For the past few months, a bill that would allow victims of the 9/11 attacks and their family members to sue the kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been hotly debated. This coincides with news of the “28 pages” of classified information from the 9/11 Commission Report, which are believed to show a link between the Saudi government and 9/11 hijackers.
Last month, Obama said he’d make a decision whether to declassify the documents within sixty days, but as The Hill just reported, the Senate isn’t waiting for his decision before taking action.
The Senate on Tuesday approved legislation that would allow victims of the 9/11 terror attacks to sue Saudi Arabia, defying vocal opposition from the White House.
The upper chamber approved the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act by unanimous consent.
“This bill is very near and dear to my heart as a New Yorker because it would allow the victims of 9/11 to pursue some small measure of justice,” Schumer said. “[This is] another example of the [John] Cornyn-Schumer collaboration, which works pretty well around here.”
The legislation will allow victims of terror attacks on U.S. soil or surviving family members to bring lawsuits against nation-states for activities supporting terrorism.
The legislation will now head to the House, where lawmakers have also introduced their own version of the bill.
The legislation has also drawn criticism from the Saudi government. Top Saudi officials reportedly threatened to sell off billions of dollars in U.S. assets if Congress passed the bill.
It’s unclear why exactly it’s a threat that the Saudis will sell off U.S. assets in response to the bill. They do realize that there’s a buyer for every seller, right?
It’s a good thing they’re liquidating their assets – they’re going to need the cash when the lawsuits start piling up.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]