A bipartisan Senate bill that would allow the families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia over suspected links to terrorists appears to have made strange bedfellows of President Obama and Senate Republicans, who have united against the legislation.
As the bill’s fate hangs in the balance, Capitol Hill lawmakers across party lines are divided on whether to advance the legislation. If passed, it could jeopardize relations between Washington and Riyadh, one of the US’s closest allies in the Middle East.
Passed in the Senate Judiciary Committee in January, the bipartisan “Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act” would strip immunity from foreign governments in cases “arising from a terrorist attack that kills an American on American soil.”
Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Chuck Schumer (D-New York) are the original co-sponsors. Senators Al Franken (D-Minnesota) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) have also signed on in support.
However, it’s unclear when – if ever – it will come to a vote in the Senate or the House. It is currently being blocked by an anonymous senator, a move that would require a minimum of 60 senate votes to overcome.