Republicans in Congress really screwed us over by overriding President Obama’s veto of a bill that gives 9/11 victims to ability to sue Saudi Arabia. Now America stands to take a major economic hit.
Currently, the Saudis hold nearly a trillion dollars in U.S. assets, which includes treasury securities. In April, Saudi officials handed off a message to lawmakers telling them that if such a bill were passed the Kingdom would be forced to sell the assets to prevent them from being frozen by American courts.
Well, the Senate passed the bill in May, and the House passed it in September. President Obama then vetoed the bill because it puts Americans overseas at risk, threatens to topple international relations with other nations, and could hurt the economy.
But the Senate overrode the veto and now Republicans suddenly regret it.
“Everybody was aware of who the potential beneficiaries were but nobody had really focused on the potential downside in terms of our international relationships, and I think it was just a ball dropped,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.
It’s not a dropped ball. It’s an imploded one.
Not only could American soldiers and corporations be at risk of being prosecuted in other countries since they could easily pass retaliatory laws, our delicate relationship with Saudi Arabia is in serious jeopardy.
For one thing, the United States gets a lot of oil from Saudi Arabia. So if the Saudis decide to turn off the spigot, we can expect gas prices to rise.
Furthermore, if Saudi Arabia pulls the trigger on their threat to sell the U.S. assets they hold it would weaken the dollar, which would cause global economic turmoil that would affect our own economy.
Economists are skeptical that the Saudis would execute such a move but do we really want to underestimate what another nation is capable of if they are pissed off enough?
President Obama has been warning Republicans for months about these kinds of ramifications if the bill ever became law. But they refused to listen to him as usual and now their irresponsibility is putting our country in a really shitty position.
Saudi Arabia is our strongest ally in the Middle East, where most countries hate us already. The last thing we need is for the largest country in the Middle East to hate us too.
But noooo, Republicans didn’t care about the potential consequences because they were too busy pandering to 9/11 victims as if they actually care about them. I don’t recall them caring that much when they were blocking the 9/11 first responders health bill last year.
Giving American citizens the ability to sue other nations in American courts only proves to those nations that we are as arrogant as they think we are. And now we all have to pay the price for Congress’ stupidity.
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