Cornyn Presses White House to Act on 9/11 Victims Bill


In: All News   Posted 09/19/2016
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“Why put the families through any more delay and anguish and uncertainty? The President should go ahead and veto the legislation. And then the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives should then take up a veto override vote, and I'm confident of what the outcome of that would be.”

WASHINGTON – Today on the floor U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) addressed the terror attacks this weekend, and again called on the President to act swiftly on the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act. Excerpts of Sen. Cornyn’s remarks are below, and video of his speech can be found here.

“Over the weekend, we were reminded once again of the threat that terrorism poses to our communities all across this country… I'm thankful for the authorities, the law enforcement officials, the emergency medical officials and others who have responded so heroically, and I'm grateful that there has already been a suspect detained in the New York and New Jersey incident before he could attempt additional attacks. This is just another reminder, as if we needed more reminders, of the importance of remaining vigilant to the threat of terrorism in the United States.”

“Last week, the Senate sent a piece of legislation, an important piece of legislation from my perspective, called the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act to President Obama for his signature, and he has until Friday to act on it.”

“This legislation, the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, or sometimes called the 9/11 families bill, makes some narrow amendments to a long-standing federal statute, the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and the Antiterrorism Act. What it does provide is for Americans to be able to seek recourse in a court of law from governments or people who sponsor terrorist attacks on American soil.” 

“The bottom line is this legislation should not upset our relationships with any country with which we share common interests… This bill targets those who fund terrorist activity against us, plain and simple.”

“I want to remind my colleagues that this legislation was crafted and created through consensus. Before the Senate passed it several months ago, my colleagues and I took great care to address concerns from members on both sides of the aisle, as you would expect. Working with other members, we made changes to the legislation they requested so we could keep support for this legislation and support for the families of victims strong. It then passed the Senate unanimously in May.”

“But even with so much bipartisan, bicameral support, President Obama still says he intends to veto the legislation. As I've said before, that's his prerogative, but I hope he does so soon so that Congress has the opportunity to vote to override his veto.” 

“And I hope once he does veto it, Congress will quickly act.”

“At the end of the day, we need to do what's right for the American people, just as other countries would do right for their own citizens.” 

“Why put the families through any more delay and anguish and uncertainty? The President should go ahead and veto the legislation. And then the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives should then take up a veto override vote, and I'm confident of what the outcome of that would be.”