The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to pass a bill this week allowing the families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia, setting up an uncomfortable situation for President Obama just days before the 15th anniversary of the attack.
A source inside Republican leadership told Politico Wednesday that the vote will happen this week. The House is expected to clear the bill, which was approved unanimously by the Senate in May. Obama promises to veto the bill, which is likely to hit his desk just days ahead of the 9/11 anniversary.
The Senate bill would revise immunity laws currently sheltering Saudis from American lawsuits in U.S. courts, making it possible for the families to get justice in U.S. courts.
Obama is actually lobbying so vigorously against the bill, he’s infuriating lawmakers and families of 9/11 victims. The administration says it’s concerned about threats of economic retaliation from Saudi Arabia and the possibility other countries could change their own immunity laws in a way that would hurt American interests.
Saudi Arabia is threatening to dump hundreds of billions of dollars of U.S. assets if Congress passes the law. The Saudi foreign minister personally visited Washington and told lawmakers Saudi Arabia would be forced to sell up to $750 billion in treasury securities and other assets if the law passes, because of the potential for U.S. courts to freeze the assets on behalf of 9/11 families.
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