Sarasota area Republican Congressman Vern Buchanan says that the U.S. should “never buckle to the threats of a foreign government,” and that’s why he supports legislation that aims to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for any involvement in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
“Even an ally like Saudi Arabia needs to understand our country will never compromise when it comes to keeping Americans safe and punishing those behind terrorist attacks,” Buchanan says. “If they were involved, the truth needs to come out and they need to be held accountable. The time for justice is long overdue.”
Buchanan is co-sponsoring the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (H.R. 3815), which would allow victims of terrorism, including the families of the 9/11 attacks, to pursue foreign states and sponsors of terrorism in federal court.
Saudi officials have reacted with alarm to the proposed legislation, and has warned the Obama administration that if the bill passes, they could retaliate by selling up to to $750 billion in Treasury securities and other assets in the U.S., according to the New York Times.
Attention about possible Saudi involvement in the 9/11 attacks comes with President Obama‘s arrival in the Kingdom on Wednesday, where he received what CNN described as a “chilly reception” from Saudi leaders in Riyadh.
And it also arrives with mega attention being directed at the 28 classified pages of the 9/11 report that reportedly references possible Saudi involvement with the attacks, an issue that former Florida Senator Bob Graham has railed about for years, and where he got a primetime platform to discuss on CBS’ 60 Minutes earlier this month.
Speaking with CBS’ Charlie Rose on Monday night, Obama said he opposes the bill, which is being sponsored in the Senate by New York Democrat Chuck Schumer. “If we open up the possibility that individuals in the United States can routinely start suing other governments, then we are also opening up the United States to being sued” by individuals in other countries, he said.
Buchanan said he is disappointed at the president’s veto threat. “It’s disgraceful that victims’ families cannot get into court to prove what senior intelligence officials believe to be true,” Buchanan said. “Our government should never put Saudi Arabia’s interests ahead of the American people.”
Meanwhile, Marco Rubio says he supports the release of the 28 classified pages of the 9/11 report, but says it’s not such a “cut-and-dry thing the way it’s been represented.”
“I personally am not at the end of the day, against it being released, other than I don’t think it paints a complete picture,” Rubio told Jimmy Cefalo on WIOD-AM 610 in Miami.
The former GOP presidential candidate downplays the Saudi threats to sell U.S. treasury securities if the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act passes.
“I’m not a big fan of being threatened by foreign governments that they’re going to do this or that against us, I don’t think that’s a real threat,” Rubio said. “I’m not sure how easily they can do that. I’m not sure they can afford to do what they’re talking about doing, to be honest with you.”