It wasn’t even close: 97-1 in the Senate and 348-77 in the House
Yesterday, I wrote about today’s Senate vote expected to override Obama’s veto and today they voted overwhelmingly to do just that.
The Senate voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to overturn President Obama’s veto of a bill letting families of Sept. 11 victims sue the Saudi Arabian government, bringing Congress within reach of completing the first successful veto override of Obama’s presidency.
The Senate voted 97-1 to reject the veto. The measure heads next to the House, where lawmakers will need to muster a two-thirds majority, as in the Senate, to override.
Obama was fighting the override and sent a letter to Senate minority and majority leaders.
Fox News continues:
The White House was still fighting the override attempt in the final stages.
In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, Obama warned the bill could cause chaos in U.S. foreign affairs, as other countries would use the measure to justify the creation of ways to target “U.S. policies and activities that they oppose.”
“As a result, our nation and its armed forces, State Department, intelligence officials and others may find themselves subject to lawsuits in foreign courts.” Obama wrote in a letter delivered Tuesday.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter, in a letter Monday to a senior member of Congress, said he’s sympathetic to the intent of the measure. But the legislation could lead to the public disclosure of American secrets and even undercut counterterrorism efforts by sowing mistrust among U.S. partners and allies, according to Carter.
There are similar slippery slope concerns about this bill amongst Republicans, as well.
Former ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton and former U.S. Attorney Michael Mukasey, both of whom served under President George W. Bush, warned in a Wall Street Journal op-ed earlier this month that the legislation could open Americans to such suits abroad.
“An errant drone strike that kills non-combatants in Afghanistan could easily trigger lawsuits demanding that U.S. military or intelligence personnel be hauled into foreign courts,” they wrote.
. . . . As the vote approached Wednesday, some members had said they may be wavering in their support. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, a co-sponsor of the legislation, told USA TODAY on Tuesday that he was “thinking about it.”
“I’m not sure that I want to — I just have to think it through, that’s all,” he said.
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said he had “concerns about what this bill’s going to mean to America.”
“This isn’t to me about Saudi Arabia, it’s the blowback to us because we’re the most involved in the world,” Corker said. “What you really do is you end up exporting your foreign policy to trial lawyers.”
Still, he conceded the veto would be “handily overridden” and said he hoped to revisit the issue when Congress returns from recess after the November elections.
Proponents of the bill, however, claim that the bill is sufficiently narrowly-written to apply only to terror attacks on U. S. soil.
Obama vetoed the measure last week, telling lawmakers the bill would make the U.S. vulnerable to retaliatory litigation in foreign courts that could put U.S. troops in legal jeopardy. The bill’s proponents have disputed Obama’s rationale as “unconvincing and unsupportable,” saying the measure is narrowly tailored and applies only to acts of terrorism that occur on U.S. soil.
Harry Reid was the lone hold-out in the Senate.
The White House whined once the Senate overturned Obama’s veto:
“I would venture to say that this is the single most embarrassing thing that the United States Senate has done, possibly, since 1983,” Obama spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One.
Watch the report:
The House also voted this afternoon to override Obama’s veto.
Congress on Wednesday overwhelmingly rejected President Obama’s veto of a bipartisan bill letting families of Sept. 11 victims sue the Saudi Arabian government, in the first successful veto override of Obama’s presidency.
Marking a significant defeat for the White House, the House ensured the bill will become law after voting 348-77 to override Wednesday afternoon.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.