McConnell pledges Senate will stay in session to block anticipated Presidential veto of JASTA
Washington, D.C., Sept. 21, 2016 – Dozens of 9/11 family members and survivors protested outside the White House yesterday, calling for President Obama to sign the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), a bill that he has threatened to veto. Following the protest, the 9/11 Families & Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism held a press conference on the Senate lawn, with Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).
At the press conference Terry Strada, National Chair of the 9/11 Families & Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism outlined the reasons why the White House’s arguments against JASTA are misplaced. Her husband Tom Strada was in the World Trade Center and died in the attacks. Terry’s daughter, Kaitlyn Strada also spoke on behalf of the 9/11 Children for Justice. On behalf of all of the protesters and the entire 9/11 community, they urged Congress to stay in session to override a veto.
Immediately following the press conference, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that the Senate will override JASTA before recessing for the upcoming elections.
“The 9/11 Families and Survivors extend our deepest thanks to Senators Blumenthal, McConnell and the several others who have been steadfast supporters of JASTA, standing behind us every step of the way and fighting for what’s right and just for all victims of terrorism,” said Terry Strada. “They refuse to be persuaded by Saudi lobbyists unlike some of their fellow colleagues. While we anticipate the President to veto JASTA by Friday, I am confident the majority of Congress will stand with Americans and will not let us down. Fifteen years has passed without answers or accountability for the most horrific attack on America—we are angry, frustrated and tired. As my late husband and daughter say, it is time to do the right thing.”
JASTA unanimously passed both the Senate (May 17, 2016) and House (Sept. 9, 2016), but is threatened by a potential veto by President Obama. The legislation would allow victims of terror attacks on U.S. soil to seek accountability against foreign states in U.S. courts, essentially the same way they could if the foreign state had caused injury in a car wreck.
The President has the bill for consideration and has until Friday, Sept. 23 to sign or veto the legislation. The 9/11 Families and Survivors urge Congress to stay in session to prevent a pocket veto, and call on their support to override the anticipated veto.
Watch the JASTA Press Conference
9/11 Families & Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism consists of thousands of family members and survivors, seeking the truth, accountability and justice against all perpetrators of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against our nation. PassJASTA.org.