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Hot Dish Politics

Tracking Minnesota’s political scene and keeping you up-to-date on those elected to serve you

Reps. Kline, McCollum, Ellison vote against veto override on 9/11 bill

WASHINGTON -- At the end of the day, it was Republican Rep. John Kline and Democratic Reps. Keith Ellison and Betty McCollum who stood with President Barack Obama in a veto of legislation that will allow 9/11 victims' families to sue the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Both chambers of Congress overwhelmingly voted to override the president's veto of the law, which Obama warned runs afoul of current national security protocol and could open American military personnel up to civil suits in foreign courts. The Senate passed the veto override 97-1 and the House passed it 348-77. This was the first veto override in Obama's presidency.

Among those voting to uphold Obama's veto was Kline, who said on Wednesday he usually disagrees with Obama but he worries the bill will adversely affect members of the military.

“While I have stood in strong opposition to much of the president’s agenda and sympathize with the families of 9/11 victims, I voted to sustain the veto because I believe the legislation could increase risk for our troops, intelligence gatherers, and diplomats serving the U.S. around the world," he said.

McCollum echoed his sentiment, noting she too was sympathetic of the  9/11 victims

"While I understand the intent of this legislation, it undermines the principle of sovereign immunity and puts American service members and diplomatic personnel at risk of prosecution and lawsuits abroad," she said.

Reps. Rick Nolan, Tim Walz, Collin Peterson, Tom Emmer and Erik Paulsen all voted to override the veto.

"As I have said before, those responsible for the terrible carnage on Sept. 11 must pay," Nolan said, in a statement.

Both Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken were original sponsors of the bill and voted to override the veto on Wednesday.

Conservative-leaning think tank ranks Minnesota 46th in business tax competitiveness

Minnesota ranked among the worst states for its overall business tax climate, ranking 46th nationally, according to a ranking released Wednesday by the Washington, D.C-based Tax Foundation.

The Tax Foundation, a conservative-leaning nonprofit, ranked New Jersey as the worst state, New York, California, Vermont and the District of Columbia all ranked worst than Minnesota. The best business tax climates are No. 1 Wyoming, followed by South Dakota, Alaska, Florida and Nevada. 

The Foundation's report said business tax climates contribute to business relocation decisions by companies moving operations or headquarters to states with lesser tax burdens on business. 

Sam Fettig, a spokesman for Gov. Dayton, in a statement countered with a separate ranking touting Minnesota's business climate. 

“The Tax Foundation has an anti-tax ideology and views lower taxes as desirable," Fettig said. "For the past two years, Minnesota has ranked in the top five best states for business by CNBC, due to our highly-educated workforce, investments in infrastructure, and high quality of life with a lower cost of living, none of which the Tax Foundation factors into its rankings.”