06:26 GMT +314 November 2019
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    A member of the New York Fire Department places his hand on the memorial before a ceremony marking the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in Lower Manhattan in New York

    Obama Still Plans to Veto Bill Allowing 9/11 Families to Sue Saudi Arabia

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    US President Barack Obama intends to veto the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said at a press briefing on Monday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — JASTA would allow US citizens to bring suits against a foreign nation believed to have provided material support to facilitate a terror attack on US soil or affecting US persons.

    "The president feels strongly about this and I do anticipate that the president will veto the legislation when it’s presented to him," Earnest stated.

    The bill would override current Saudi claims to sovereign immunity, allowing families of September 11 terrorist attack victims to bring a long-standing federal court case against the Saudi government for allegedly sponsoring the 2001 attacks.

    The White House is concerned the bill could open up the United States to numerous lawsuits, Earnest noted.

    "It’s not hard to imagine other countries using this law as an excuse to haul US diplomats or US service members or even US companies into courts all around the world," he said.

    There is also a concern about how judges at different levels in different courtrooms could come up with a different designation for the same country when it comes to sponsoring terrorism, he added.

    On Friday, the US House of Representatives unanimously approved the JASTA in a voice vote. The US Senate also passed the legislation unanimously in May.


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