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

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellSenate Dem: We’re trying to block a recess appointment to replace Sessions Trump predicts 'problems' for those voting against ObamaCare repeal Overnight Defense: House passes Russia sanctions deal | McCain returns to Senate | Watchdog opens criminal probe into M camo mistake 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. 

ADVERTISEMENT
Across the Capitol, Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanOPINION | Healthcare vote a political death wish for GOP in 2018 The one part of ObamaCare that must be repealed now Senate Dems warn they will block recess appointments MORE (R-Wis.)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 CornynTough road ahead for McConnell on ObamaCare McCain returns to applause, casts deciding vote to advance healthcare bill Live coverage: Senate begins debate on ObamaCare repeal MORE (R-Texas) and Charles SchumerCharles SchumerCongress can send a powerful message by passing the Israel Anti-Boycott Act OPINION | Dems' ‘new’ agenda? A recycled copy of Trump’s playbook Trump: Why aren't 'beleaguered AG,' investigators looking at Hillary Clinton? 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 GrahamSenate rejects ObamaCare repeal, replacement amendment Trump turns up heat on AG Sessions over recusal OPINION | McConnell attempt to butcher ObamaCare is political malpractice 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 CorkerBob CorkerSenate rejects ObamaCare repeal, replacement amendment Senate votes to begin ObamaCare repeal debate Live coverage: Senate begins debate on ObamaCare repeal 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.