The U.S. Senate on May 17 unanimously passed legislation that would allow victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to sue Saudi Arabia for its alleged role in the attacks.
The Obama administration has strongly argued against the legislation, and the president has threatened to veto the bill.
Essentially, the legislation would allow survivors of terrorist attacks that took place on U.S. territory, or the victims’ family members, to bring lawsuits against states deemed responsible for supporting the attacks. The bill will now head to the House, where lawmakers have put forth their own version of the legislation.
However, one of the bill’s supporters, Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, said the Senate is able to pull together the majority needed to override a presidential veto.
Saudi Arabia has criticized the bill and threatened to sell off $750 billion in U.S. assets if it passes. Riyadh is able, in theory, to deal a heavy blow to the U.S. economy if it sells off a substantial number of its U.S. assets all at once. However, the country will also hurt itself by this move.