriding his veto was a "mistake" and "basically a political vote." But he said he understood why Congress voted the way it did, despite what he suggested were private misgivings among some lawmakers.

“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," he said. "But it would have been the right thing to do."

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest decried the override as the "single most embarrassing thing the United States Senate has done possibly since 1983."

"Ultimately these senators are going to have to answer their own conscience and their constituents as they account for their actions today," he said, adding that Reid showed "courage" in opposing it.

The measure essentially creates an exception to sovereign immunity, the doctrine that holds one country can’t be sued in another country’s courts. It allows plaintiffs to sue other nations in U.S. federal courts for monetary damages in cases of injury, death or property damage caused by acts of international terrorism in the United States.

The White House has argued that the legislation will prompt other nations to retaliate, stripping the immunity the United States enjoys in other parts of the world. Obama said in a letter to Reid before Wednesday's vote that lawsuits already are allowed against countries designated as state sponsors of terrorism by the U.S. government.

The president warned the law could be "devastating" to the U.S. military, diplomatic and intelligence communities...

And watch, at CNN, "Senate overrides Obama's veto 97-1."

The House voted 348 to 77 to override as well, so it's a done deal: the first congressional override of this administration. At LAT, "In a first, Congress rebukes Obama with veto override of 9/11 bill."