No, this isn’t an episode of the Twilight Zone. Barack Obama is expected to do something so unpopular that even House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will defy him.
One of the highest profile bills discussed over the past few months has been one that would allow families of victims of the September 11th attacks to sue Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia maintains that it had no role in the attacks — but have threatened to divest $750 billion in U.S. assets over such a bill — the logistics of which would be a massive headache for the Kingdom.
Barack Obama has maintained opposition to the bill, which passed the House and Senate unanimously through a voice vote.
If he’s going to veto the bill, as he’s promised, he has to do it today.
1/ Big deadline for Obama today: either he vetoes the bill allowing 9/11 families to sue Saudi Arabia or it becomes law at midnight.
— Oblivier Knox (@OKnox) September 23, 2016
However, an Obama veto is not the end of the story. If Obama does veto, it’s likely there would be the supermajority in the House and Senate needed to override it — which would be the first time Congress has overridden a veto from Obama. The last time a veto was overridden by Congress was in 2008 — and the last time before that was in 1845.
Perhaps even more rare than Congress overriding a president’s veto is the prospect of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi going against President Obama’s wishes.
Via The Hill:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she’ll oppose President Obama if he vetoes legislation empowering families of victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to sue Saudi Arabia in U.S. courts.
“I’ve worked with these families for a very long time, and I think they should have their day in court,” Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol.
Pelosi, who was the top Democratic on the House Intelligence Committee at the time of the 2001 attacks, noted that she had sided with the families in the controversial push to create the 9/11 Commission, an independent panel that investigated the attacks.
“When it went to the floor, I was accused of being a traitor for bringing it up … [and] it did not pass at that time,” she said.
Only after lawmakers attached the measure to a must-pass vehicle — and after the families of 9/11 victims increased their pressure — did Congress approve the outside probe.
“[It] was the mobilization of the families,” Pelosi said, predicting that the vote to override Obama’s expected veto would succeed for the same reason.
“I think it’s going to happen,” she said. “The families will have the votes.”
Who ever thought that if sanity were to prevail, it would be thanks to Nancy Pelosi?
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]