House Set to Pass Symbolic Bill Allowing 9/11 Victims to Sue…

On the eve of the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the US House of Representatives has unanimously passed controversial legislation clearing the way for the families of victims to sue Saudi Arabia, if that country is found legally responsible for helping back the deadly terrorist acts.

Currently, any foreign country can invoke immunity in US courts unless it has been explicitly designated as a state sponsor of terrorism.

ThinkProgress writes that the House vote sets off "a diplomatic nightmare for President Barack Obama", as "t$3 he legislation is sure to antagonize a key US ally in the Middle East which already has tense relations with the administration".

Schumer even expressed confidence the Senate has the two-third votes it needs to override an Obama veto.

According to NBC News, the new 9/11 bill passed the Senate in May and with House ratification will proceed to President Barack Obama's desk for signature or veto. There was no immediate comment from Saudi Arabia, which was preparing for the annual haj pilgrimage beginning Saturday.

The legislation gives victims' families the right to sue in US court any elements of the Saudi government that may have played a role in the 2001 terrorist attacks that killed thousands of Americans.

Families of the victims have long advocated for the bill. But Saudi Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir denied in May that the kingdom made any threats over the bill.

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"There are always diplomatic considerations that get in the way of justice, but if a court proves the Saudis were complicit in 9/11, they should be held accountable", Schumer said. While the pages didn't conclusively link Saudi Arabia to the attacks, they did spotlight a few tantalizing mysteries.

The risk is that, as far back as April, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir was threatening to deliberately collapse the U.S. treasury market in retaliation for the bill by selling some $750 billion in Saudi-held assets on the market.

"The legislation gives the victims' families access to the courts, to the rule of law". He said Riyadh had warned that investor confidence in the United States would shrink if the bill became law. Because the US and Saudi are now in talks about the war on ISIS.

The legislation would narrow the immunity that foreign states and their employees now enjoy from being sued in USA courts by giving district courts the jurisdiction to hear cases related to attacks carried out by designated terrorist organizations on US soil with suspected support from other nations.

Right before Friday's vote, House members from both parties briefly adjourned to commemorate the anniversary of the attacks.

It remains to be seen if the Saudi government follows through with threats to the US Treasury market.

The Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out air strikes in Yemen since March 2015.

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