With a Congress divided for the majority of his presidency, Barack Obama hasn’t had a single veto overridden. Historically, only seven percent of regular vetoes (not pocket vetoes) are overridden. That figure drops to four percent when pocket vetoes are included.
In vetoing a controversial bill last Friday, Obama may finally see one of his vetoes overridden before he leaves Washington. It was the bill passed unanimously by a voice vote in both houses of Congress that would’ve allowed families of 9/11 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia. The possibility of a veto was so despised that before Obama did it, even Nancy Pelosi said she would vote to override the veto. The way things look thus far, that veto may be overridden within a week of being issued.
As Politico reported: The Senate will vote on Wednesday to override President Barack Obama’s veto of legislation that would allow the families of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks to sue the government of Saudi Arabia, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Monday.
The House is likely to vote on the override Thursday or Friday, a Republican leadership aide said.
Congress is expected to easily clinch the two-thirds support needed to override Obama’s veto, which would be the first veto override of his presidency.
The legislation, known formally as the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, sailed through Congress with no recorded objections earlier this year. But with a veto override apparently imminent, some lawmakers, particularly ones who specialize in national security policy, have become increasingly vocal about their concerns with the bill.
Both the chairman and the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee — Republican Mac Thornberry of Texas and Democrat Adam Smith of Washington — are circulating letters urging lawmakers to oppose JASTA. They warn that the legislation could open up U.S. officials abroad to retaliation.
What’s the worst case scenario that Barack Obama expects from allowing people to sue Saudi Arabia? Less money for them to give to the Clinton Foundation?
[Note: This post was written by The Analytical Economist]