Dem pushing colleagues to back Obama's veto of 9/11 bill: report
© Anne Wernikoff

A top House Democrat is urging his colleagues to support President Obama's veto of legislation to allow families of the 9/11 victims to sue the Saudi Arabian government in court.


Rep. Adam SmithDavid (Adam) Adam SmithOvernight Defense: Pompeo blames Iran for oil tanker attacks | House panel approves 3B defense bill | Trump shares designs for red, white and blue Air Force One House panel approves 3B defense policy bill House panel approves 3B defense policy bill MORE (D-Wash.) wrote in a "Dear Colleague" letter that the law would put U.S. personnel at risk by “weakening the international protections that shield them against prosecution in civil and criminal courts around the world," according to Politico.

“Taking this policy path will end up doing the United States more harm than good,” Smith wrote in the letter to fellow Democratic lawmakers.

“Because of the reach of our global interests and commitments, U.S. personnel are present all over the world. We have far more at stake as a result, and it is our personnel who will incur the most risk if we erode their legal protections.”

Obama on Friday vetoed the bill, arguing the bill undermine sovereign immunity and open up U.S. diplomats and military service members to legal action overseas. 

“I recognize that there is nothing that could ever erase the grief that 9/11 families have endured,” he wrote in his veto message. 

“Enacting JASTA into law, however, would neither protect Americans from terrorist attacks nor improve the effectiveness of our response to such attacks.”

Congress is expected to override the veto this week — something that has never before happened in Obama’s tenure.

Donald Trump on Friday blasted Obama for vetoing the legislation.

“President Obama’s veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act is shameful and will go down as one of the low points of his presidency,” he said in a statement.

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign said Friday the Democratic presidential nominee would sign JASTA.

“Clinton continues to support the efforts by Sen. [Chuck] Schumer [D-N.Y.] and his colleagues in the Congress to secure the ability of 9/11 families and other victims of terror to hold accountable those responsible,” spokesman Jesse Lehrich said.  “She would sign this legislation if it came to her desk.”