McConnell opens door to changing 9/11 bill
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell says he backs Mueller probe after classified briefing Overnight Finance: Trump signs Dodd-Frank rollback | Snubs key Dems at ceremony | Senate confirms banking regulator | Lawmakers lash out on Trump auto tariffs Senate Dems’ campaign chief ‘welcomes’ midterm support from Clintons MORE (R-Ky.) opened the door Thursday to changing legislation that allows families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia in U.S. court. 

"I do think it's worth further discussions, but it was certainly not something that was going to be fixed this week," he told reporters when asked about a push by some senators to tweak the measure. 

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Across the Capitol, Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanThree House Dems say they'll oppose immigration floor vote over possible wall funding Dems after briefing: 'No evidence' spy placed in Trump campaign Senate approves new sexual harassment policy for Congress MORE (R-Wis.) agreed that Congress may need to "fix" the legislation, but said he wasn't sure when that would happen.

"We want to make sure the 9/11 victims and their families had their day in court," Ryan told reporters. "At the same time, I would like to think that there may be some work to be done to protect our service members overseas from any kind of legal ensnarements that occur, any kind of retribution."

The legislation, known as the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), was turned into law on Wednesday after Congress overrode President Obama's veto. It was the first veto override of Obama's presidency.

Despite the override, 28 senators sent a letter to Sens. John CornynJohn CornynHillicon Valley: Experts worry North Korea will retaliate with hacks over summit | FBI works to disrupt Russian botnet | Trump officials look to quell anger over ZTE | Obama makes case for tighter regs on tech Senate GOP sounds alarm over Trump's floated auto tariffs Administration works to assuage critics over ZTE deal MORE (R-Texas) and Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — GOP centrists in striking distance of immigration vote Schumer: Trump should take Kim Jong Un off 'trip coin' Overnight Finance: Trump signs repeal of auto-loan policy | Justices uphold contracts that bar employee class-action suits | US, China trade war 'on hold' MORE (D-N.Y.) expressing concerns about the measure in the hope that the two senators, who spearheaded it, would be willing to amend the law in the future.  

"We would hope to work with you in a constructive manner to appropriately mitigate those unintended consequences," the senators wrote.

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamHouse GOP sets three FBI interviews in Clinton probe Trump on collision course with Congress on ZTE The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — GOP centrists in striking distance of immigration vote MORE (R-S.C.) said Wednesday that he would like the Senate to take up changes to JASTA as early as the lame-duck session. The Senate is leaving town Thursday until after the November elections.  

"There's a desire to amend what occurred yesterday to put us in a better place,” said Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerHillicon Valley: Experts worry North Korea will retaliate with hacks over summit | FBI works to disrupt Russian botnet | Trump officials look to quell anger over ZTE | Obama makes case for tighter regs on tech Senate GOP sounds alarm over Trump's floated auto tariffs Biden, Corker honored with Freedom House human rights awards MORE (R-Tenn.), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Though the Senate voted on Wednesday to overwhelmingly nix the president's veto in a 97-1 vote, some lawmakers said they had misgivings about the bill. They stressed, however, that any push to find an alternative was largely ignored by the Obama administration. 

McConnell echoed that sentiment Thursday, calling the legislation "an example of an issue that we should have talked about much earlier." 

"You know, that was a good example of — it seems to be a failure to communicate early about the potential consequences of a piece of legislation was obviously very popular," he said.

- Scott Wong and Mike Lillis contributed.