US President Barack Obama will veto a bill that would allow the families of 9/11 attacks victims to sue Saudi Arabia, the White House says.
“The president does plan to veto this legislation,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said on Monday.
“I do anticipate the president will veto the legislation when it is presented to him. It hasn’t been presented to him yet,” Earnest added.
Obama has opposed the bill, asserting that foreigners could try to exploit it to sue the United States.
“It’s not hard to imagine other countries using this law as an excuse to haul US diplomats, US service members or even US companies into courts all around the world,” Earnest said.
He made the remarks just hours before Obama was scheduled to meet with the congressional leaders of both parties.
The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism bill passed on Friday by both houses of Congress would allow the families to sue the Saudi Arabian government in a US federal court.
Obama has come under pressure from Democratic lawmakers and 9/11 victims’ families who support the legislation.
“We can no longer allow those who injure and kill Americans to hide behind legal loopholes, denying justice to the victims of terrorism,” said Republican Representative Bob Goodlatte, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
Also, some lawmakers, including, Congresswoman Rosa Delauro and Senator Richard Blumenthal have called on Obama to sign the bill.
Saudi Arabia has strongly opposed the bill and threatened to sell off $750 billion in American assets if it becomes law.
On Sunday, Americans commemorated the 15th anniversary of the attacks that left 2,983 people dead and caused about $10 billion worth of property and infrastructure damage.
US officials assert that the attacks were carried out by al-Qaeda terrorists, but many experts believe that rogue elements within the US government orchestrated or at least encouraged the attacks in order to accelerate the US war machine and advance the Zionist agenda.