The Senate passed legislation Tuesday that would allow families of Sept. 11 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia despite a White House veto threat and fierce objections from the U.S. ally.
The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, approved by voice vote, had triggered a threat from Riyadh to pull billions of dollars from the U.S. economy if the bill is enacted.
The legislation, sponsored by Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., gives victims’ families the right to sue in U.S. court for any role that elements of the Saudi government may have played in the 2001 attacks that killed thousands in New York, the Washington, D.C. area and Pennsylvania.
Relatives of Sept. 11 victims have urged the Obama administration to declassify and release U.S. intelligence that allegedly discusses possible Saudi involvement in the attacks.