Breaking tonight, according to reports:
“Two top Senate Democrats are pushing President Obama to sign a bill that allows the families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia in U.S. courts.
Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), expected to be the next Senate Democratic leader, and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) sent a letter to the president urging him to support the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA).
“This bill closes a loophole that denies a fair day in court to American victims of heinous terrorist attacks. We urge you to sign this bill without delay,” the two senators wrote in the letter, which was released hours after the legislation passed the House unanimously.
The legislation — spearheaded by Schumer and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) — has pitted congressional Democrats against the White House, which has concerns that the proposal will undermine the U.S.-Saudi relationship and could spark retaliation against the United States.
But the two Democratic senators argued in their letter that if the Saudi government isn’t connected to the attacks, then “it has nothing to fear from litigation.”
“A court proceeding would allow it to demonstrate its innocence in a neutral, public forum,” they added. “If Saudi Arabia was culpable, it should be held accountable.”
Fifteen of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 came from Saudi Arabia, and critics have long suspected that the government has ties either directly or indirectly to the attacks. Saudi officials have denied that their government had any role in plotting the attacks.”