Vote on letting 9/11 families sue Saudis expected before anniversary

In advance of the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on America, the House of Representatives will soon vote on a bill that will allow victims’ families to sue state funders of terrorists.

“I can confirm there will be a vote on JASTA legislation,” Ashlee Strong, spokesperson for House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told McClatchy. The decision that the House would vote on the bill was first reported by Politico. House leadership had been weighing whether to proceed with a quick vote or to go through the regular legislative channels, which would have meant a vote first by the House Judiciary Committee.

The Senate unanimously approved the bill, the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, last May and 9/11 family members, including Texas resident Marge Mathers, whose husband died in the North Tower of the World Trade Center, have mounted a campaign to get a bill passed by the House and Senate and to the president’s desk by the 15th anniversary on Sunday.

The White House has said that it will veto the bill out of concern for state sovereignty and that there would be retaliation against American citizens by other countries. The legislation is aimed at the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia because 15 of the 19 hijackers of the four planes were Saudis. The recent release of the classified so-called “28 pages” of a congressional report that showed connections between the hijackers and the Saudis generated additional momentum behind the legislation.

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