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JASTA was heralded by many as a victory for lobbyists. The Bill was introduced in 2009, and in every subsequent Congress since. However, in 2016 it gained unstoppable momentum.
Citizen Proponents of JASTA
by Ingrid Unearth, Lawfare Blog
by Center for Strategic & International Studies
by Steve Vladeck, Just Security
President Donald Trump initiated a number of deals between the United States and Saudi Arabia during his visit to the Kingdom. However, the country is still anxiously waiting for the repeal of the controversial 2016 law which allows the relatives of 9/11 victims to bring suit against the kingdom for their deaths. Saudi officials have been privately lobbying Trump and Congress for the repeal of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act.
It only took some members of Congress one day after they led the first override of a veto during the Obama presidency to reject it
. Top congressional leaders expressed that changes to JASTA were necessary. Some even admitted that they agreed with much of the White House's concerns. Although, republican leaders were quick to blame Obama for "dropping the ball" in his failing to engage with Congress on the legislation before it passed. Ignoring the fact that he laid out his concerns in his veto message
House Speaker Paul Ryan shared some of the same concern the White House did in that the legislation could open the U.S. up to similar lawsuits from individuals in other countries. The Speaker expressed that the law needed to be changed to so to ensure that U.S. troops are protected in foreign states.