Tags: charles schumer | loophole | derail | saudi arabia | 911 | lawsuit

Schumer Adds Loophole to Derail Saudi 9/11 Lawsuits

Image: Schumer Adds Loophole to Derail Saudi 9/11 Lawsuits
Charles Schumer (Photo by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 25 May 2016 12:48 PM

The much heralded bill passed by the Senate last week allowing families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia turns out to be much less tough on foreign sponsors of terrorism than originally believed, The New York Post reports.

The legislation received much fanfare as a case of Senate Democrats defying the objections of President Barack Obama, despite White House warnings that it could have severe repercussions for relations with Saudi Arabia and open the door for foreigners to similarly sue the U.S. government.

The Hill reports that legislation co-sponsor Charles Schumer, a Democrat, emphasized that "this bill is very near and dear to my heart as a New Yorker because it would allow the victims of 9/11 to pursue some small measure of justice."

But it turns out the bill was extremely watered down by Schumer himself at the last moment by inserting an amendment that allows the attorney general and secretary of state to effectively halt any litigation against the Saudis if the U.S. is "engaged in good-faith discussion with the foreign-state defendant concerning the resolution of claims against the foreign state."

This revelation helps explain how the legislation passed without an objection despite heavy White House pressure to vote against it.

Schumer's office defended the inclusion of the clause to the Post, saying the senator insisted to the administration that if it used this amendment they "should be prepared to provide substantial evidence of good-faith negotiations to the court."

Similarly, lawyers for families of the victims said they were assured by both Schumer and co-sponsor Sen. John Cornyn that the administration would have to use "real and tangible" proof to utilize the amendment.

Families of the victims, however, were much less reassured by the explanations, considering it as a way to dilute the entire bill of effective measures.

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The much heralded bill passed by the Senate last week allowing families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia turns out to be much less tough on foreign sponsors of terrorism than originally believed, The New York Post reports.
charles schumer, loophole, derail, saudi arabia, 911, lawsuit
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2016-48-25
Wednesday, 25 May 2016 12:48 PM
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