President Obama Vetoes 9/11 Bill

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President Barack Obama nixed a bill on Friday that would have allowed families of the 9/11 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia, arguing it undermined national security and setting up the possibility that Congress might override his veto for the first time of his Presidency.

The bill had sailed through both Chambers of Congress with final passage just days before the 15th Anniversary of the 9/11 attack that killed nearly 3,000 people.

But the White House said the bill which doesn’t refer specifically to Saudi Arabia could backfire by opening the United States Government and its official to lawsuits by anyone accusing the US of supporting terrorism, rightly or wrongly.

“I have deep sympathy for the families of the victims of the terrorists attacks of September 11,2001 but the JATSA would be detrimental to US National Interest more broadly which is why I am returning it without my approval,” Obama wrote to the Senate in a veto message about the bill known as the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism  Act (JATSA)

Debate about the bill has spilled onto the Presidential Campaign trail, as candidates vie to appear tough on terrorism.  This issue is one of a few where Democrat Hillary Clinton has publicly disagreed with Obama, saying on Friday that she supports efforts to “hold accountable those responsible” for the attacks.

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