President’s Opposition to Terror Victims Bill Unacceptable
The Obama Administration is opposing a bill to help the families of victims of terror attacks on U.S. soil pursue justice against those responsible. The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) passed the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this year without opposition.
We should use every means available to prevent the funding of terrorism, and the victims of terrorism in our country should be able to seek justice from people who do fund that terrorist attack.
JASTA is also important because it would help the victims of the 9/11 attacks achieve closure from this horrific tragedy.
Unfortunately, the Administration has worked to undercut progress on this legislation at every turn.
In light of his upcoming trip this week, it appears that the Obama Administration is pulling out all the stops to keep this bill from moving forward before the President’s visit to Riyadh. I wish the President and his aides would spend as much time and energy working with us in a bipartisan manner as they have working against us, trying to prevent victims of terrorism from receiving the justice that they deserve.
In a very real way, the President’s opposition to this bill looked like him asking the victims of 9/11 and their families to pay some of the political price for the President’s mishandling of our relationship with Saudi Arabia.
This is a narrow piece of legislation, and it would not upend traditional principles of sovereignty. Yesterday, a White House spokesman claimed that JASTA would lead to liability for U.S. humanitarian aid workers. That's just false.
The President’s attempts so far to derail this legislation that would help the victims of 9/11 pursue justice under the law is completely unacceptable.
The good news is there is bipartisan support in this Chamber for those who will stand up for these victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and hold the people responsible accountable. I look forward to continuing to work with our colleagues to get this critical legislation passed.
If the President wants to get in the way, he can veto the legislation, and we can override that veto. That's the way the Constitution works.