The White House is standing by their assertion that the president would likely veto the Senate-passed bill that would allow 9/11 families to sue the Saudi government — even though the Senate voted unanimously in favor of the bill.
“Given the concerns that we have expressed, it’s difficult to imagine the president signing this legislation,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said. “That continues to be true.”
Earnest said the administration would continue to ”strongly oppose” the bill, citing “unintended consequences” of making the United States more vulnerable in international court systems.
He signaled sympathy for the 9/11 families, insisting that “Our heart breaks for those people.” Earnest added:
These are thousands of Americans who walk around everyday with a hole in their heart because they lost a loved one on that tragic day. And trying to make sense of that and trying to move with your — with one’s life is something that many of them have been challenged to do and they’ve demonstrated tremendous patriotism and heroism as they’ve moved on with their lives.
Although Sen. Chuck Schumer remained hopeful that Congress could successfully override the White House veto, Earnest remained skeptical that the the bill could be passed in the House.
“There are Democrats and Republicans in the House of Representatives that have raised concerns about the bill in the same way that the administration has,” he said. “So we’ll engage in a conversation with the House of Representatives and we’ll take it from there.”