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House Follows Suit, Overrides Obama Veto

President Obama
For the first time of his presidency, Congress overrode President Obama's veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act on Wednesday. (Reuters photo)

After the Senate voted 97-1 Wednesday morning, the House of Representatives followed suit, overriding President Obama's veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act by a 348-77 vote.

The bill will now become law, allowing the families of victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to sue the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia over its alleged ties. Prior to the House taking up the measure, the White House issued the following response through Press Secretary Josh Earnest:

"This is the single most embarrassing thing the United States Senate as done possibly since 1983. To have members of the United States Senate only recently informed of the negative impact of this bill on our servicemembers and our diplomats is in itself embarrassing."

JASTA's authors, U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) both spoke in favor of the legislation during a press conference Wednesday:

"The families have already suffered too much," Cornyn said. "They've already suffered untold tragedy, of course, and they deserve to find a path to closure that only justice can provide."

"But it was important in this case that the families of the victims of 9/11 be allowed to pursue justice," Schumer added. "Even if that pursuit causes some diplomatic discomforts."

The override is the first for President Obama during his two terms in office. The last president to have served without having a veto overridden was Lyndon Johnson.

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