President Barack Obama’s veto of a 9/11 bill that allows families to sue Saudi Arabia was overridden on Wednesday in a 97-1 by the Senate. Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader, was the only Senator to vote in favor of keeping Obama’s veto in place.
The House voted in favor of overriding the veto 348 to 77.
Obama asserts that the vote was a political move by the politicians ahead of elections. Speaking to CNN, the president stated, “If you’re perceived as voting against 9/11 families right before an election, not surprisingly, that’s a hard vote for people to take.”
Chris Smith, New Jersey GOP Representative, rallied votes to veto the bill in the House. Smith showed members a picture of the Saudi King alongside Obama.
Tim Kaine, vice presidential candidate under Hillary Clinton, didn’t participate in the vote. Kaine, a Virginia Senator, was criticized for not participating in the vote by Donald Trump supporter and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. The former mayor was quoted as saying , “The failure of Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Tim Kaine, who was obviously afraid to show up to work today and stand with these Americans, is a disgrace.”
The Justice for State Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) was vetoed by the president because it would open up the government to lawsuits and hurt relations with Saudi Arabia.