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.