t took the Senate seven years, eight months, and eight days to deliver its first veto override vote of Barack Obama’s presidency — but it was a doozy. On Friday, Obama had vetoed a popular, bipartisan bill to allow victims of the 9/11 attacks and their survivors the ability to sue Saudi Arabia for damages and to prove they had connections to the attack. The Senate voted 97-1 for the override, with the only Senator defending Obama to shortly join him in retirement:
The Senate on Wednesday voted 97-1 to override President Barack Obama’s veto of a bill allowing families of victims of terrorism on U.S. soil to sue foreign governments linked to the attacks.
It marked the chamber’s first override of an Obama veto. Lawmakers in favor of reversing the president’s position easily mustered the required supermajority of more than two-thirds of senators present, with Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada casting the only no vote.
The White House called the override “embarrassing” … which is accurate, but not in the way they mean:
BREAKING: White House calls Senate override of 9/11 Saudi bill the most embarrassing action by lawmakers in years
— Reuters Politics (@ReutersPolitics) September 28, 2016
It’s true that the override is embarrassing, but it embarrasses Obama rather than the legislators. Tim Kaine managed to avoid making matters worse for Obama by skipping the vote altogether, and also avoiding a potentially damaging spot for Hillary Clinton. She would have had to choose between protecting Obama’s flank or coming onto the side of the 9/11 victims, and with the election looking close, Hillary needs Obama more than he needs her. This way the campaign can take a pass on this question. (Notable: Bernie Sanders was the other no-show.)
The House will take this up later in the day, but don’t expect the outcome to be any different. Nancy Pelosi and Paul Ryan both back the override.
Both chambers have more pressing and partisan fights to resolve, namely over the budget. Without a funding authorization by Friday, the federal government will start shutting down its offices on Saturday. The principle bones of contention have been funding to fight Zika and the Flint, Michigan water crisis. This afternoon, Reid endorsed a compromise that will likely pass in both chambers:
harry reid, the only senator to vote against the over ride. Hey Nevada have you had enough yet? American citizens first.
If scary Harry Reid and Joe the Schmoe Biden insist on being a bunch of pinheads then they need to go away
I wonder if George W Bush/Prince Bandar bin Sultan/Osama Bassnan connection will come up in the law suits?