The following is an excerpt from PATRICIA ZENGERLE | May 17, 2016 | reuters.com |
The U.S. Senate passed legislation on Tuesday that would allow victims of the Sept. 11 attacks to file lawsuits seeking damages from Saudi Arabia, setting up a potential showdown with the White House, which has threatened a veto.
The Saudis, who deny responsibility for the 2001 attacks, strongly object to the bill and have threatened to sell up to $750 billion in U.S. securities and other American assets in retaliation if it becomes law.
The "Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act," or JASTA, passed the Senate by unanimous voice vote. It must next be taken up by the U.S. House of Representatives, where no vote has yet been scheduled.
If it became law, JASTA would remove the sovereign immunity, preventing lawsuits against governments, for countries found to be involved in terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. It would allow survivors of the attacks, and relatives of those killed in the attacks, to seek damages from other countries.
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