The House should take a careful look at controversial legislation that would allow 9/11 victims to sue the Saudi Arabian government for any role it might have played in the terrorist attacks, Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPaul Ryan researched narcissistic personality disorder after Trump win: book Paul Ryan says it's 'really clear' Biden won election: 'It was not rigged. It was not stolen' Democrats fret over Trump-district retirements ahead of midterms MORE (R-Wis.) said Tuesday.
That way, lawmakers can ensure the U.S. government is not jeopardizing its relationship with an important ally, he said.
President Obama has already vowed to veto the bill should it reach his desk, and Ryan acknowledged that there were significant concerns about it among some House members.
The Speaker recently led a congressional delegation to the Middle East but said the legislation never came up during his meetings with King Salman and other top Saudi officials in Riyadh.
“I think we need to look at it,” Ryan told reporters at a news conference. “I think we need to review it to make sure we are not making mistakes with our allies and that we’re not catching people in this that shouldn’t be caught up in this.”
The Saudi government is vehemently opposed to the bipartisan legislation, which has been introduced in both the House and Senate. Top officials from the country have threatened to sell off billions of dollars in U.S. assets if Congress takes up and passes the bill, The New York Times reported.
The international spat comes just as Obama is set to visit Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) introduced a House version of the bill, which is backed by several of his New York colleagues. A companion bill in the Senate was authored by New York Democrat Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden discusses agenda with Schumer, Pelosi ahead of pivotal week CEOs urge Congress to raise debt limit or risk 'avoidable crisis' If .5 trillion 'infrastructure' bill fails, it's bye-bye for an increasingly unpopular Biden MORE and Republican Whip John CornynJohn CornynDemocrats make case to Senate parliamentarian for 8 million green cards Democrats to make pitch Friday for pathway to citizenship in spending bill Without major changes, more Americans could be victims of online crime MORE of Texas. GOP presidential hopeful Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Schumer: Dem unity will happen eventually; Newsom prevails The Memo: Like the dress or not, Ocasio-Cortez is driving the conversation again Ocasio-Cortez defends attendance of Met Gala amid GOP uproar MORE, the junior senator from Texas, has signed on as well.
Former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonAttorney indicted on charge of lying to FBI as part of Durham investigation Durham seeking indictment of lawyer with ties to Democrats: reports Paul Ryan researched narcissistic personality disorder after Trump win: book MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBriahna Joy Gray: Push toward major social spending amid pandemic was 'short-lived' Sanders 'disappointed' in House panel's vote on drug prices Manchin keeps Washington guessing on what he wants MORE (I-Vt.), who are competing for the Democratic presidential nomination, both support the legislation.