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Ryan expresses skepticism about 9/11 bill

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 Ryan (R-Wis.) said Tuesday.

That way, lawmakers can ensure the U.S. government is not jeopardizing its relationship with an important ally, he said.

{mosads}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 Schumer and Republican Whip John Cornyn of Texas. GOP presidential hopeful Ted Cruz, the junior senator from Texas, has signed on as well.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who are competing for the Democratic presidential nomination, both support the legislation. 

Tags Bernie Sanders Charles Schumer Hillary Clinton John Cornyn Paul Ryan Ted Cruz
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