Obama to veto bill allowing 9/11 families to sue Saudi Arabia hours after they speak out

NEW HAVEN – Hours before President Barack Obama's press secretary announced that he'd veto legislation allowing victims of terrorist attacks--like 9/11--and their families to sue countries (like Saudi Arabia) that may have fostered terrorists, local victims spoke out.

The Eaglesons lost a loved one on September 11, 2001. Bruce Eagleson left behind a wife and two sons.

Since then, they've fought vigorously for the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act.

"Have you ever heard of the expression 'it takes an act of Congress'?" Middlefield native Brett Eagleson, one of Bruce's sons, asked at a press conference on Monday in New Haven. "Well, it took an act of Congress and we did it. And to now hear that all of our hard work is going to be threatened by a potential veto is a kick in the stomach to 2,996 victims of terrorism on American soil. There is no excuse for a veto."

Both houses of Congress passed the act, pushing it to Obama's desk, but on Monday Press Secretary Josh Earnest announced Obama would veto the act.

The bill was designed with families of 9/11 victims in mind, but is meant to allow any victims of terrorism and their families to sue "foreign actors that sponsor or support violent extremism." In the case of 9/11, that would be Saudi Arabia, where 15 of the 19 hijackers were from.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal has been a big advocate of the bill, and was on hand for a press conference in New Haven on Monday. He also recently sent a letter to Obama asking him to sign the bill.

“This bill closes a loophole that denies a fair day in court to American victims of some of the most heinous terrorist attacks in our history. I urge you to sign this bill without delay,” Blumenthal said in his letter.