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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Montana Delegation Votes To Overturn Obama Veto

All three members of Montana’s congressional delegation voted in favor of the first-ever override of a veto by President Obama.

Last week the President vetoed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act.

Wednesday, Democratic Senator Jon Tester joined Congressman Ryan Zinke and Senator Steve Daines, both Republicans, in voting to overturn that veto.

"Any time I have to choose between the 9/11 victims and Saudi Arabia, I’m going to choose for the 9/11 victims," said Senator Tester. 

He says he shares President Obama’s concerns that allowing lawsuits against Saudi Arabia would open the door to legal challenges against American officials in other countries, but, "the bottom line is this, Saudi Arabia has been a questionable actor for a long, long time. What happened 15 years ago on 9/11 is a horrible act, and quite frankly I think people need the ability to get some closure on this, and part of that is being able to get legal recourse against Saudi Arabia."

The Saudi government denies any role in the 9/11 attacks, and the 9/11 Commission found no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials were involved. 

Eric Whitney is NPR's Mountain West/Great Plains Bureau Chief, and was the former news director for Montana Public Radio.
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