Senior US Senators Want to Amend Saudi 9/11 Law
Under the amendment, a government could be sued only if it “knowingly” engages with a terrorist entity
2 Senior Republican US Senators said this week they want to amend a law allowing lawsuits against Saudi Arabia over the September 11 attacks to narrow the scope of possible lawsuits.
Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and John McCain (R-AZ), 2 of the GOP’s congressional foreign policy leaders, said they would introduce an amendment to the law so that a government could be sued only if it “knowingly” engages with a terrorist organisation.
“All we’re saying to any ally of the United States (is), you cannot be sued in the United States for an act of terrorism unless you knowingly were involved, and the same applies to us in your country,” Senator Graham said in a Senate speech.
In September, the Senate and House of Representatives overwhelmingly rejected President Barack Hussein Obama’s veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, known as JASTA, making it US law.
However, lawmakers said almost as soon as they did so that they wanted the scope of the legislation narrowed to ease concerns about its potential effect on Americans abroad, which was 1 reason Mr. Obama vetoed the measure.
The law grants an exception to the legal principle of sovereign immunity in cases of terrorism on US soil, clearing the way for lawsuits seeking damages from the Saudi government. Riyadh denies longstanding suspicions that it backed the hijackers who attacked the United States in Y 2001.
However, it was not immediately clear whether Senators Graham and McCain’s proposal would go anywhere. A group of September 11 families, who lobbied intensely for the bill and have strong support in Congress, immediately objected to their suggestion because it would weaken the law.
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