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CONTACT: Terry Strada: (973) 945-7420; David White: (202) 607-0766
9/11 Victims’ Families & Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism Applaud Senators John Cornyn’s and Chuck Schumer’s 19-0 vote in favor of JASTA
Legislation Ensures Justice Against Those Who Aid Terrorism and Deters Future Attacks
WASHINGTON, D.C., January 28, 2016 – S.2040, the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (“JASTA”) passed in the Senate Judiciary Committee today with a 19-0 vote in favor of moving JASTA out of committee. Senators urged Congress to act swiftly and to move the bill through both chambers of Congress.
Lead sponsor Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) pointed out that the families have suffered long enough and stated, “It is time to see JASTA passed and moved to the President’s desk for signature.” Senator Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) opening remarks reflected his longtime support of the 9/11 victims’ families and survivors quest for justice and thanked his fellow members for their support of JASTA.
Several Senators, including Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) went on record stating the need for this legislation. The ranking member, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), also a long time supporter of the 9/11 victims’ families and survivors, hopes to see JASTA pass in the Senate and move over to the House in a timely manner.
An amendment was introduced into the record supporting changes to the original language reflecting input by Republican leadership in the House. The counterpart to S.2040 is H.R 3815 in the House and is being championed by lead sponsor Rep. Peter King (R-NY, 2nd district) along with Jerold Nadler (D-NY, 10th district).
JASTA reaffirms the original intent of the “Anti-terrorism Act of 2001” (ATA) to hold accountable in U.S. courts those who provide material support toward terrorist attacks against Americans on American soil. In particular, it ensures that those who provided material support for the nineteen hijackers who carried out the worst terrorist attack on American soil can be held accountable in a U.S. court.
Marge Mathers, a 74 year-old widow from Texas who is seeking justice for the murder of her husband Charles Mathers in the brutal attacks of 9/11, attended the committee meeting and said, “While nothing will ever completely heal the pain of losing my husband in such a horrific way, I am thankful we have dedicated lawmakers such as Senator John Cornyn and Chuck Schumer who are leading the charge in D.C. for the prompt passage of JASTA. No family should ever have to suffer at the hands of terrorism and JASTA will certainly play an important role in deterring future attacks against our country.”
“The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act will create a path to justice for all the 9/11 victims’ families and survivors” said Terry Strada, National Chair of the 9/11 Victims’ Families & Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism. Ms. Strada lost her husband, Tom Strada in the North Tower at the WTC. She also attended the committee meeting and added, “I remain dedicated to working with members of Congress for the swift passage of JASTA. It was an honor to witness the committee doing such great work in voting 19-0 in favor of JASTA. Listening to the Senators go on record for their strong support of JASTA and hearing the last aye spoken brought tears to my eyes. The justice we have been seeking for fourteen years will finally come closer to being a reality when JASTA is enacted into law.”