Congress over­rides veto of 9/11 leg­is­la­tion

Marysville Appeal-Democrat - - FRONT PAGE - By Richard Lard­ner As­so­ci­ated Press

WASH­ING­TON – In a re­sound­ing re­buke, Democrats joined with Repub­li­cans Wednes­day to hand Barack Obama the first veto over­ride of his pres­i­dency, vot­ing over­whelm­ingly to al­low fam­i­lies of Sept. 11 vic­tims to sue Saudi Ara­bia in U.S. courts for its al­leged back­ing of the at­tack­ers.

Both the House and Se­nate voted de­ci­sively to re­verse Obama’s de­ci­sion to scut­tle the leg­is­la­tion. Democrats in both cham­bers aban­doned the pres­i­dent in large num­bers de­spite warn­ings from Obama and top na­tional se­cu­rity of­fi­cials that flaws in the bill could put U.S. in­ter­ests, troops, and in­tel­li­gence per­son­nel at risk.

The Se­nate vote was 97-1, with only Se­nate Mi­nor­ity Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., back­ing the pres­i­dent. The House vote a few hours later was 348-77, with 123 Democrats re­buff­ing the pres­i­dent and vot­ing to over­ride. Obama said dur­ing a CNN in­ter­view that over­rid­ing his veto was a mis­take that may set a “dan­ger­ous prece­dent.”

Law­mak­ers said their pri­or­ity wasn’t Saudi Ara­bia, but the 9/11 vic­tims and their fam­i­lies who con­tinue to de­mand jus­tice 15 years af­ter at­tack­ers killed nearly 3,000 peo­ple in New York, the Wash­ing­ton, D.C., area, and Penn­syl­va­nia. Fif­teen of the 19 Sept. 11 hi­jack­ers were Saudis.

“Over­rid­ing a pres­i­den­tial veto is some­thing we don’t take lightly, but it was im­por­tant in this case that the fam­i­lies of the vic­tims of 9/11 be al­lowed to pur­sue jus­tice, even if that pur­suit causes some diplo­matic dis­com­forts,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., a

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