A bipartisan bill to let families victimized by the 9/11 terrorist attacks sue Saudi Arabia ran into sharp setbacks Monday, as the White House threatened a veto and a GOP senator privately sought to block the measure.
The move comes as presidential candidates from both parties are seizing on the legislation to score points with New York voters ahead of Tuesday’s critical primary there.
And it has pit the likely next Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer of New York, squarely against the Obama administration.
The White House and State Department are bluntly warning lawmakers not to proceed with the legislation over fears it could have dramatic ramifications for the United States and citizens living abroad to retaliatory lawsuits. The President lands in Riyadh Wednesday for talks with Saudi Arabia over ISIS and Iran at a time of strained relations between the countries, making the bill’s timing that much more sensitive.