DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — President Barack Obama is expected to veto a bill allowing the families of 9/11 victims to file lawsuits against Saudi Arabia.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said President Obama “does intend to veto this legislation,” on Monday during a briefing.
The veto would be Obama’s 11th during his presidency, setting up for possibly his first veto override.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the legislation last Friday, following earlier passage by the Senate.
Saudi Arabia has strongly objected to the proposed law, which would give victims’ families the right to sue Saudi Arabia in U.S. courts. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals.
“The principle of sovereign immunity protects the United States as much as any other country in the world, given how much the us is involved in the world,” Earnest said. “So the president feels quite strongly about this, and our concern is not limited to the impact it would have with our relationship with one country.”
The veto comes on the heels of the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
A grouping of six Gulf Arab countries is expressing “deep concern” over a bill passed by Congress that would allow families of Sept. 11 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia.
The head of the Saudi-dominated Gulf Cooperation Council said in a statement on Monday that the legislation runs against the principles of international law. GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif al-Zayani also says the draft law sets a dangerous precedent.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.