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President Barack Obama, on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, expressed to Jake Tapper, CNN’s American journalist, that Congress made a significant error. This mistake took place right after Obama vetoed a bill that would allow families of those killed during the 9/11 terror assaults take legal action against Saudi Arabia.
During a town hall meeting, Obama gave a speech. “I believe the whole thing was a misstep,” he said before military onlookers, set to broadcast at 9:00 p.m. ET.
President Obama believes he understands why Congress decided to override the veto. He stated that the wounds and shock created by 9/11 are still tender. However, no one had felt more pain from their loss than anyone else.
Obama’s presidency has never experienced an override before. However, the administration had plenty of backing by lawmakers from both parties. On a 97-1 vote, the Senate agreed to override the veto. This was done with the approval of the sole affiliate to withstand the President’s veto, Minority Leader Harry Reid. The vote in the House was 348-77, just a couple hours after the veto. There was still, only one Democratic member casting their vote as “present.”
The president believed that the families have the right to support and compensation. Obama backs his point by making it clear that they are victims. This status is the sole reason the administration implemented a victim’s compensation fund in the first place. But then again, Obama alleged that suing Saudi Arabia might not be the right move. He figures it could be an issue for the U.S. in the future.
“What this legislature articulates is that if private citizens acknowledged that they were victims of terrorism — that another nation failed to do more than they could to step in and stop one of its residents, for instance, in getting involved with terrorism — that they can report a personal claim, in court,” Obama stated. However, if sovereign protection is lost, then the U.S. military could become targets of retaliation worldwide.
Later on, Obama added that the U.S. has established what is recognized as the “status of forces agreements.” These treaties are set up to make sure that when the U.S. sends the military to another country, they are not susceptible to these types of private claims. Plus, other nations agreed to the treaties for the same reason.
Obama made some more points assuring the nation that his concern is not because he does not have compassion for the victims of 9/11. His worry lies in the possibility of future liabilities for the work that the country has been involved in worldwide.
Written By Jomo Merritt
Edited by Jeanette Smith
ABC News: President Obama: Congress Made ‘Mistake’ Overriding His Veto of 9/11 Bill
Local 10 ABC News: Exclusive: Obama says Congress made a ‘political vote’ overriding his veto of Saudi lawsuit bill
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