Congress has voted to override President Obama’s veto of a bill to allow 9-11 families to sue the government of Saudi Arabia. The Senate vote was an overwhelming 97-1. “The margins of override were stunning,” said University of Wisconsin political scientist David Canon. “You can’t get the naming of a post office with a 97-1 margin.”
The House override vote was 348 to 77. Wisconsin Republicans Glen Grothman and Reid Ribble voted no with Democrats Ron Kind and Gwenn Moore. Republican Sean Duffy and Democrat Mark Pocan voted yes.
Canon said members of congress grappled with concerns, including the potential impact on members of the armed forces, and on the economy. “Saudi Arabia might end up selling hundreds of millions of dollars of U.S. assets if they’re trying to protect themselves from future lawsuits.”
Still, Canon suggested that the Obama administration may not be finished, noting that the lawsuit would not necessarily move forward if the White House is pursuing a deal with Saudi Arabia to compensate the families. “That would preserve a role for the president,” he said.