According to US media reports over the weekend, Saudi officials have threatened to sell off up to $750 billion in US Treasury securities if a Senate bill allowing US citizens to file suit against state sponsors of terrorism moved forward.
"I don’t think Americans should not be compensated when they have been mistreated, I don’t care who the country is," Hatch said when asked about the implications of the bill for US-Saudi foreign policy.
Hatch, who cosponsored the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, noted there is "a lot of support" among lawmakers for the bill allowing US citizens to reclaim losses caused by states’ providing support to international terrorist organizations.
The bill allows prosecution of cases dating back to September 11, 2001, and would apply to the families of victims who filed a civil suit against the Saudi government for allegedly sponsoring the 2001 terror attacks. That case was dismissed by a US federal judge in 2015.
President Barack Obama, who is visiting Saudi Arabia this week, has opposed passage of the bill providing recourse to victims of state-sponsored terrorism.